Let me guess how your typical day goes...
You wake up. You eat breakfast. You go to work. You work for four hours. You eat lunch. You work another four hours. You come home. You eat dinner. You watch TV. And then, you go to bed to do it all again the next day.
Day in, day out, you do this on repeat. Just mindless action after mindless action, day after day... Am I right?
Well what are you doing between all of that or during? You should be challenging yourself and being human instead of being a machine or entertaining yourself with TV or social media. Whether it be in your relationships, your career, or your general health and well-being, there is always room for improvement and we live in the 21st-century where whatever your passion is or information on how to improve is right at your fingertips.
Know what your goals are and make a plan so that you make them happen. It’s that simple. Figure out gaps in your schedule where are you can work on yourself like working out in the morning or the evening or making sure you get better sleep so that you have energy the next day to do the things you want. Another idea is: instead of entertaining yourself, educate yourself. When you’re at work, instead of listening to music, listen to podcasts. When you’re at home, instead of watching a movie or TV show, read a book.
This new age of easily accessible entertainment is just as dangerous as the easily accessible fast food. As Kelly Starrett, physical therapist and fitness expert, is saying, we are really starting to see a “wholesale de-evolution of the human being” and it’s sad. We are not made to stare at a screen for 8-12 hours a day and sit on our butts. We’re made to move and we should be pushing ourselves to our full physical and mental potential. We are given 100 years (if we play it right) so make the most of it. Wake up.
I realize this is a bit of a rant but listening to these experts has really woke me up and made me realize I should not be wasting any time. These people are not just health and fitness experts, they are savvy entrepreneurs and CEOs who are examples on how to live to your full potential. The American Dream isn’t about money and fame. It’s about doing what you love and leaving your mark.
“I think happiness is an outgrowth of pursuing goals that matter to you - that have meaning to you. Making progress,you know? Kind of going back to the idea of flow, where you are spending your time doing things that are challenging to you, that you’re getting immediate feedback on... you can see your progress, that you lose yourself in, and you don’t, you just don’t get that experience watching youtube videos all day.”
- Mike Matthews
Fittingly, Taylor and I are just coming back from a trip down to Florida from New York, in which we flew. I'd much rather take a 4 hour flight than a 20 hour car ride, especially for a short trip but there are obviously some negatives to flying. There are a lot of unknowns on what it does to your health but even just being in an enclosed space with that many people for that long can inevitably get you sick. This post is to share some tips I have learned from health experts like Ben Greenfield and Shawn Stevenson, that they give to help with things like jet-lag.
Dr. Cate Shanahan
I have not heard Dr. Cate specifically talk about flying but one of her common nutrition tips is, "there is no such thing as a healthy snack (p. 334 - Deep Nutrition)." She states that you should avoid snacking and that if your only option for a meal/snack is unhealthy, skip that meal and just wait for the next. This is very suitable to flying because it is difficult to find a healthy snack in an airport (or on a plane) and most of the restaurants are McDonalds, Starbucks, or the like so the healthier option is to just wait until you get off the flight.
The biggest thing that flying negatively affects is your energy levels because of how it drives several hormones out of whack. Shawn's book, Sleep Smarter, is all about the topic of circadian rhythm - providing tips on napping and getting the best quality sleep while giving you an extensive knowledge on hormones like cortisol and melatonin. One suggestion he gives in his book when it comes to flying is to "get grounded" after a flight. Grounding is making contact with the ground with bare feet, which has been shown to reduce stress, inflammation, and cardiovascular risk (p. 183-184 - Sleep Smarter).
Ben Greenfield is the most qualified expert that I know for this topic because of how much he travels and for the fact that he has done speaking events for CEOs and a hot topic is avoiding jet-lag so that they can be at the top of your game after a flight. He goes in-depth into this topic in his book Beyond Training, laying out nine useful tips, and he also discusses this topic in multiple podcast interviews. To keep this post short, I will give you some key points.
Essentially, the key to flying is minimizing the negative affects on your circadian clock and making sure you are eating healthy so that you have a strong immune system. These are all helpful tips, which I have found to help (especially exercising when you land by swimming or running outside). I highly suggest reading the books these tips come from. Deep Nutrition is all about the topic of nutrition by researching our ancestor's diets from all over the world, Sleep Smarter is full of sleep knowledge and hacks, and Beyond Training is full of all types of bio-hacking. Go see my Recommended Books page for summaries or my post on Deep Nutrition.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.