The 5 Factors of Health

July 16, 2023
The 5 Factors of Health

“Taking absolute ownership of how we eat, sleep, train, think, and connect with each other is the way we optimize our health and happiness.” – Chasing Excellence podcast intro

I first heard about the “5 Factors of health” years ago listening to Coach Ben Bergeron talking on his podcast, "Chasing Excellence" and it has drastically impacted the way that I think about my health and fitness in a simple, yet tactical way.

The “5 Factors of Health” are basically the 5 things relative to your health and wellness that YOU have the most control over. Obviously (or maybe not so obviously), putting our effort and our focus into what we can control is the best use of our time. These are always important to keep in mind but right now, when everything seems out of our control, they are especially important. Before I go much farther I should say that these come from a Coach by the name of Ben Bergeron

As seen above, the “5 Factors of Health” are the way we eat, sleep, train, think, and connect. Next week I will be breaking down one of the 5 factors each day in a little bit more depth, as well as giving you some simple ways to incorporate them into your daily life, and providing links to podcasts about each one individually.  For today, we’ll take a broader look. If you want to dive a little deeper before next week, check out the “Chasing Excellence” podcast here.

Eat – Real foods. Not too much. Mostly plants.

One of the most hotly contested topics on the internet is nutrition. There is so much information out there that it’s hard to know what you should be doing. So we’re gonna keep it simple. Let’s break it down..

Eat real foods: meat, fruit and veggies, nuts and seeds.

Not too much: 3 meals a day. No “seconds”. No snacking

Mostly plants: Most of your plate every meal should be fruits or vegetables.

For awesome, realistic, science based nutrition advice follow E.C. Synkowski on her website Optimizemenutrition or her Instagram.

Sleep – 7 to 9 hours a night, every night.

Sleep is by far the most underrated aspect of overall health and wellness. Lack of sleep has been linked to things like depression, weight gain, immune system repression, Alzheimers…and even permanent brain damage. There are certainly ways to optimize sleep that we will dive into next week, for now JUST GET MORE.

Train – Constantly Varied Functional Movements at High Intensity 5-6x a Week

While this may seem like opinion, it’s not. At this point we know that pullups, power cleans, and burpees are far more effective at getting you healthy and fit than spending hours a week on an elliptical.  Since you’re reading this on a functional fitness based gym’s website you probably already know that. We’ll see how nerdy I actually get when I sit down to write the blog on training next week, but be prepared for lots of links! If you’re not training like this already well…I know of an awesome gym opening soon that can help you out.

Think – Never whine, never complain, never make excuses.

Mindset matters (hey, there’s that phrase again). When we whine/complain/make excuses we are focusing on things outside of our control. Don’t do them out loud or in your head, even when you’re alone. What you focus on, you give power to. Instead, practice open mindedness and positivity.

For a cool (kind of overly dramatic) video of this mindset in action click here.

For a Ted Talk on how to weaponize your mind click here.

Connect – Build, sustain, and grow deep emotional relationships

If sleep is the most underrated aspect of health, human connection is the most overlooked. Science shows that people with deeper emotional connections to others live longer. We take our relationships with other people for granted so often that many times it’s not until something bad happens that we realize how much we love another person or group of people. This is especially clear right now as the World is in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic.  I’ll have some simple ways to start practicing this more next week, for now…go call a friend.

Stay strong my friends

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