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9 Steps to BASIC Health

May 29, 2019

 

Intro...

  • I was born weak, sick, skinny, and pale

  • I had a passion for sports, but an allergy to hard work

  • By age 22 I was bloated, tired, achy, and clueless how to fix my body. So I proceeded to pop Excedrine, Pepto, Prilosec, and Tylenol PM daily. 

  • I dove into the inter-webs and slowly but surely began to carve out my own understanding and path of healthy restoration.

  • By age 27 I had effectively mapped out my own unique optimal diet and movement/training protocol (hint: it started out like many people, “paleo and Crossfit” but evolved into something much deeper)

  • I have taught Special Education at various ages and abilities for the last 5 years, mostly teaching students with profound difficulties in the areas of social and emotional behaviors

  • I coached/trained kids in weightlifting, gymnastics, as well as “obstacle course training” (Physical Education programmed and coached in the most beautiful fashion… Look up Fitness heroes and Ninja Cats)

  • I have coached adults in Crossfit classes, as well as personal training for group and individual sessions in various gyms and modalities of movement and exercise. 

  • I worked for GNC in college, and have always had a BURNING passion for the exploration of the human body and how the foods/supplements/drugs we ingest can alter performance.

 

The purpose of this article is not to demonstrate my credentials or lobby for a particular brand of anything. I just want to share the foundational knowledge that I have discovered in my lifelong journey of striving for health and happiness. Think of this as a quick guide to “biohacking” your life. If that’s too cheesy for you, I get it (…butter coffee is NOT included on this list). Think of this article as a BASIC reference manual for making sure you’re taking the small, easy steps to maximize your results and optimize your existence. There is no shame in claiming the low hanging fruit when it comes to your daily habits. 

 

 

 

1. Wake up early and “Own the Day"

 

CEO of Onnit and spiritual/fitness/lifestyle guru, Aubrey Marcus, has a wonderful book titled “Own the Day, Own Your Life” in which he lays out the ideal scenario for each portion of the day, ultimately resulting in a “How to” guide for living your best life one day at a time. To rip a few ideas from his book (among other books/mentors of mine, as well), the first step in covering your BASIC needs for optimal health comes promptly upon opening your groggy, sleep-boogery filled eyes. When you first wake up, you HAVE to have a plan laid out for you that is simple, and already prepared to be carried out. For example, next to my bed I have my Dream Journal and my Christian Gratitude Journal. If I dreamt and remember ANYTHING from it, I jot it down in the dream journal. Doesn’t have to be an essay with punctuation or even make a ton of sense. The important thing for me here is to just get something down so later on I can remember the dream and actually ponder the nature of my subconscious mind during the night. I recommend reading or watching some youtube videos on Carl Jung to learn of his ideas on the hidden realities of our dreamworld if you have never contemplated the subject. Next, I grab my Christian Gratitude Journal. This is the one I am currently using, but before this it was a “Purpose Driven Journal”. The idea here is to start my day off with some simple scripture, simple prayer, and simple writing to practice gratitude. It consists of one bible verse, then the following three questions: 1. What are you grateful for today? 2. What truth did you discover in today's biblical reading? And 3. Who can you pray for and/or serve today? I often write one word answers, depending on if I over slept or how tired I am or how fired up my brain is on that particular morning. Boom. Ritual. Every single day. It may not seem like much but it is a habit that compounds over time and I BELIEVE seeps into my subconscious mind throughout my day and begins to bleed out into how I think, act, and feel in my daily life. If you do not like the idea of either of those journals, find something else. Read Rumi. Write down 3 goals for the day. Just find something that is sustainable and not overly complex. Remember, this has to be something you can do half awake/half asleep. I feel that this empowers me to take on the rest of my day. Because I “owned” the first few moments of my day, I am much more likely to own and conquer the rest of my day that follows my slow and achy footsteps out of the bedroom.

 

 

2. Move it before you lose it. 

 

This one can make or break you. A lot of people come in hot with a new plan to workout every morning before work, but eventually fail due to one of many reasons. Perhaps they overly complicate the workout program, due to compensating for their perceived “need” to lose weight/build muscle quickly… aka they treat it like a sprint, rather than a marathon. Another reason people fail at this step is they go too hard in the paint, then find themselves  becoming even MORE SEDENTARY throughout the rest of their day. Is it really a good idea to do a grueling Crossfit class at 5am if you did not meal prep, didn’t sleep more than 7 hours, and sit for most of your workday? No. In fact, that scenario might be more likely to harm you than help you. Not hating on you crossfit junkies, I applaud, salute, respect, and admire you for your relentless commitment to kicking your own ass. However, for the majority of people, a punishing workout before sunrise is NOT going to be the optimal approach. Instead, try going for a walk. Too cold outside? Bundle up and sip some hot tea or bone broth or even some coffee while you walk. I am not saying you should drink coffee first thing, I am saying that if you NEED to use that as some extra motivation to form the habit of moving first thing in the morning, then ok, use it. Just don’t let that become your crutch. Here is my morning movement routine…don’t laugh. It’s quite elaborate and quite dorky. I have a weighted vest, ankle weights, wrist weights, Vibram “toe shoes”, an elevation training mask (restricts your breath by governing the airflow through your nose), blood flow restriction bands for arms and legs, and my headphones. If its cold, I wear a hoody. If it's warm, I go shirtless and wear shorts. I walk about 2/4 mile distance, with the varying terrain and incline throughout the trail. Sometimes I stop and do pushups or squats. Sometimes I do some lunges. Sometimes I jog or sprint the last 100 yards or so. It doesn’t matter. I am not doing this to “get ripped” or burn fat or build muscle, I am doing it to set the tone. I am doing it to optimize my mindset. Yes, because I am fasted, because of all the extra gear and movement I have added into the routine, I am indeed burning fat, building muscle, and getting completely yoked. But I had to work my way up to that. When I first started, I literally walked to the mailbox and back. I set my shoes and hoody by the door and set my alarm the night before. I did it. I did it again. Then again and again and eventually I became the serial killer looking man who my neighbors are terrified of when they see me prowling through the hood at 7am. I encourage EVERYONE, regardless of current status or fitness goals, to move in the morning before you start your day. Foam roll, stretch, hang upside down, crawl from your bedroom to the bathroom, do 10 squats on the toilet with the final squat being the big squatty potty finisher. Make it a goal to do it for a week straight and take note of how your mood and energy levels change throughout your workday. 

 

*I strongly suggest movement throughout the day, so that a “workout” in the evening is optional. I did not include any fitness routine aside from the morning movement ideas because I think it’s already a dead horse. We know, exercise is a must. In this article I wanted to instead provide a useful/motivational guide to show you a way you couldbe moving and how it might affect your overall well-being, rather than a “7 minute abs” or “how to build bigger arms” routine. Those are a dime a dozen.

 

*Another side note, things like grip strength, body temperature, testosterone, and reaction time are all optimal in the afternoon…not first thing in the morning. That’s not to say a morning trip to the Iron Paradise would be wasted or wouldn’t benefit you. It's just saying that our body is primed for such a task in the late afternoon, biologically speaking. 

 

 

3. SWEAT

 

If you have access to a sauna, use it. If you do not, find a gym or spa that has one and seriously make an effort to get to it. Sauna’s have been used for centuries for various reasons, but the main reason I suggest looking into one is for the detoxifying effects. You can walk into a sauna after a long stressful day, feeling tired, cranky, or spaced out. 15-30 minutes later, you feel brand new. There is a ton or research that has been coming out on the benefits of sauna usage (look up Rhonda Patrick on google/youtube for some interesting results). If you do not have any access to a sauna of any sort, there are some less efficient, but still useful options. Wal-Mart even sells the “sauna suit” in the fitness equipment aisle. I prefer the actual sauna to this because I like to literally sit on my ass and get healthy, but maybe that’s just me. If using the suit, wear it on your morning walk. Wear it on your evening walk. Wear it while you clean the house or do chores. My wife has heard me say this numerous times, “I am one good sweat away from being likable again”. She and I both know that stress is not something I handle well. I even let it build up and put me in a bad mood. Unfortunately, that often means the people around me get a lesser version of Rhet…one who likes to bitch and complain and criticize everything. It’s sad and lame but it's reality. I do not always have the time or the energy to go run or do yoga or lift weights in order to work up a sweat. Those are the times a sauna can be life-saving. Aside from the sweat lodge, the next best way I know of to sweat out this stress and detox your body via perspiration is to play sports. I play pick up games with strangers at the YMCA on Friday nights. I played in a pretty brutal men’s Rugby league in St. Louis over the past few years. I’ve played slow pitch softball, flag football, sand volleyball, golf, frisbee and even found myself on the verge of a fist fight from a botched call in a Spike Ball tournament. The reason I suggest sports is because it takes your mind off of whatever was stressing you out, and the game itself hardly feels like exercise. Along with sweating and working your brain and muscles, team sports can have some pretty profound effects on things like depression and anxiety. We need each other. We need the strangers we pass up on the street everyday. Don’t be shy, get out of your element and go jump in on whatever pick-up games you can find…even if your shot’s broke and you run with two left feet. Laugh at how everyones body looks and moves differently. Marvel at how gifted a person must be to become a professional athlete. Relax afterward knowing that life is the ultimate game we are playing…even though we sometimes like to pretend it’s much more serious.

 

 

4. Hydrate

 

This might sound elementary to you, but it cannot be underestimated. When I say hydrate, I am not talking about gatorade or just drinking more water. Yes, gatorade can have a place in your life and it tastes delicious. Yes, you DO NEED to drink more water. But I really recommend that you look into things like, magnesium, boron, sodium, chloride, potassium, sulfate, and lithium. These are known as “trace minerals” Ideally, we would all be getting them from our diet, but I can say with almost absolute certainty that unless you are intentionally supplementing these then you are NOT getting adequate amounts. I still hear people say things like “Oh I don’t eat salt because it causes diabetes/hypertension/obesity” Look, there may be some cases where person's body is currently in such a metabolic disaster where they DO need to limit or monitor their sodium intake, but even under those circumstances I would strongly suggest you take in some high quality sea salt, and limit your processed/fried/ sugary foods. Aside from the sodium, the other minerals I mentioned all play a vital role in our bodies electrical pathways. The “electrolytes” found in gatorade are surely beneficial, but the Red#40 and 50 grams of carbohydrate attached to them are not only unnecessary, but potentially quite harmful. Instead, opt for some purified water with a pinch of Himalayan (pink) sea salt and a splash of lemon juice. If you think you need the carbohydrate for muscular performance…sit down. You ain’t Lebron, you ain’t goin that hard. How much water are you drinking daily? Without getting into a specific prescription of how much you should be drinking, just begin to notice how often your beverage is NOT water (coffee and tea do not count as water…both can actually further dehydrate you). Even if you are not a heavy exerciser or in panic mode trying to pass a drug test, you should still aim for at least 2-3 liters of water per day. Personally, I have a water filtration system at home and we refill glass bottles or BPA free containers everyday. We use a Berkey water filter and fill up glass growler bottles from micro breweries to keep in the fridge. I also use a product called ConcenTrace, which are trace mineral drops that you add to purified water. A few drops of that, a splash of lemon, a pinch of sea salt or a squirt of lemon flavored stevia drops, and you will have yourself a very tasty, very healthy alternative to your typical beverage. Since making water and trace mineralization a priority I have noticed 4 major things: 1. Smoother, fuller looking skin.  2. More energy; fewer lethargic afternoons. 3. Less headaches.  4. Less food cravings 

 

5.Be. Human. On. Earth.

 

Kind of a smartypants way for me to say this: Get outside, be barefoot in the grass, and get away from blue light emitting screens. This really could be an entire blog post of its own. This is one I have take the most seriously in the past year. I have several tricks and gadgets for “biohacking” this and optimizing our living conditions to mitigate the damages caused by our modern society. However, let me start simply. If you live in the midwest, like me, it can be very daunting in the months of October-March. It may snow, it may rain, it may be freezing, it may be 80 degrees. We don’t know. All we do know is whatever it’s like outside right now, don’t get used to it…it will be the complete opposite within a week. This can make it very challenging for us to get our needs fully met as human beings. Whether you believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution or not, let us all at least come to the agreement that the Sun gives us life. We need it. We need it on our skin directly. As it rises, so should we. When it goes down for the evening, we need to go down for the day as well. Our bodies, as well as all of life on earth, has evolved with the sun and the moon being pretty darn consistent. The moon being the more complicated of the two with its waning and waxing cycles, but nevertheless, that lucky ol’ sun has nothing to do but roll around the heavens all day…everyday. When it comes up in the eastern sky, we need to see it. The full spectrum of light needs to enter our eyeballs. If we sleep through that, then we at least need to get out and let the sun directly touch our skin for AT LEAST 10-15 minutes per day. This is how our body makes vitamin D. This is how our circadian rhythm is orchestrated and the production of hormones like melatonin are regulated and secreted. We NEED to get this very BASIC concept down. During the day, we need to breathe fresh air and be outside. When the sun goes down, we really need to limit the amount of light we are exposing ourselves to. This means our phone, laptop, tablet, TV, all blue-light emitting devices need to significantly reduced in our usage beyond about 7pm. Will it kill us if we stay up and watch The Voice? No. Will it destroy our health if we fall asleep with the TV on? Maybe. Will scrolling IG or FB while in bed til we fall asleep disrupt our sleep patterns and have a detrimental effect on our brains ability to regulate mood and learning? 100% yes. I firmly believe that our rapid, mass adoption of these modern technologies is a major culprit in our modern disease. In the very least, look at the number of suicides, depression, anxiety, school shootings amongst our teens. It’s hardly a coincidence. And if you do not believe me or you are not yet informed on the gravity of this situation, just wait. In the coming years we are about to find out some terrifying news regarding what we are doing to ourselves with these device addictions. (For some shocking, yet eye-opening information on this topic google/youtube Dr. Jack Kruse). Reeling myself back in from that rabbit hole, let me recap and summarize the message of this step. We have to understand hat our bodies today are the results of ________ years of evolution (probably billions but who’s counting?). There are certain things that our species has depended on and evolved to have in order to sustain life. Can we “sustain” life without ever going barefoot in the grass, only seeing the sun on your way to the car, and never being more than arms reach from your phone/laptop/tv? I think we probably can survive doing that. But can we thrive? Not a chance. To live optimally and use our human body the way it was designed means we have got to learn to harness this ancestral wisdom and use it to our advantage. Personally, I gain great spiritual benefit from being in nature. Nothing makes me grow fonder and closer to our Creator than spending time in the the most purest form of his creation; nature. It would not be overly ambitious of me to say that discovering these truths (about light, being barefoot, in nature, and screen time) has changed my entire life. My understanding of the world and appreciation for it has become something I never could have dreamed of, and it is all due to going in the opposite direction of “the herd” that is civilization.

 

*Side note: the majority of air pollutants we are exposed to come from being indoors, not from the world outside. When people say “come in from the cold, you’ll get sick out there!” What they should say is “Come inside where the temperature is optimal for bacteria and germs to spread and populate your weak and feeble immune system!” I do not know much about quality air filters for the home, but I do know that we use an Alen Hepa Air Filter that reaches up to 1,000 squat feet (supposedly). We have real plants in our home that are known to purify the air. We do not use chemical cleaners or air fresheners. We use essential oils and soaps from brands like J.R. Watkins or Dr. Bronner or whatever brands we find at the hippy stores. The point is I take steps to preserve and protect the air we breathe while inside the home, but whenever possible, myself, my wife, my kids are outside getting “dirty”.

 

 

6. Eat the earth.

 

This goes hand-in-hand with #5. Diet and nutrition is a very touchy subject for many, and rightfully so, we’ve all been doomed by the mainstream science and government recommendations throughout the last century. I think people get a little prideful and egotistical when it comes to their diet for a number of reasons, but mainly because we all deep down know that what we look like, our current health status is LARGELY due to the foods we’ve consumed. If you are someone that considers themselves knowledgeable in the food game, then congratulations, so is the other 97% of the world in 2019. Everyone thinks they have “it”. Everyone thinks their way of eating is the best way of eating. Search for food documentaries on Netflix or go to a Barnes & Noble and browse the diet book sections. Wow. Overwhelming and highly contradicting. The most important thing I've learned from this body of knowledge is nobody really knows Jack Shit. We are all guessing. Educated, informed guesses, but nonetheless we are all still trying to figure out what’s ideal, what’s harmful, what works, what doesn’t. Here is what I do know (subject to change pending the 907 new studies that will be published tomorrow, each with its own personalized and biased agenda)… Every-body is different and every-body is changing. We should probably try to be eating real foods that have grown from the earth. We should probably go extended periods of time without eating and be okay with that (intermittent fasting). We should probably also have the intestinal fortitude to show some self control, as well as some relaxed celebratory indulgences. Eat some fried fish and drink a beer. Eat some cake and drink a shake. It's all gooooood, Baaay-baay! The worst thing you can do is become so neurotic about every single ingredient of every single meal you ever have. Doing that might even lead to some sort of ulcer or stroke or some other stress related illness. It's just not worth it. With some focused effort and practice, humans can become wired to intuitively know what we should or should not eat. It's totally unfair that food companies have designed their products to be hyper-palateble. It’s a shame that we have the cards stacked against us from the time we are in grade school to eat a very endocrine system disrupting, metabolically damaging diet. However, we are capable of gaining control of our food choices and food quality more so now than ever before. We ARE making progress collectively as the reigning Alpha’s of the world food chain. What does my diet consist of these days? At kids birthday parties I might eat cake and ice cream. When I am a guest in someone's home for dinner, I eat WHATEVER they cook. I do not allow myself to be “that guy” or someone who cannot enjoy the beautiful experience of sharing a meal with my family/friends/ loved ones. There is truly something magical about breaking bread with others. However, when I am on my own, during the work week, or my regular/routine diet is something much different. I look to foods that are going to be the most efficient, nutrient dense, and metabolically/anabolically beneficial. In my own dietary efforts, I eat what honestly resembles more of a Carnivore/Paleo/Keto style of diet...if I must label it and use the sexy trendy names to go with it. This is just how my diet has evolved over the last decade. It’s how I look, feel and preform my best. (Robb Wolf has been the most important teacher for me in most things food related). I eat a lot of red meat, trying to do the

“nose-to-tail” approach, eating the liver, organ meats, and making broth from the bones as well. I do not think this is at all dangerous or harmful in ANY way. In fact, I think beef is a superfood. It is extremely nutrient dense, as well as minimally irritating to the gut or immune system. I also eat canned sardines and oysters 1-2x a week. I eat eggs almost daily. I eat some dairy like cheese, milk, butter, and yogurt, but typically go for the higher quality, grass-fed option. I eat pretty well any type of meat, but mostly chicken and beef. Just my preference. I often eat sauerkraut, sourdough bread and other fermented foods, especially if they are homemade by my mom or grandma. I struggled with digestive issues my entire life. When my tummy hurts, my whole body hurts, my mood hurts, everything hurts. When my stomach is on par, I am free to live my life. So, making sure my food is properly digested and my stomach feels healthy is my main priority. Do I eat bread or peanut butter or potatoes or drink green smoothies? Sometimes. When I eat the right foods 90% of the time then the other 10% is much less damaging to my mind, body, and spirit. In other words, I eat nearly perfect in the times I have 100% control over what I eat. Then in the times I do not have complete control or it would be socially inappropriate to turn down food, I do not have to freak out or have an anxiety attack over the ordeal. Oh, and in case you were wondering, I NEVER turn down fried chicken. Just a rule of mine. When I am at my parents visiting, my mom will fry up a chicken that my good friend David Gage raised and butchered himself. Then she makes a special kind of hot sauce from her secret recipe, plus some buttery mashed potatoes with sour cream. Like, that’s winning. Thats heaven to me. The joy I get from that far outweighs any nutritional negatives that could be accounted for. Especially if I get to enjoy it with my Dad and an ice cold beer. 🙂 Which brings me to….

 

 

7. Family and Friends

 

It is not good for Man to be alone. Or woman. It’s no damn good for us to live inside our heads or our phones. We HAVE to prioritize time with our loved ones. Even if that means you gather around to watch TV together. If you have kids this is so important, as I am now learning. When my wife and I first got married, I struggled with this piece. I was so used to my alone time. I didn’t do anything particularly important during this solitude. It was just my own little island of escape. Escape from fear. Escape from worry. Escape from having to be myself in the presence of others. It’s kind of sick and dark and twisted, I’m sure nobody reading this can relate… However, I eventually started coming out of my cave and stepping into that space of “family”. It was hard for me at first. I didn’t know how to be a husband, let a lone a step-dad. I knew how to identify problems, I didn’t know how to fix them. I could come up with ideas of what we “oughta do” but wasn’t great at following through with any pertinent action. I was drowning fast in my sea of solitude that I had grown so accustomed to. If it hadn’t been for the loving patience and grace of my wonderful wife and step kids, I would be a pretty sad, miserable person most of the time. Nowadays, we have movie night. We have board game night. We have library night. We have exercise night. YMCA Night. Church night. We sit at the table and eat supper together. Thankfully, we’ve been able to come up with activities that we all enjoy together. Even if we don’t always get along the entire time, or every outing isn’t some scene out of a Disney Pixar movie. We still do it. That is what is important about it. We show up and we unconditionally give our time and love to one another. This is what family is built upon; unconditional time, acceptance, forgiveness, and love. I am still trying to figure out the friendship piece to married/dad life. I am finding that true friends are somewhat hard to keep at this stage of the game. It isn’t that I have had any "falling-outs” with my homies. We are just doing our own thing, going our own separate ways in life. That’s okay, but it is not an excuse to allow my social life to become nonexistent. The flip side to this, is I have actually begun to find some new friends along the way. Brilliant, kind, loving humans that I never would have kicked it with before being married with children (google/youtube “Al Bundy”). There is something positively transforming to our psychological health when we make new friends, and/or when we reconnect with old friends. Part of it is a reminder of who we were, and the other part is the foreshadowing of who we have yet to become. Why is this a “health tip”. Because today more than ever the world is actually hyper connected, yet people are miserably disconnected. We short hand texts to our best friends or parents and call it good. We avoid phone calls or face to face interaction because we are “busy” but really we are just further greasing the groove of a social anxiety complex that is quantifying our limiting self-esteem/beliefs. This is so easy and you don’t even have to pay for a gym membership (in fact, please do not go to a gym looking for a friend. Not the time or place to share your life story with a stranger). All you need is an open mind and heart to ANYONE you come across in your day and be treat them as a friend. In return, your brain will light up with a flood of serotonin and dopamine. Ironically (or not) these are the same exact  neurotransmitters that are increased from medication prescribed for anxiety, ADHD, and depression. 

 

 

8. Into the Mystic

 

I’ve written on my ideas of spirituality here before. Without going too in depth, it may be safe to summarize this topic by saying it is important for our human health to occasionally stop and contemplate the universe in which we live. Whether or not you practice a particular religion is secondary to whether or not you’ve ever stood in awe and astonishment at the infinite wonder and beauty of the world. Maybe you call it God, maybe you call it the Universe. Maybe you follow Jesus, maybe you follow science. There are many ways up the mountain, but to me the most important component of spirituality is that you are continuously growing and changing. There is nothing in the Bible that tells us we are not allowed to find bliss in the wonder and unknown of the world. Faith is not merely the opposite of doubt. Faith is action without sight. It’s embracing that you do not “know” who or what or where or why something is, but trusting that it simply is. I think we humans are often distracted by the brand or flavor of religion and it causes us to miss out on the indescribable beauty of being alive ( or being a-life). Everything in our existence is an absolute miracle. “Into the Mystic” isn’t just a great song, it’s also a great reminder to return to our childlike innocence so we may occasionally become lost in our imagination of what lies beyond the physical. Meditate. Pray. Explore your inner stillness so you may embrace your outer chaos. Accept what is as well as what isn’t. Do not get caught up in strict idealogical labels or dogmatic limitations of belief. Instead open your heart and mind to the infinite. Why is this important for our health? I think it may be the very nature of our human existence to seek the Divine. It may be the first and oldest question of humanity: “Why are we here?” Or “How are we here?” Such questions have been the spiritual driving force for the majority of civilization's progress. To discard the supernatural/metaphysical or to put it in such a tiny box would be to hold yourself back from an entire dimension of happiness.

 

 

9. Just breathe

 

This a big one for me. I had asthma growing up, as well as poor posture and allergies and sometimes anxiety. Once I learned how to properly position and move my body, these things improved. Once I learned how to properly breathe through my nose and move the oxygen throughout my body, my entire life changed. This an easy thing to overcomplicate, but even easier to overlook. There are a few really advanced breathing techniques that can be used for various forms of yoga, meditation, or even a psychedelic experience (such as holotropic breathing…look up “Wim Hof” or “Brian Mackenzie, Power Speed Endurance, The Art of Breath, or). Start slow and simple. Nearly any meditation or yoga instructor will direct you to focus on the breath, follow the breath, notice the breath, etc. Throughout your normal work day, begin to notice your breath. Are you breathing deeply? Are you breathing through the nose or the mouth? When you are walking, running, exercising, etc. are you breathing through the mouth or nose. It should ALWAYS be an inhale through the nose. Once you are no longer able to breathe nasally, you’ve reached your work capacity for that movement. You’re now compensating and moving/breathing improperly. Yes, that goes for you Crossfit community. I know it’s sad to hear and it seems like an unlikely route to 6-pack abs or a new clean and jerk PR, but the research is there. See for yourself. Breathing in through your nose does something to your body that breathing through your mouth cannot do. In fact, proper nasal breathing has been associated with a better immune system, not to mention the improvements it has on the nervous system. Did you know that taking just 6 deep breaths can lower your blood pressure? Did you know that taking deep breaths before you eat can improve digestion? 7 seconds in, hold, 7 seconds out. That is all it takes to shift the state you are in from a sympathetic to parasympathetic state.

 

“Breathing is the physiological intercept to our mental state. So, if things are going haywire, I can turn back to my breathing and control the physiological reactions that are happening in my mind. If I can take a step back and do that, I'm actually fixing the entire system.” – Brian Mackenzie

 

Is your respiratory rate (breathing) a byproduct of what is going on in your brain? Or is what’s going on in your brain a byproduct of your breathing? 

 

We do not need more supplements, more exercise gear/equipment, more shoes or outfits, more medications, more doctor visits, more overpriced health food, etc. We need more of the things that make us human. We need to prioritize and systematize some very fundamental habits of behavior in order to set the tone for our day and life. We need to show some self love, self respect, and self discipline in how we treat our bodies with regard to food, water, light, air. 

 

 

Much Love, 

 

Rhet Hayden

 

 

 

 

 

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