Without proper health, nothing else matters. You can’t enjoy life, time with loved ones, help others, or pursue those things which truly matter to you.
My goal is to have surplus energy, a clear head, intense focus, and a good mood on a stable and consistent basis – able to draw forth what I need, when I need it.
In my mind, if I eat correctly, I’m already 75% of the way there. And, if I add in physical exercise focused on mobility, flexibility, flow, and strength, 8+ hours of deep sleep, consistent meditation, massages, and more, great health is attainable.
Importantly, and often difficult for me, is that as intensely as I operate, I need as intense of a downtime in order to recover. This back and forth fluctuation between intense focus and deep work and total relaxation and recovery, is the key to sustainable health, energy, focus, and, ultimately, mastery. This focus on health doesn’t cost, it pays!
- I’ve found that the Bulletproof infographic is a great and easy to follow resource on what foods to eat most, what to avoid, when to eat, and why
- Intermittent fasting (eat within an 8 hour period and have 12+ hours between dinner and breakfast)
- Quarterly 3-day fasts (or weekly 1 day fasts)
- Stop eating when 80% full and within 2 hours of bed
- Alcohol – in moderation, less than 3 drinks, don’t mix
- Don’t think of the body as magic. Understand that the right inputs (what’s mentioned above), leads to better outputs
Exercise & Nutrition
I believe that people often go for the “work harder, not smarter” approach to exercise. A couple intense workouts per week, balancing strength, flow, mobility, and flexibility, is more than enough. If you enjoy long distance running, great, but it is probably breaking your body down.
I approach my exercise with a “minimum effective dose” mindset. I enjoy it but don’t want to spend more time than I have to on it. Life is all about opportunity cost and I’d rather be spending that time with people I love, learning, or working on meaningful projects.
So, my exercise consists of tennis (flow, cardio, dynamic movement), yoga (flexibility, mobility, balance, flow), Body by Science workouts (strength, cardio), Wim Hof, long walks, hikes, and occasional other sports such as swimming, running, basketball, gymnastics, cycling, and more.
I want to avoid overexerting myself to the point of injury (sustainability is the name of the game), working out intermittently so that my body takes too long to recover, ignoring any area above for too long, and pushing myself unnecessarily. I want to be balanced, healthy, have my mobility, and avoid injury and sickness until I drop. I think this balance of exercises, coupled with my diet and nutrition, will get me there.
My one caveat is that I want to try one “misogi” episode per year – one physical feat per year which stretches the boundaries of what I think I can do.
The “Body by Science” workouts are simple but intense and sometimes intimidating as you need to push yourself every week to be a little bit better.
Getting 7-8 hours of deep, consistent sleep is one of the most important things I can do as it impacts and permeates every other area of my life. If I don’t get this right, I get impatient, cold, quiet, selfish, impulsive, and turn inward. I can’t accomplish what I want to if I don’t get this sleep on a consistent basis. It is selfish in a way, but also the most unselfish thing I can do. Contrary to how many people think and operate, consistently working late into the night and sacrificing sleep is not a sign of triumph and heroism, but a sign of ill preparation and lack of balance. (see Matthew Walker for more details on why sleep is so important and how to improve it)
- Meditation – doesn’t have to be long, but needs to be consistent
- Coherence / HRV (Coherence notes on why this is important)
- Wim Hof
- Hot/cold exposure
- Tabata-style workouts
- Long walks / hikes
- Supplements (just some basics – everyone’s needs are obviously different)
- Attia – How you Move Defines How You Live, Glute activation
- Foam Roller
- Massage Ball
- Power Plate
- Spike mat
- Occasional massages / active release therapy
- Deliberate rest
- Semi-annual doctor/dentist visits
- Full panel blood tests (every year or every other year)
- Microbiome tests
- Everything in moderation
- Social Interaction with old friends, loved ones, and some new acquaintances (breadth and depth of relationships is vitally important)