The Three Pillars of Wellness
As we’ve had to adapt and change our routines in recent months, it can be easy to get thrown off course. Now, more than ever, it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In response we decided to tap into our leading in-house wellness expert, Daniel Poulin, Director of Spa & Fitness for North & Central America, for the key areas to focus on when creating healthy habits at home.
There are three major pillars of wellness that Daniel has identified which have the greatest impact on health and wellbeing - Sleep, Exercise and Nutrition.
It’s no surprise that many people struggle to get a solid night’s sleep. Here are some tried and true tips for a restful night:
- Go to bed and get up at the same time as much as possible.
- Try to avoid bringing electronics to bed with you (phone, iPad, etc.).
- Don’t listen to the news, answer emails or engage in anything that gets your mind racing for at least an hour before bedtime.
- Set up a bedtime ritual (this might be a warm bath, music, candles, aromatherapy, or breathing exercises).
- If you can’t fall asleep, get up and do something else (ideally out of bed and the bedroom).
Many scientific studies continue to demonstrate how much of a contributor sleep is to our overall health and wellbeing. It’s even said that of all the healthy habits, sleep is by far THE largest indicator of longevity.
How can a beginner start a simple at-home fitness routine?
- Book exercise time in your calendar like you do for important meetings.
- Start small: Try a two minute breathing exercise, a four minute fitness program, or a 10 minute walk and build from there.
- Start early in the day – if possible, try and get your exercise done before lunch. This way, whatever your day throws at you, you won’t need to skip a session.
- Recruit an accountability buddy. Involve other members of your family or ask them to help you remain accountable for the exercise routine you’ve set for yourself.
- Walk and talk. Take your calls “on the road” and you’ll be surprised by how this gets the creative juices flowing!
- Walk and listen: Download an inspiring podcast to listen to while walking. You’ll walk longer and feel more energized and motivated. Podcasts include Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations, The Tony Robbins Podcast, and Happier with Gretchen Rubin.
- Select an easy to follow training program. There are hundreds of apps available that offer guidance and fitness routines, most of which are free or offer an extended trial. These apps include: Nike training club, Seven - 7 Minute Workout, Peloton, Sweat & more.
- Keep it fun and celebrate all of your achievements!
Not only does exercise improve our sleep, but it has a myriad of other benefits. It assists in weight management, boosts immunity and has a major impact on our mental health and overall wellbeing. In addition, it helps to get those creative juices flowing!
The third piece of the puzzle is nutrition. Here are some simple tips for maintaining a healthy diet.
- Practice the 80/20 rule. Eat extremely well 80% of the time and enjoy what you want the remaining 20%. This ensures a healthy diet, while not restricting you from indulging in the things you love.
- Try to eat food from all of the food groups, as they each provide specific benefits that are important to our health.
- Avoid “extreme” dieting. Although you may see initial results, they are not typically sustainable in the long run.
- Gut health is something we should all take seriously. Educate yourself and start adding food that will built or maintain your intestinal flora such as fermented vegetables, yogurt, miso and kimchi.
- Learn to enjoy your time in the kitchen! Eating healthy means you’ll have to spend time preparing your meals, so try and find ways to make the most of this time.
- And of course, drink plenty of water!
Sleep, exercise and nutrition – the three most important elements to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Even if you start small and implement a few of these tips, you’ll see an impact throughout all aspects of your life.
Daniel Poulin leads the spa, fitness and recreation activities for Accor in North & Central America. His 30 year career has taken him throughout Canada, Asia and the Middle East. Daniel holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology and a Master of Science degree in Nutrition.