Updated: Jul 17, 2022
By Russell Baron
As we continue to work towards our fitness goals, sometimes we forget about other factors that heavily impact our progression. There are four main pillars that impact us overall; fitness, nutrition, sleep, and stress.
Without fitness it would be challenging for us to overcome our stimulus in preparing ourselves for any outside obstacles. For example, if your goal is to hike at high altitudes it is better to work towards a higher threshold in order to sustain endurance and strength when facing that encounter. Better to overcome something more challenging within your fitness routine and be prepared for anything that may come your way once you encounter your experience.
Nutrition can also be used as an extreme benefit towards the other pillars. For example, eating enough calories (especially the most nutritious) allow us to perform our best within the weight room, and recovery properly. We tear muscles fibers and create impact on our bodies within the weight room; nutrition and sleep are where restoration occurs.
Sleep, something we should all prioritize within our regimen. Sleep is the time for our bodies to fully build, recovery, and allow us to reset into the best state. A well-known American Neuroscientist, Andrew Huberman, mentions sleep is best for trauma release, immune boosting, hormone augmentation, emotional stabilizing, and more importantly; stress relief.
Stress gives us direction and leads us daily. Whether it be eustress (positive stress) or distress (negative stress), it drives us regardless of the circumstances. We should consider methods of decreasing the amount of distress within our lives. This can be built through creating more structure within our daily routine, that would allow us to have more space for creativity in order to do what we love the most. We must also consider the influence distress can have upon the other pillars.
When one pillar is affected, the others begin to shape differently. For example, working out more creates a stimulus that drives us to eat healthier, sleep more, and release better hormones that make us feel more confident about who we are. Another example can come from lack of sleep. Low sleep creates more distress, decreases the amount of motivation and energy we have with working out, makes us more prone to injury, and mostly likely leads us to poor decisions with the way we eat.
Overall, we should consider the importance each pillar has as we continue to work towards our life goals. Each pillar plays a key role in what our result will become. It is our decision to use them for hinderance, or for improvement.