Everyone knows that eating right and getting enough exercise are important for vitality and longevity, but what we eat and how much we move our bodies also affects our ability to code and recall memories, increases or decreases our confidence levels (a highly under-appreciated component of language learning), and fosters or extinguishes motivation to do the things we know we should but don’t always feel like.
One of the best changes I made in 2016 was adopting a more minimalist lifestyle. When my wife and I decided to move down to California last July, we pared down a 2,200 square foot house into only what would fit in our Scion xB. We only had a week, so we had to make lots of rapid-fire decisions about what to take, what to sell, and what to give away. In hindsight, the short timeframe was actually a blessing as it didn’t afford us the time to overthink. It worked. By the end of the week, we had only a small percentage of belongings left, all of which were either items we use almost everyday (e.g. our Vitamix and pressure cooker) or items that bring us great joy (mostly books). Lots of things that we thought were “needs” were actually just “wants” or “likes”. But the minimalism didn’t end with physical belongings. Since then, I’ve continued to simplify my life, minimizing finances, work processes, routines, and even exercise. Instead of spending extra money and time going to the gym, I now do my workouts at home with the following minimalist exercises. They take less time, require little or no equipment, are free (with the exception of building a “T-handle” kettle bell), and provide a full-body workout that builds muscle, boosts testosterone, and increases insulin sensitivity.
If you spend any time outside of a cave, you will be bombarded with sleazy marketing messages about workouts, machines, and supplements promising to help you “shed pesky belly fat” and “build rock-hard abs”. These gimmicks really piss me off because they rely on two misconceptions that are as common as they are wrong: 1) The belief that exercise is an effective way to lose body fat. (It isn’t.) 2) The belief that you can lose fat from just one specific part of your body. (You can’t.) There ARE effective ways to get rid of excess body fat, but you first must forget most of what you’ve been led to believe about fat loss, nutrition, and exercise…
Pop Quiz: What do excess body fat, heart burn, constipation, eczema, insomnia, and depression have in common?
Answer: They are all “common” health woes today that were anything but “normal” through most of our evolutionary history. And they are all caused―or at least worsened―by poor food and lifestyle choices.
Find me a man today who says he doesn’t want a stronger libido and you will have found me a liar. Modern lifestyles, foods, and movement patterns have caused an epidemic of low libidos, contributing to decreased productivity, unhappy relationships, bigger bellies, smaller biceps, and depression. You’ve likely seen ads that identify the problem as “Low T” (“Low Testosterone”). And yes, testosterone is indeed a big part of the puzzle. But pharmaceutical reps and allopathic doctors get things all wrong when it comes to the solution. The answer is not pills or shots: taking exogenous testosterone is a Band-Aid solution at best, and will more likely just further the very hormonal dysregulation that is at the root of low libido to begin with. Fortunately, there are a number of proven drug-free ways you can boost your libido. Read on to learn my top five solutions.
Though certain general nutrition, movement, sleep, and stress management patterns tend to be beneficial for the vast majority people, when it comes to the specifics, there is never a one size fits all solution for nutrition, movement, sleep, and stress management. This is why where most books, blogs, health gurus, trainers, coaches, etc. get things so wrong: they assume that if you do what they did, you will get the same results. The truth is that we are all unique bioindividuals that are helped or harmed by different things. What works for me might not work for you, and vice versa. Furthermore, what works for you today, might not be what you need tomorrow. Our bodies are constantly scanning the environment and the information we provide via food, movement, sleep, thoughts, etc. Depending on your ancestry, your activity level, the weather, the season, your exposure to stressors, and how you respond to them, your body will need differing amounts of nutrients, energy, movement, and rest month to month, week to week, day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute, and even second to second!