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
Recipe of the week
Travis Van Winkle's healthy habits
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We’re getting to the point where it’s harder and harder to suggest that exercise isn’t medicine. Evidence suggests it supports longevity, a healthier immune system, and heart and brain health.
Now, emerging research suggests that consistent exercise can boost your mood as much as anti-depressants.
The latest study focused on people struggling with depression or anxiety. Compared to medication, those who performed a low-intensity, easy run two or three times per week for 45 minutes saw a similar improvement in mental health. As a bonus, those who ran also experienced a more significant improvement in physical health compared to those who only used medication.
Can exercise alone solve depression? We won’t go that far, as therapy and ongoing support play an important role. But this adds to other studies that show the effectiveness of exercise in treating and improving mental health. Previously, scientists found that high-intensity exercise triggered positive changes in the brain, and this new study now shows that lower-intensity exercise has a similar impact.
Need a place to start? Don’t overthink it. Do something that you enjoy, or that can be done with friends. The research shows that something as simple as a walk can do the trick. Then, put it in your calendar as if it’s a meeting. The best results are seen with consistent behavior for at least 12 to 16 weeks. Once it becomes a habit, making it a part of your life will become easier.
Once again, we're sharing questions from The Pump app. The app is still closed, but you can get on the waitlist here. Here's an inside look at yesterday's Q&A with Arnold.
Arnold's proudest moments
Did Arnold Lift That Car?
Recipe of The Week: Protein Ice Cream
Note from Adam: Many people have requested this recipe, so we wanted to share it again. I've helped thousands of people break their health barriers, and one thing people always mention is that protein ice cream was an important "early win." That's because cravings are real, and this recipe is simple, filling, and tastes so good that it feels like dessert. Here's how to make it.
1 scoop protein powder of choice (we recommend chocolate flavor)
1 tablespoon of almond butter or peanut butter
A few splashes of the dairy or non-dairy milk of choice. The more milk you add, the more watery/less thick it becomes.
How to make it: Stir the three ingredients together, place in the freezer for 30 minutes, and that’s it. You can toss it in the fridge for a more pudding-like experience.
The Healthy Habits of Travis Van Winkle
FUBAR is now live on Netflix, and I hope you check it out. All week, we’ve been highlighting the different routines of my co-stars. To end the week, we’re focusing on Travis Van Winkle, who plays Aldon, a fellow spy with a crush on my daughter in the show (Emma).
What’s one action/item you've recently added to your daily routine that keeps you healthy?
I found inspiring affirmations that align with my goals, and I recorded them on my phone and I listen to this recording every morning while I walk my dog in the park. Because there are so many pressures we encounter in our everyday lives, I make a concerted effort to fill my brain with positivity, helping me navigate life as smoothly as possible. I don’t always succeed, but I always give it my best.
What’s one thing you do every single day to strengthen your mental health?
I move my body at least once a day with a walk, run, swim, gym, bike, or hike. I know that exercise increases levels of serotonin in the brain, which has lasting effects throughout the day. Daily movement improves my overall mental, body, and heart function making it extremely useful in creating mental fortitude.
Do you have a health routine? If so, what is it, and how often and when do you do it?
I take a three minute cold shower as soon as I get up, giving me a huge energy boost. I then squeeze a half lemon into eight ounces of water, do a guided 12 minute breath-work meditation, followed by 10 minutes of journaling whatever comes to mind. This combination primes me to meet the challenges of my day. Time invested: 30 minutes.
In training for this role, did you learn any workout or strength/agility techniques you're going to continue to do forever?
Does anything last forever besides Twinkies?? Nope, I don’t think so. Wait… in his recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Arnold did say his plan is to live forever, so maybe he’s the exception.
I worked out six days a week while filming FUBAR, and I learned that consistency in the gym will create mature muscle. My strategy was to hit every muscle group at least once during the week and for the muscle groups I wanted additional strength in, I worked them twice a week. I found this schedule to be very effective for me:
Monday: Chest + rear delts
Tuesday: Back + quads
Wednesday: Core + biceps
Thursday: Shoulders + Triceps + Chest
Friday: Hamstrings + traps + back
Saturday: Biceps + core + calves
Despite Travis’ meticulous health routines, the way he bonded with Arnold on set wouldn't make the surgeon general very happy.
We know that more positivity can help you fight off disease, make you more productive, and even assist with building healthier habits.
But if you want to be more positive, where do you start? According to Harvard researchers, gratitude could be the key to building a more uplifting mindset.
With that in mind, here's your challenge: This weekend, start and end each day with a moment of gratitude. Write down one thing that you’re grateful for and text one person who you’re thankful for.
The process can take as little as 5 minutes. Give it a try both days, and you might find it becomes part of your routine. Let us know how it goes, and how you feel after you do it!
Thanks again for another week with us. Let us know what you’d like more of in this space by tweeting any of us. Have a great weekend! -Arnold, Adam, and Daniel