The Four Rs of Balance

March 1, 2012

The Four Rs for Balance

Balance in life can be measured or segmented in many ways. My formula for balance involves the  four Rs. These are relationship, rest, recreation, and refreshment. See the diagram below for how these lend to balance. These are areas of the self that need our utmost attention. As these areas start to come into balance, other areas such as work, finances, etc. can be addressed, although commonly they are addressed simultaneously. This blog only addresses the self and balance.

                                                                                                             
I place relationship in the center of the triangle and make it the largest parameter because I think it is the most important. By relationship, I mean the primary relationship in our life which is God. We are all hard-wired for God and when that relationship is not on solid ground, all other relationships and areas of our life are out of balance. Everything we are and do flows from our relationship with God. Relationship with God is necessary for:
  • the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit which are vital to our character and development of virtue (I will not delve into this further because it would take a whole blog topic to cover how our relationship with God is vital to our survival.)

The next most important area for balance which is at the top of the triangle is rest. Without rest, things quickly fall apart. Recreation and refreshment have about equal weight in terms of balance. By recreation, I mean time spent recharging our batteries as well as time spent on exercise, so really two areas for the price of one R. With refreshment, I mean the food that sustains us, our nourishment. So these are the four Rs. Now I’ll delve into three Rs that make up the points of the triangle.

Rest is vital for many reasons. Rest of at least 7 hours per day of quality sleep is necessary for:

  • clarity of thought and mood stabilization
  • adequate energy levels
  • proper metabolism (Lack of quality sleep increases the risk of obesity and many other health problems.)

Recreation in the form of relaxation:

  • recharges our batteries
  • adds to the quality of life
  • reduces stress
  • increases satisfaction in other areas of our life

Recreation in the form of exercise improves many areas of our health:

  • improves brain function – alertness, concentration, and cognition
  • improves quality of sleep
  • stabilizes mood, reducing anxiety and depression
  • improves energy, stamina, flexibility, balance, strength, and coordination
  • improves circulation and heart health
  • strengthens lungs
  • improves digestion and bowel function
  • improves glucose metabolism
  • helps maintain a healthy weight
  • improves longevity

Refreshment in the form of nutrition is vital to health. Good nutrition:

  • maintain healthy weight
  • supplies energy
  • supports immune system
  • aids digestion and bowel function

Information on dietary guidelines can be found at http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/default.htm.

For a BMI calculator to determine your ideal body weight, please go to http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm.

Lack of balance with the four Rs can lead to problems with health, relationships, employment, etc. I will discuss how to regain balance in these four areas in my blog next month.

Please feel free to post your questions and comments below.

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I will be writing a short blog post monthly beginning on March 1st. Please leave your suggestions below on topics that you would like to see covered on this blog.

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Please note: Information provided on this site is for educational purposes only and is not meant to treat any health conditions or to be a substitute for seeking care from your personal healthcare provider.

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