The Lifestyle Balance
The Lifestyle Wheel illustrates the ‘Lifestyle Framework’ that has shaped the questions used in the Lifestyle Questionnaire.
You will notice that the Lifestyle Wheel has seven spokes – each one is critical to ‘health and wellness’ physically, and emotionally. If one or more spokes are not robust, the holistic system is at risk of collapsing.
What may not be immediately obvious is that each spoke is integrated and represents a series of sub-systems.
For example, sleep helps to reduce stress (adrenalin / cortisol). Cortisol converts sugar into belly fat; it follows that sleep is important to weight management. Sleep also balances serotonin that is vitally important to mood balance (a deficit reduces emotional resilience or at the extreme, causes depression). If the wheel is unbalanced, ‘wear and tear’ increases dramatically and the ‘ride’ becomes uncomfortable. The same is true for Lifestyle Balance: having one or two spokes fully developed (e.g. nutrition and exercise) is a good start but insufficient in terms of the overall Health & Wellness system.
Taking the car wheel metaphor further – in extreme cases, the vehicle is at risk of getting speed wobbles and running off the road, potentially crashing. At a practical and personal level, keeping your lifestyle balanced is vitally important if you are to travel comfortably on your life journey. Physical and mental illness comes at a significant cost directly and indirectly. As a strategic leader, you are a role model, and your lifestyle will impact on many others who follow in your footsteps.