Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Here’s a daily digest designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes. If you were forwarded this message, you can get the free daily email here.
Today’s Health Upgrade
The best brain supplement?
The power of language
The Best Brain Supplement?
We don’t recommend supplements often, but this one has a twist because we’re not talking about a powder or pill.
If you want a healthier brain, it’s hard to find a food that’s better than blueberries.
Nearly a dozen studies suggest that blueberries are packed with antioxidants that support healthy aging and have flavonoids that support memory and learning, protect your brain from disease, prevent early decline, and provide vital nutrients that help with brain growth.
Research suggests approximately ¾ of a cup of fresh blueberries per day (about 120 grams) can help with your attention, verbal comprehension, and memory retention and recall. There’s also evidence that blueberries help fight dementia and prevent Alzheimer’s.
It’s enough that respected human performance specialist Dan Garner called blueberries “the best brain supplement in the world.”
If you want to start adding blueberries to your life, there’s no need to overthink your selection. Fresh or frozen, wild or organic, all get the job done.
The Power of Language
Yesterday, we shared how learning a new language can keep your brain healthy. Many of you said you’d want to try, but it sounds intimidating or challenging.
If we’ve learned anything, whether adding hundreds of pounds to your bench press or building a new mindset, the right teacher can remove any barrier. That’s why we recommend using Babbel to help you learn a language faster than you thought possible.
We first became aware of Babbel from a member of this village who was inspired by our weekly challenges. Since then, we’ve fallen in love with how simple they make it to have a basic conversation in a new language with just three weeks of practice.
Their programs are developed by more than 200 language experts. And you can forget old boring lessons. They offer different options to help you grasp the language, such as podcasts, games, videos, and even live online classes. Best of all, Babbel was designed for learners of all levels and allows you to tailor your learning to topics that interest you.
As a member of Arnold’s Pump Club, we want to make it easier for you to be healthier and make it more affordable! For a limited time, all members of the village get 55 percent off! Just click this link, select the language you want to learn, and you’ll start challenging your brain and upgrading your health. Start speaking a new language in 3 weeks with Babbel.
This week, we asked for some of your questions on Instagram. Here are the answers.
When I was 10, I saw a film reel in school about America with the Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge, Muscle Beach, and Hollywood. I felt immediately, “This is where I belong.” I just had to find my way.
I played soccer and tried out all the sports. I think people who grow up with very little often find sports is the fastest way out. But a few years later, I saw the world weightlifting championships, and I shook the hand of the champion, Yuriy Vlasov. I was inspired. I saw a magazine with this muscular man on the cover dressed as Hercules, and I saw him in a Hercules movie in our little theater. That was Reg Park. When my friend who could speak English translated the magazine article, and I heard about how Reg grew up in a factory town before he became Mr. Universe and got into Hercules movies, I said, “This is my blueprint. This is my ticket to America.”
When I was 15, I joined the weightlifting club and never looked back. I learned how to lift, and because I had my vision and I saw myself standing on the stage like Reg and winning the Mr. Universe, I trained harder than anyone else. Kurt Marnul, who was Mr. Austria, helped train me, and he said in my documentary that the key to bodybuilding is pushing past the pain threshold, and he said I was the only one who seemed to love the pain. I’d like to tell you that’s because I am tough, but it’s because I wasn’t doing it just to do it. I had that vision in front of me.
If you asked this because you are figuring out what to start and why, I want you to try to find your vision. It won’t be on your phone or social media — that will just be a lot of people telling you stuff to make them money. Put the phone down. Get outside and daydream. Let your mind wander without reaching for the phone to see who texted you for an hour or two. Make that a normal part of your day, just letting your brain go wild instead of feeding it things from the machine.
I am answering you together because the answer is the same. Whether you’re a girl or boy, at 14, you can start training. I recommend starting with some things you can do at home. I started with pushups, sit-ups, pull-ups, and knee bends (you call them bodyweight squats). Use some of our at-home workouts and develop a habit of training before you pay for a gym membership.
The most important thing for improving your body is not some of the extreme suggestions these TikTok and Instagram influencers talk about. It is the routine. It is showing up every day. The people who succeed are never the people who follow trends or fads; they’re the ones who show up to train even when they’re having a bad day. So get going, train at home, and if you can do that for a month or two, then talk to your parents about the gym.
I hear this a lot. In my app and in the replies to this email. My first question is always the same: are you sure you aren’t seeing progress? I find that many people ignore progress because they aren’t looking for it.
Sure, maybe you haven’t lost the weight you wanted. Can you do more pull-ups or pushups or squats today than you did when you started? That’s progress. Are your clothes fitting better even though the number on the scale is the same? That’s progress. Are you just showing up to train every day when a few months ago you didn’t train? That’s progress. So, the first part of staying motivated is reminding yourself that there are ways you are moving forward.
The second part, I’m sorry, isn’t really motivation. It’s routine. The first goal I want people to have is just to move every single day. Bike ride, workout, walk, run, whatever. I want you to create a routine. A routine matters a hundred times more than any motivational quote or speech. Those fuel you for a day or a week. A routine fills up your tank for life. If you’re struggling to build a routine, just do something every day. It could be 10 pushups every time you go to the bathroom or 10 squats when you get a glass of water. Do something, mark it off every day, and once it becomes automatic, that’s success.
The last thing I’ll add is that many people I see in the gym change everything they do monthly. I ask what’s going on, and they say they saw this on the internet, so they switched. Don’t do that. Progressive resistance training requires sticking to a program and seeing progress on every exercise, and that takes time. That’s why, when I launched my app to a small group, I made people stick to their routine for 90 days. At first, they were annoyed. The other apps let them do something new every day. By the second month, they switched from being annoyed to sending messages about how they’d never seen so much progress. I wanted to say, “Duh,” but I was just proud of them. Stick to a program. And by the way, if you want to join the app, it’s still invite-only, but we’ll be releasing codes soon. You can join the waitlist here.
This is Daniel. This weekend is an important challenge. You’ve seen a variation of this before. Recently, Arnold challenged all of you to reach out to an old friend, and he ended up leading from the front, like he always does, and reconnecting with a friend he competed with in the 60s who is still lifting weights at 94.
But I read every reply to our email about boys and men. I replied to a lot of you. One thing that stuck out was how many men felt lonely. I got emails from wildly successful people who felt isolated. I told Arnold I might bring this challenge back, and he endorsed it.
One thing that struck me in writing with a few of you was that I am tremendously lucky. My dumb friends will inevitably make fun of me for this, but even though a lot of us met in high school, college (or even in elementary school!), or at our first job in Arnold’s Governor’s office, and we ended up in all different parts of the country and the world, we have always managed to stay connected. We have group texts that are going off every day, a fantasy football league that we’ve kept going for 20 years filled with constant chatter, and when we are all in the same place, it’s like we weren’t separated. But that wasn’t purely luck. We worked at it. We kept those relationships going. Like Arnold said recently, relationships are like a garden. If you leave it, you’re gonna have weeds. You have to tend it every day.
So here’s the challenge. It’s a two-parter. And this is for men and women (even though I have a feeling my fellow dudes need this one more).
First, reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while. It could be a college friend, a work friend, a friend from childhood. Just think of someone who you were always happy with. It doesn’t matter how long it has been. Nobody ever gets mad at a “Hey, I was just thinking about all the fun we had” text.
Second, if you are a man who feels lonely, I want you to first message an old friend, and then I want you to look up and find a group you can join. Are you into sports? Look up softball leagues or dodgeball leagues. There are tons. Into reading? Look up book groups. Knitting? Same thing. Whatever you enjoy, I promise there is a group nearby. I want you to try to be a part of something.
Multiple readers told me to share Men’s Sheds, which seem to be worldwide sheds where men get together, build things, and just talk. Maybe that’s for you. Sam shared F3 Fitness, free fitness training groups all over the US for men.
All of you inspired us, and we want to find a way to end this loneliness epidemic. You deserve company.
As always, thanks again for joining us for another week. It’s truly a privilege to be in your inbox each morning. Here’s wishing you all a fantastic weekend!
-Arnold, Adam, and Daniel
Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger