Four Pillars of Health (And How to Improve Each One Today!)

To be a healthy, well rounded individual who has an extraordinary quality of life (our goal for you at Telos), we need to pay attention to the following four aspects that have a significant impact on our overall health and well-being:

  1. Quality Nutrition

  2. Consistent Exercise (Based on your Needs)

  3. Sleep

  4. Emotional Health and stress management

Often, focusing on one pillar to start will have the waterfall effect on the others. If you exercise more consistently, you tend to eat and sleep better. If you’re eating and sleeping better, you tend to be more emotionally healthy. If you’re filling your first three “buckets” of health, the fourth bucket tends to be a whole lot smaller – and easier to maintain as well. 

Quality Nutrition 

A healthy diet is crucial for maintaining good health. Eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats provides the nutrients our bodies need to function properly. Proper nutrition also helps to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

There are three types of people in the world these days: under nourished, over nourished, and adequately nourished. Our goal for you is to be in the adequately nourished category. This will look different for each individual, but being adequately nourished means you’re consistently at a healthy weight and are eating a wide variety of foods to get all of the macronutrients and micronutrients you need. There are a variety of ways to get there, and if you’re in need of help with your nutrition, we’re here for you! Check out what we do at Telos for our nutrition clients HERE.

Quick Win: Aim to eat a serving of vegetables and protein at lunch and dinner every day this week!

Consistent Exercise

Regular exercise and physical activity help to keep our bodies healthy and strong. Exercise helps to maintain a healthy weight, build muscle mass, and improve mental health.

Just three hours a week of exercise has shown a 50% reduction in all cause mortality as people get older. Just three hours?! This is very doable and something to strive for as a minimal acceptable output per week.

It’s important that we approach exercise with a game plan to help bring up our weaknesses as well. Many people don’t have enough muscle mass. Those minor aches and pains in your back, knees, neck, or shoulders? Many times they are caused by weaknesses in those areas. Incorporating a safe and structured program for strength training can help eliminate those altogether. 

Having more muscle mass has a myriad of benefits and no downsides unless it’s taking away from your stability or mobility. Showing up for your strength workouts is one of the best things you can do.

On the flip side, if you do have adequate levels of muscle mass but are lacking aerobic capacity, mobility, or stability, focusing on more aerobic-based workouts is going to be important for you. 

A professional coach can help you draw up a plan that is customized to you in order to help you reach your goals. (And if you don’t have a coach, come talk to us!

No matter what, be consistent with your exercise, and work what you need to work!

Quick Win: Take a 15 minute walk, jog, or bike ride around your neighborhood or try this bodyweight workout of 100 squats, 100 sit-ups, 100 pushups, 100 jumping jacks. Break up the reps however you need!


Getting enough quality sleep is essential for good health. Sleep helps our bodies to repair and regenerate, improves brain function, and supports emotional well-being. Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to a range of health problems, including obesity, diabetes, and depression.

The average American is only getting 6 to 6.5 hours of sleep per night. Current research shows us that upwards of 60% of Americans aren’t getting enough sleep. (Source)

We aren’t saying you need suddenly find an extra three hours a day to get more sleep, but you do want to strive for 7-8 hours at least. 

Take a look at your sleep habits honestly, and look where you can make a change. For most of us? It’s going to be turning off the television and the phone before sleep. Resist the urge to roll right into that next episode of the show you’re watching and stop scrolling social media from your bed. 

Quick win: Aim to go to sleep just 15 minutes earlier tonight. You’ll be surprised how easy it can be!

Stress management

Managing stress is important for overall health and well-being. Stress can have a negative impact on physical and mental health, leading to a range of health problems. Learning stress management techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, and mindfulness can help to reduce stress and improve overall health.

Without being emotionally healthy, we can’t be completely healthy.

There’s a waterfall effect that can improve your emotional health by focusing on the first three pillar outlined above, but at the end of the day some of the objectively fittest people in the world are still emotionally unhealthy. 

Things like deep breathing, taking a short walk outside, journaling, and talking to a friend or loved one can be used to help improve your emotional health, but if you are feeling high anxiety, mentally stressed out, or depressed, the best place to start is by working with a mental health professional. There is no longer the same stigma around seeking professional advice like there was in the past. 

Quick Win: Take five minutes today to check in with your stress level. If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a few deep breaths, do a “mind dump” of what you need to accomplish today or this week by creating a list, play with your kids, or go for a short walk. 

The four pillars of health are essential for maintaining good health and preventing chronic diseases. Focusing on proper nutrition, regular physical activity, adequate sleep, and stress management can help to improve overall health and well-being.

At this point, we have identified the buckets you need to fill for your health and you have some fast actions you can take TODAY to move the needle in the right direction for each one. 

Our goal at Telos is to help you create a customized plan for the next steps. If you are ready to improve your fitness, nutrition, and overall health, reach out to us below!