I get asked all the time what are my main principles or advice on how to obtain optimal health. It is a little harder than it seems, as it is different for every person. What I have done is put together what I consider to be the 5 pillars of optimal health. These are not all encompassing or perfect for everyone, but I do think most people who follow these will not only greatly improve their overall health, but their life as well.
1. Nutrition – Everyone who follows me knows that I consider the cornerstone to better health and a better life to be nutrition. It all starts with food you can exercise all you want, but if you are not fueling your body properly, you will still on the perpetual wheel of poor health. Unlike what a lot of people think you cannot exercise away that fast food burger and fries or 1,000 calorie latte.
This is the main reason I wrote my book The Simple Life Guide To Optimal Nutrition: How to Get Healthy, Lose Weight and Feel Better Than Ever. When it comes to proper nutrition and what we should be eating it gets confusing quickly. With almost 40 years in organized sports, not to mention the only former FDA and US Department of Health and Human Services Special in the health business, I know I have a unique perspective on what proper nutrition and health is supposed to look like.
2. Primal Movements (Exercise) – When it comes to exercise we definitely overthink it big time. Americans are constantly jumping from from fad to fad, instead of realizing simplicity and consistency that is the key. You don’t have to spend hundreds, or even thousands of dollars on that latest infomercial piece of so called exercise equipment. Those products are made to make you lose weight in one area – your wallet!
So what are the core resistance exercises I use and teach?
Throw in some jump rope and additional compound movements with the resistance bands, and you are on your way!
3. Adequate Sleep – With our go-go society today this is one of the toughest ones for most. But with some simple tips I think we can all at least do better and get a little more shut-eye.
Simple Tips for a Good Night’s Rest:
1. Reduce or eliminate your exposure to bright lights, such as fluorescent lights, for at least two hours before you go to bed.
2. Go to sleep by 10:30 pm. This means you need to be in bed by 10 pm to allow enough time to wind down and fall asleep.
3. Do not consume any products or drinks containing sugar, caffeine, or nicotine after 1 pm in the afternoon. This will allow your body sufficient time to eliminate most or all of these non-sleep friendly stimulants before you snooze.
4. Get some exercise every day. However, try not to exercise too close to bedtime. I recommend completing your workout at least two hours before bedtime.
5. Make sure you have finished your last meal of the day at least three hours before you retire. A light supper will be easier to digest and keep you more comfortable as you prepare for sleep.
6. Make sure your room is as dark as possible during the night.
7. To prevent sleep-disrupting bathroom visits, don’t drink any liquids two hours before bedtime.
8. Try reading a book 30 to 45 minutes before bedtime.
9. Follow your body’s natural rhythms. I know my body will not go to sleep if it’s not ready. If I force myself to try to sleep when I’m not yet tired, I just remain awake for longer than if I had stayed up until I was ready to fall asleep naturally.
10. Follow a regular sleep schedule. You should go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday whenever possible. I aim to do this even on weekends and holidays, so I don’t have to readjust my sleep cycle when the weekend or holiday is over. When I sleep on a consistent schedule, I have a noticeable boost in my everyday energy levels and experience fewer sleepless or restless nights.
4. Stress Management – I’m a firm believer that managing your stress levels is crucial to optimal health. Every part of your body is incredibly sensitive to any type of stress to include positive and negative. I have had clients who have everything dialed in when it comes to the Primal lifestyle, but unable to manage their stress, and the results are not good.
Matter of fact stress plays a major role in your immune system, and can impact your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, brain chemistry, blood sugar levels, and hormonal balance. Having spent a great deal of my life in the military and law enforcement I have seen first hand the damage chronic stress can have on your heart. I lost count the co-workers over the years that suffered debilitating/deadly heart attacks from the stress’s of the job.
I consider our health and finances to be two of the biggest stress’s on our lives today. That is why I feel what I teach in the Primal Power Method isn’t just important for health, but for life and happiness. In addition to my Primal Power Method books I put together a 5 part Financial Health Series on my YouTube channel.
Here are 5 great ways in which you can deal with everyday stress:
2. Get outside and experience nature
3. Eat healthy
4. Get your finances in order
4. Avoid assholes (that is right I said it, avoid them like the plague)
5. Be A Better Person – I have said this time and time again; if you are a healthy asshole, you are still an asshole. Being a better person and helping those around you, is one of the greatest ways to truly be happy and healthy. Unlike that person that I recently posted the story on Facebook who dragged a swan out of the lake, and actually killed it, just to get a selfie… don’t be that person!
When you boil it down that truly is what The Simple Life is all about. I’m not perfect, but I try my best to help as many people as I can with my unique knowledge when it comes to nutrition, exercise, and living a more self-reliant lifestyle.
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