The popular story of how low-carb diets work goes something like this: Reducing your carbohydrate...
Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...Tell Me More
Unnatural Acts: a Primal Approach to Jet Lag
One of the coolest things about being a 21st century “evolved” human is that we can travel to just about anywhere on this planet within a very short period of time and experience different cultures. All but our most recent relatives lived their entire lives never straying more than a hundred miles from their birthplace, yet we routinely hop on a jet, fly across the country or halfway around the world for a few days of travel and then return to our caves just as easily as playing a round of golf (or in my case, even more easily than golfing).
There are plenty of excellent stress guides out there. Some will offer spiritual tips, while others will give you practical advice. Still others offer nutrition and fitness ideas to mitigate stress. Stress comes in many forms – relationships, work, health, hormones, momentary dilemmas, and more – and there are just as many ways to tackle it. Here’s a list of helpful stress soothers that are so simple, they’re often forgotten. They’re not ground-breaking by any means, but they work! So, while these won’t resolve major conflicts or heal a tired body, they will give you a quick mental lift. And sometimes, that’s all you really need.
Before you head out, check out these tips for serene shut-eye. You’ll wake up tomorrow feeling renewed, refreshed, and ready for your weekend!
1. Eat a light dinner tonight.
Keep the portions small this evening. Going to bed on a full stomach is not healthy, and it also keeps you from getting the deepest possible sleep. You don’t have to go to bed hungry. But do not stuff yourself simply because it is now the weekend.
I have a little saying: if you’re doing 10 things right, you’re 90 per cent of the way there.
The details are important, of course. Potatoes and broccoli are both vegetables, but the green stuff is a lot better for you. Walking and taking a kick-boxing class are both heart-pumping activities, but you’ll get a lot more out of the class. Knowing the “details” of nutrition and fitness is challenging and rewarding. Knowing the details can also be completely overwhelming at times! Just when you think you “know” something is healthy – low-fat milk, for example – along comes some health expert like yours truly who says, “Bring on the butter!” Thanks, Mark.
Today I’m going to let you in on my little 10/90 rule. If you’re doing the following 10 things, you’re already 90 per cent there. (And by there, I mean on the road to good health for many years to come.) I’m not saying the details aren’t still important – they are. The details often mean the difference between good and great. But the details change. As we continually learn more, we must constantly adjust.
So start with the 10/90.
These are my 10 healthy things, but I’d argue that if you’re doing 10 healthy anythings, you can’t help but come out ahead of the pack. Way ahead! So many people never work out, always eat processed and fast food meals, slurp soda all day and alcohol all night, never get a handle on the stressful factors in their lives, and never deal with negative issues in their lives, either. And that’s the norm.
Try 10 to be 90. (An A- ain’t too shabby.)
10. Move Daily
I work out for 45-60 minutes nearly every day. Whether it’s beach sprints or resistance training, I never skip exercise. To me, the idea of avoiding exercise is like not brushing your teeth. Gross, huh? So is not exercising. The leaner and stronger you get, the better you feel – and the longer you’ll live.
Key point: not only will you live longer, you’ll live longer without disease. The last thing I want is to be 75 on six meds and chained to a walker. So I take major action to avoid that. But even if you get out and walk for 20 minutes, or stretch every morning, some type of daily movement to get your blood flowing and your muscles lively is the right idea. The more, the better, obviously.
9. Drink to Lighten Up
I’m not talking about beer here – although that’s certainly one way to lighten up. I mean liquids that literally purify and lighten you. Water is an obvious one, but I’m not that strict about it. (I swear, I’m really not that hard core. Although I readily admit to having a hard core.*) Some days I have very little water – I just don’t bother with the “rules” of water intake. Drink when you’re thirsty. It seems to work very well for cats and
Just…ten…more….minutes. Sound familiar? Many of us are sleep-deprived, groaning through another morning with coffee and those annoyingly peppy news anchors just to get to a reasonable state of functionality. We skip breakfast, practically assault the snooze button, shave or apply makeup in the car (we’ve all seen it!) – just to get a few precious minutes of “extra” sleep. Clearly, that “extra” sleep isn’t extra at all. You probably need it! Here’s how to get it.
10. Tivo your shows.
For a few extra dollars a month, you can watch your favorite programs when it’s convenient for you.
9. Unplug the TV.
Better yet. Unplug the TV except on weekends or other scheduled days. TV disrupts good brain patterns, is subtly stressful to your body, and can keep you up too late. Especially avoid the evening news, which is usually focused on anxiety-inducing topics that are anything but peaceful. TV left on all night as a comfort actually disrupts good sleep and the production of growth hormone, so skip that, too.
8. Unplug the alarm clock.
For many people, the knowledge that the clock will blare all too soon is enough to prevent deep sleep. Do you find yourself waking constantly to check the time? The alarm clock can create anxiety and snooze-buttonitis. Try going to bed early enough to wake naturally at the desired time. Or, try simply trusting yourself – if you tell yourself you need to wake at a certain time, you usually will. This really works for many people – but I don’t recommend this for catching those early morning flights! Our bodies quickly adjust to waking at certain times. If you are at odds with the alarm, that’s a good indication that you need a different sleep cycle.
Another option: talk to your boss about a slightly different work schedule that accommodates your health needs. Be willing to part with some other benefits if a different schedule means a lot to you. (Although, ideally, your boss will understand that flexibility on his/her part will only increase your productivity. Good luck.)
7. Give yourself a “worry time” that is not near bedtime.
People often find themselves worrying or pondering obsessively about their day or upcoming tasks as soon as their heads hit the pillow. Allot a different time, such as a brief period after lunch, for worrying and pondering. Or write down everything before you get into bed. The beauty of this is that by giving yourself a specific, non-bedtime “Fret Fix” you begin to see how silly and needless worrying really is – it’s a great little cure for worrying and stressing in general.
If you lunch is an hour, consider napping for half of it from now on. Or take a nap after lunch and work a little bit later each day. This will refresh you enough so that you may not need extra sleep at night.
5. Enforce a strict bedtime rule.
You might just need to go to bed earlier.
Times, they are a-changin’.
This week’s Aaron’s Additions brings you news and tips about the spring time change. If you’re feeling a little bit behind this week (I know I am!), there’s a very good reason: the time change throws off everyone’s circadian rhythms, and work productivity and sleep habits can suffer temporarily. The extra sunshine feels great (don’t forget the sunscreen), but it’s not without a few temporary drawbacks.
I aim to bring you the latest health tools, tips and blogs from Web 2.0 (that handy term for the growing personalized, community nature of the internet). Since we’re all in this time change together, I think some helpful resources are in order!
Here are some helpful and humorous tools and links for you to get yourself back on track:
Psych Central brings us a great article explaining the benefits and drawbacks of Daylight Savings Time – as well as a very helpful review of how this affects the mood, mind and body. It won’t put you to sleep, but it will help you understand the important relationship between sunlight and snoozing.
If you’re feeling a little off this week, you’re not alone. Evidently everyone is feeling a little out of sorts! Grumplestiltskin at Woulda Coulda Shoulda doesn’t mince words about the off-kilter antics everyone seems to be involved in. A little comedic relief is good for everyone!
Maynard Clark offers some very helpful tips for adjusting to a new sleep and work schedule. Check it out!