Good health is real wealth.
Good health comes down to adhering to simple and time-tested principles over a long time horizon.
Even with these time-tested principles, I do like to keep an ear to what the latest research is saying. Lately, my two favorite resources for science-backed health research have been the Hubermanlab Podcast and The Peter Attia Drive Podcast.
Below are some changes I have made in my fitness routine, nutrition, and lifestyle habits that have impacted my health in a positive way over the last year.
- Please see my prepared man fitness routine for an in-depth look at the principles I follow and sample weekly routine.
- Micro Workouts – on days when I won’t be training BJJ I’ve been doing a ~10-minute micro work-out before my lunch break. Two examples: 3 kettlebell clean & press every minute x 10, or 10-8-6-4-2 goblet squats and swings. This short duration, moderate intensity, workout has given me a good energy boost in the middle of the day.
- Reaching Max HR 1x Per Week – from Huberman’s interview with Dr. Andy Galpin, they discussed the importance of reaching max heart rate once a week. I likely get this already from sparring, but don’t have a heart rate monitor on. Two of my favorite ways to get there: assault bike Tabata, or 2 minutes max burpees.
- Regular Dead Hangs – one of my fitness goals for Q2 is to be able to do a one-arm hanging L-sit. To that end, I’ve been playing around with dead hangs more often. My shoulders, scapula, and grip have all gotten stronger as a result. Peter Attia suggests that along with cardiovascular health, grip strength is one of the leading indicators of longevity. Why? It will help prevent falls when you are older if you can catch yourself.
- Down-regulating breathwork – also from Dr. Galpin, taking 5 minutes for breathwork after you have finished your training and cooled down will aid in your recovery and prevent a crash later in the day. I find box breathing works well for me.
- Stability ball – on my active rest days (Wednesday & Sunday), I will go for a walk and do a short mobility routine. I’m adding in work on a stability ball per Firas Zahabi’s recommendation to build strong and stable knees for BJJ.
A few years ago I shared results from following a year of pescatarian dieting.
I do still follow this simple nutritional framework: eating whole foods, mostly plants, not too much.
However, since then I have added back in high-quality meats (grass-fed / free-range) as a garnish in at least one of my meals each day. Having small servings is good for the wallet, and still allows me to get the nutrients found only in meats. I have also added in organ meats like liver, liverwurst, and bone broth.
I also follow a simple intermittent fasting routine of stopping caloric intake 2-3 hours before bed and not eating within an hour of waking.
After many failed attempts of incorporating cold exposure into my routine, I have finally landed on one that works for me after listening to Huberman tout its benefits for too long (as seen below). What has been working for me is finishing my shower with the nozzle turned all the way cold for two to three minutes.
Lastly, I’ve become more deliberate with my light exposure. Trying to get exposed to bright light as much as possible early in the day, sunlight at least twice a day (morning and afternoon), and dimming the lights about 2 hours before bedtime. This has improved my sleep and increased my energy.
What changes have you made for the better over the last year?
I’m also becoming more interested in wearable health trackers and would love to hear any favorites you all have.
Drop your email in the box below to receive an update when I post my weekly blog. Typically musings on philosophy, fitness, or personal finance. You can also follow on Twitter for daily workouts and other shenanigans.