You’ve tried every health booster under the sun, from green juice to supplements to the hottest new workout meant to leave every muscle quaking. Your clean diet rivals Gisele’s. But you look and feel less than stellar, and no amount of naps can seem to reset your sleep debt. (And the Mayo Clinic says only 2.7 percent of us are actually leading their definition of a healthy lifestyle.) Cue sad face.
What’s happening? While our bodies were designed to hum along like a well-oiled machine, our modern lifestyle has thrown us out of whack, says Jamé Heskett, MD, author of The Well Path .
“Anytime your body is stressed, your body reacts and adjusts. It pulls you out of balance and goes into a defensive mode to protect you,” she says. It’s not only physical dangers like a virus or an attacking bear that pull you out of equilibrium. Restrictive diets, over-exercising, lack of sleep, and your addiction to your iPhone all have the same effect, says Dr. Heskett. The problem is, rather than returning back to a calm, cool, collected state, we’re frazzled 24/7. “You body goes completely into preservation mode because it wants to survive. It wants to protect you,” she says.
According to Dr. Heskett, there’s a super straightforward way to improve your overall health that has nothing to do with your blood pressure, diet, or workouts. It’s what she calls the Four S’s—sleep, sex, stress, and social interaction. These factors play a big role in your hormonal balance, wellness, weight, and happiness.
Ready to see where you are on the path to wellness? Go over this checklist to see how you rate when it comes to the Four S’s.