I am all about tips, tactics, and strategies that I can add in my life right away to improve my outcomes whether that be in business or my health. I think actionable knowledge is the most important kind of knowledge. This being said I wanted to give you today three actually make that five things you can take action on today to have an immediate impact on your health. Hope you like them. 1. Go to bed one hour earlier tonight.
Before I explain in my own words why this is so important and so impactful I want you to watch this TED talk by Dr. Kirk Parsley.
Yeah the surgeon story gets me every single time. Freaking crazy! But it illustrates the point of why we should be prioritizing our sleep not to mention all the effects of sleep deprivation Dr. Parsley mentioned.
Dr. Parsley kind of covered the detriments that a lack of sleep has and while I could just say that the benefits of sleep our the opposite I want to take a few sentences to emphasis some of the things that are of particular importance to note.
Sleeping more will improve mental performance. It will improve insulin sensitivity. It will improve your ability to learn and retain new information. It will allow you to recover from your workouts and get more out of them. Which I think are all things we can all stand to benefit from.
The idea is to stop depriving yourself of sleep and if you go to bed one hour earlier tonight you will be doing more for your health overall than any diet or workout plan could do.
2. Drink a cup of coffee.
Okay I am a bit biased here as evidenced by the photo below, but here me out for a second.
Coffee has been shown to have a number of benefits related to general well-being as well as specific diseases.
For overall heath regular consumption of coffee has been shown to correlated with a 1% reduction in risk of death in men of any age and a 13% reduction in risk of death in women of any age. I don't know about you, but I don't really feel like dying and I'll happily drink my coffee if it might give me a slight advantage in this category.
Coffee also contains antioxidants. These compounds are often touted as beneficial to health, but no one ever really says why. The biochemist in me needs to rectify this. Antioxidants prevent the cellular damage that free radicals (chemicals containing an unpaired single electron) can do in our body. In this case we are talking about an oxygen free radical which can be generated in the normal course of our metabolism. These free radicals can bind to our DNA do to our DNA being nucleophilic.
This bonding results in damage to the DNA which causes the cell to start the process of apoptosis or cell suicide and can also lead to the development of mutations in the DNA which could potentially lead to cancerous growth of the cell. Our body makes natural antioxidants to deal with these free radicals particularly one called glutathione, but giving the body additional supplemental antioxidants can never hurt. It is actually estimated that 50 to 70% of the average American's antioxidant intake comes from coffee. Yes so drink up.
Coffee consumption has been linked to a reduction in the risk for the development of cancers and specifically oral, esophageal, pharyngeal, breast , liver, colon, and prostate cancer.
Coffee consumption has also been linked to a reduction in the risk for Alzheimer's disease which the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. Additionally there is evidence from a study performed at the University of South Florida looking at coffee consumption in mice suffering from Alzheimer's disease that showed increased levels of Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor which improves memory by way of recruiting stem cells from bone marrow to enter the brain and remove harmful beta-amyloid proteins that cause the effects of Alzheimer's, creating new connections in the brain, and stimulating generation of new neurons. I think that is some serious evidence for the mental benefits of coffee regardless of the study being done in a mice model. It's important to mention that is finding was now observed in the mice who just received caffeine or decaffeinated coffee.
In addition people who report regular coffee consumption also report reductions in the rate of perceived exertion, higher scores on tests of reaction time, verbal memory, and visual-spatial reasoning.
Yes so today go get yourself a cup of caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee.
3. Eat more protein.
Protein is like my favorite macro nutrient. One because it is the building blocks for almost all of life. Proteins form the base of the enzymes which allow our bodies to carry out the necessary reactions to live. Protein helps us build muscle. Protein helps us repair our bodies. Protein forces our metabolism to work harder. protein makes us feel fuller and more satisfied preventing us from filling up on shitty food that doesn't do anything for our health or performance. Protein the one thing most of us don't get enough of in our diet and we grossly underestimate how much we need and how important it is to our bodies for proper function on both the gross and cellular level. So get a steak at the store tonight, throw it on your grill this evening, and eat like a carnivore your body will thank you.
[Bonus] 4. Lift something heavy.
Lifting heavy stuff makes us better physically and mentally.
It stimulates muscles to grow and become stronger leading to an increased metabolic rate. All of which contributes to our goals of looking better naked better and feeling better about our bodies.
It empowers us and gives us a feeling of independence and autonomy. It allows us to test our limits and push past what we thought was possible.
[Bonus] 5. Find 10 minutes for some "practiced quiet time" or meditation.
Meditation is the single best thing I have added to my daily routine in the last year.
I wrote an entire post about my experience with it and what I love about it so much and why I think you should really consider putting it into your routine. It really has nothing to do with spirituality or religion in this context. It has to do with improved mental well-being which is a direct result of improved brain chemistry and thus improved physical health. In the post I mentioned earlier I give a bit of synopsis of all the peer-reviewed research that is currently published about the psychological and physical benefits of meditation. It has a lot of validity and efficacy.
Happy moving and heavy lifting!
Practical, Purposeful, Effective Training