Welcome to the positive corner of wellness. 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
Better than meditation?
Q&A with Arnold
Not Into Meditation? This Might Be Better
We love meditation, but we know it’s not for everyone. And new research suggests something might be even better for your mind and body.
Scientists found that breathwork can improve your mood and reduce anxiety.
The research suggested that just 5 minutes of deep breathing was more effective than meditation at reducing anxiety, respiratory rate, heart rate, and HRV.
If you want to try it, two methods of breathing were most effective. One is known as cyclic sighing, which consists of one inhale, another quick inhale through your nose, and then a long exhale. The exhale should be, ideally, twice as long as the inhale.
The other method is box breathing, which consists of equal lengths of inhaling, holding your breath, and exhaling. An example would be four seconds in, hold for another four seconds, and breathe out for four more seconds.
Reddit Q&A with Arnold
I know this isn’t a question. I just wanted to tell you all how much these messages mean to me, Adam, and Daniel. It’s also a reminder that just being positive can inspire someone and give them the fuel they need. So spread positivity out there.
First of all, it’s fantastic that you have the discipline and you’re keeping the routine no matter what. For most people, that’s the hardest part.
Second of all, anytime someone tells me they aren’t taking any joy from the gym, I have to ask if you have a clear goal. I always go back to how people comment about how in Pumping Iron, I am always smiling in the gym, and most of the other people look like they have to be there. That’s because I had a clear vision. I knew that all of that work was a means to an end, so I was in heaven.
You need your end. It can be that you want to look great this summer in a swimsuit; some people think that’s stupid to say, but that’s a goal. It can be that you want a stronger body for your martial arts. Sit down and think about WHY you are going to the gym. Write it down, and be as specific as you can. But you need a goal, otherwise, you’re right. It is just a chore.
Finally, I normally recommend people stick to a program for a long time, but you might not enjoy the way you’re lifting and need to find something you love. I don’t know your workout. Some people love lifting weights in a bodybuilding style split to sculpt their body. Some people love becoming push-up or chin-up experts, working up to doing so many reps everyone is impressed. Some people like to hit personal records.
For instance, Daniel has always worked out, and I think he’d tell you a lot of it was a chore. But a few years ago, he set a goal to deadlift 400 for his birthday. He found out he LOVED heavy deadlifts, and so all of his workouts became easier because they moved him toward his goal, and the next year he was hitting 500, and now he’s working on 600. Before that, it was years of just working out to work out, but now he has a purpose.
A lot of people ask about this. One thing I tell people that comes from my own heart surgery is that the key is keeping a routine. (I actually tell the whole story in the free PDF people get when they subscribe, if you missed it, you can still get the PDF here)
When I was in the ICU, obviously I didn’t ride my bike and lift. You aren’t allowed to lift for months after they split your chest open. But I still did what I tell you guys to do over and over. I wrote down my daily goals on the board in my room, and I marked them off every day.
At the beginning, that was doing 3 sets of my breathing exercises and 3 walks with a walker. But I marked them off, and felt like I did something. So if you’re ever hurt, first of all, go to a doctor or physical therapist and find out your true limitations. Then, just make a routine that goes with your recuperation. Maybe it is walking around your apartment for a minute longer each day. Maybe there are PT exercises. Maybe you’re ready for some of the at-home workouts we give out every week in this newsletter. But keep a routine, write it down, and mark it off every day. That’s my method to keep going whether you’re healthy or hurt.
The first thing I do when I get to a new time zone is check into the hotel, put my things in my room, change into my gym clothes, and hit the gym. It doesn’t matter what time zone I’m in. It has multiple benefits. It wakes me up and that helps me adjust and stay awake whether I have work the day I land or I just need to stay up until bedtime to get adjusted. It’s the sign that I’m ready to go. And when I come home, a lot of flights from other countries land in the morning. I go straight to Gold’s. It works for me, because it’s a signal to my body that, “You may feel all screwed up, but we’re back on the routine. Get going.”
It looks like you answered this yourself, so let me just say: I’m very proud of you. And the more you conquer your mind and body by making a routine, I think the more you’ll see your business exploding.
Weekend Challenge: Hang With The Cool Kids
The older you get, the easier it is to surround yourself with more people like yourself. While this is a great way to ensure social connection, just make sure you don’t ignore (or write off) younger generations.
After all, research suggests that interacting with younger people can be the key to keeping your brain young. Forty studies were reviewed, and the value of cross-generational communication led to a positive impact on everything from mental health, memory, overall wellness, cognitive processing, and a sense of self-worth.
The research focused on people in their sixties interacting with younger generations, but there’s no reason to believe that the benefits don’t extend to earlier generations. Anyone with kids understands that seeing the world through the eyes of a child can be an invigorating and inspiring experience.
“Kids these days” might not always get it…but there’s still a lot we can learn from them. Open yourself to different people and experiences, and the benefits might surprise you.
So this weekend, find someone to talk to from a different generation and just spend a few minutes hearing their perspective. If you’re older, like me, that interaction can keep you feeling younger, even if you don’t fully understand the kids and their machines. If you’re younger, you can talk to an older relative and know you’re helping keep their brain fresh.
We hope you all have a fantastic weekend!
-Arnold, Adam, and Daniel
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