By Stephen Brewer, M.D. & Peggy Holt Wagner, LPC, CTRS
“Peak Performance” -- a term used to denote maximizing your health or abilities to the highest level possible – often refers to elite athletes, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. Everyone has the potential to incorporate the concept of peak performance into their life, whether it’s running your first ½ marathon, being a top executive, becoming the best mom you can be or dealing with an illness. The beauty of peak performance is that the approach will be similar in practice regardless of what your personal goal may be.
We like to call this journey towards peak performance “The Everest Principle.” Mount Everest, the tallest mountain on the planet, is a metaphor for the highest goal a person can set for themselves. The Everest Principle incorporates the four major pillars of healthy living to create a multidiscipline and integrative approach to reaching peak performance.
1. A medical assessment makes sure we are physically capable of accomplishing our goals and identifying physical or biochemical maladies that need to be corrected.
2. Good nutrition significantly helps in the prevention of future disease states. It also gives us the consistent energy that is needed on any ascent we wish to attain.
3. Proper exercise decreases the risk for injury and future disease. It gives us endurance and strength to accomplish our goals.
4. Finally, behavioral elements - how we mentally approach our goals, our motivation, and attitudes - give us the confidence and clarity to reach our summit.
Working on just one, two, or even three and leaving out the other one is like trying to drive a car with one or two flat tires. So evaluate each of these four components in your own life and aim to improve on the areas that are lacking. To help you start, here is a list of steps you can incorporate into your wellness routine to help make you feel stronger, more energized and healthier than you imagined.
It’s a new year and the perfect time to get started.
Stephen Brewer, M.D., a Board Certified Family Physician, completed specialty training as an associate fellow in integrative medicine at the University of Arizona. Dr. Brewer was trained in acupuncture at UCLA and is certified in guided imagery. He heads up the Canyon Ranch Peak Performance team, which specializes in guiding individuals to a higher level of living and performance.
Peggy Holt Wagner, LPC, CTRS has a graduate degree from the University of Vermont. She currently works as a licensed professional counselor at Canyon Ranch Resort in Tucson, Arizona. She is trained and qualified in Hypnosis and EMDR and has spoken internationally on peak performance and other wellness-related topics.
Stephen Brewer and Peggy Holt Wanger are authors of The Everest Principle: How to Reach the Summit of Your Life (Feb. 2010; Hay House publishing).