Back To Basics


Fun February Facts: Feb 16th was the day the first 9-1-1 emergency telephone system went into service in Haleyville, Alabama in 1968, when the first computer bulletin board system was created by CBBS in Chicago in 1978, the day the Silver Dollar became legal US tender in 1874 and is the birthday in 1822 of Francis Galton, an English biologist and statistician, who created the concept of correlation and introduced the use of questionnaires and surveys for collecting data on human communities.

On to the basics…

One of the most enjoyable things of reflecting on the last 4 years was reading through what I wrote in the very beginning of this journey. As an example, here is my first guide on the basics of Bare 5 (published 4 years ago):

The Bare 5 Essentials

How do we live well, enjoy health, and feel great? Focus on these 5 areas and you will be on your way to recapturing your true potential.

The pillars of Bare 5 Health and Fitness…

1. Eat naturally
2. Move naturally
3. Sleep
4. Get outdoors
5. Live seasonally

I expand on these in the Bare 5 Elements seen on the menu or the sidebar.

Good luck getting back to the bare essentials!

So it makes me think, do those basics still apply or has my philosophy changed? Right away I notice that I have changed a little bit, but not by much. Here’s this guide as it is now published:

The pillars of Bare 5 Health and Fitness…

1. Eat naturally
2. Move naturally
3. Sleep naturally
4. Connect with the world
5. Enjoy life

I added “naturally” after sleep, changed “get outside” to “connect with the world” and switched “live seasonally” to “enjoy life” but that’s it. I knew enjoyment had to be a part of all this and it replaced live seasonally because that actually should underlie everything about Bare 5. Seasonality is inherent and built in to all the categories so I thought it was more of a foundational characteristic than a basic pillar.

Back To Basics

One thing the last year or so has brought to light for me is how obsessed we are with details and how often we forget the basics. We have, for lack of a better phrase, lost the forest for the trees. We easily get caught up in the details of health without stepping back to assess if we have our primary elements set well to build upon. Like another analogy goes, you can’t build a quality house, no matter how well it’s designed, on a bad foundation.

That brings us back to the basics. What are they?

I believe that the 5 pillars still apply and all hold equal weight. Food, movement, sleep, natural connection and enjoyment are the pillars to health. They all contribute and without each of them you cannot have true health. Let’s take a quick look at each of these…

Eating naturally based foods. A diet based in food products is like a rotting or cracking pillar- it will hold for a while but isn’t robust and will eventually give out. You don’t have to be perfect but the more whole, real foods you eat the stronger that pillar while be.

Moving your body. Not just exercise but body movement of all kinds. Think of movement as your food and exercise as your supplements. The more variety in your movements the better. Walk, bend, squat, twist, lift, push, pull, carry. The less you move the weaker and more vulnerable this pillar will be.

Resting your body. Possibly the most neglected and underrated pillar. Adequate rest is one of the simplest ways to be healthy. Get to bed early and respect your need for rest and recovery. The less well you sleep the more your whole foundation will weaken.

Natural Connection
Connect with the world. Start with nature and get outside in the sun, touch the ground with your skin, feel the air and wind, hear natural sounds and look out at natural scenery. Connect with people the old fashioned way. Touch, talking and eye contact all strengthen your foundation. Staying inside and interacting online is a sledgehammer to this crucial pillar.

Enjoy your life and manage stress. One of the forgotten pillars in the health world, particularly as more people worry about diet and/or exercise. Have fun, laugh, do enjoyable things and don’t allow your stress to overwhelm you. If your perfect diet doesn’t allow you to enjoy your life then it’s a big crack in this pillar.

Taken as a group, these 5 areas support a healthy human. Each have the ability to promote or hinder your health and should be the focus of anyone looking to improve their health. Step number one for everyone should be to address these basic categories. Worrying about the minutiae in diet or exercise doesn’t really matter and offers little to no real benefit if your sleep, connection or pleasure pillars are cracking or have crumbled.

Health at its most complicated is multidimensional, multifaceted and interconnected. At it’s most basic it is simple human behavior. Eat good food, move your body, rest well, connect to the world and enjoy life. There’s a time and place for details but don’t let the desire to design a fancy house prevent you from getting your foundation set right. Once you got your pillars set then you can build almost any kind of masterpiece you want on it.

Thanks for reading, have a great day!

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