Balancing the four elements of wellness
It’s not only about training. It’s not solely about nutrition. Sleep and the quality of rest matters that’s for sure, but are these enough? The way you use your time is probably the key factor in the modern society. And even more importantly, all of these elements have to be well balanced.
Training. Today I felt exceptionally tired, I couldn’t tell you what it was. And as I’m writing this article I still do. Younger version of me would have trained his ass off and ignored the tiredness factor. Smarter and matured version said today you will only ride your bike and just be outside, that’s it. Tomorrow is a new day and if I feel sharper, I will train. There were no off days last week and four times last week I trained twice a day.
Nutrition. More tired you are, more demand there is for food. Even as I’m having a forced day off today, my main focus is to eat more than usual. Your mind of course plays tricks on you and says don’t eat because you weren’t too active today. But if I want to train again tomorrow (ski touring in the morning and kettlebells in the evening), that’s the only way to go. I eat relatively clean all the time, but when there is a higher demand for fuel, I might eat more energy dense food.
Rest. I was not able to fall asleep last night. It was 7am when I got the hang of it and had about 4 hours of deep sleep after that. As a youngster I actually thought 4-5 hours is enough. Many times it was, but as you’re over 35 and you have gained a lot of training miles, it definitely won’t be enough. I’ve grown to respect sleep and rest in general more and more while trainingwise less is usually more after 25+ years of systematic and versatile training.
Time management. In terms of general health, I consider the use of your time the most important element of all. As the world today is very hectic, many times focus tends to be on the less essential aspects of life. If your focus is only in training and nutrition, you will only get so far. If the focus is only on work, your general health will suffer. There has to be time for your family, friends, other loved ones and also for yourself outside wellness. The fact that it’s trendy and hip for even a non-athlete to talk about training and supplements does not mean it’s effective use of time. You need to relax and understand the big picture.
Holistic is the key word here. There are limited hours for your work, rest and other things in life. Decide what and where you want to be and split your day in equal parts. Magic starts to happen after these elements are balanced.