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Today’s Health Upgrade
Monday motivation with Arnold
Add 13 years to your life
Workout of the week
Arnold’s Monday Motivation
There are two ways to motivate people. Most of the time, I use the pat on the shoulder technique. But there is also the kick-in-the-ass method.
I have to say, it took me a long time of living in America and having my own kids to learn the wisdom of the pat on the shoulder because, in Austria, pretty much the only motivation my friends and I ever experienced was the kick-in-the-ass. And even though I believe most of the time that gentle technique is the best, I still believe every so often, we all need to be jolted. So today, I’m giving out the kick in the butt.
Since we started this newsletter at the beginning of the year, 200,000 of you have joined. You post on reddit and Instagram and tweet at me every day about how it’s helping you. You share your questions. I’ve been blown away by the response, and it inspires me, Adam, and Daniel to keep going.
But there is one question that comes up almost once a day that I have to deal with. It comes in different variations. “How do I start?” “How do I get the motivation to do something?” “How do I make myself get out of bed?”
You just do it. There’s no fancy answer. There’s no motivation. You just get out of bed and do your damn training because otherwise, you’re letting that body you have been given go to waste. That body is a gift given to you by your parents if you’re not religious, by God if you are. Who are you to waste it?
I won’t stop giving you what you need to get fit. Every Monday, I give you a dose of motivation and a workout you can do at home in less than 15 minutes, and every week we fill your inbox with tips about health and challenges. I’ve given you a free e-book with methods to set routines. I am putting all of the tools in front of you for free. You just have to use them. It’s the only thing I can’t do for you. It’s a choice you have to make.
Are you worth it? Like I told a redditor who asked about this, I certainly think you are. But that doesn’t get you to finish reading this email and spend 15 minutes doing the workout. You have to decide you’re worth the work. And then you have to do it over and over for the rest of your life.
Remember: you’re lucky to be able to use your body. There are people in hospitals and nursing homes all over the world who would be horrified that you’re letting it go to waste. They aren’t wondering how they can convince themselves to get out of bed, they’re wishing they could.
Don’t let what you have go to waste. Do the work. How do you start? You just do it. Nike was right about that.
So finish this email and get to work.
How to Add 13 Years to Your Life
Before you spend hundreds or thousands of dollars fighting aging, make sure you’re not missing out on what we know leads to a longer life.
Extending lifespan is turning into a billion-dollar industry, but many “cutting-edge” techniques are built on hypotheticals and unproven methods. Research suggests that five different lifestyle factors can help add up to 13 years of your life, and none of them cost much (or any) money.
The five behaviors for a longer life include:
Maintaining a healthy BMI (BMI can be misleading for people with a lot of muscle. More on this in a moment)
30 minutes of moderate or intense activity per day
Low alcohol intake
Eating vegetables, fruits, fiber (grains and seeds), healthy fats (like eggs and avocado), and lean proteins (think fish and poultry)
In the research, when they compared people who followed all five of these behaviors (compared to those who did not), on average, men lived 12 years longer, and women lived 14 years longer.
If you’re unsure if your BMI is healthy (because you’re active and have more muscle), look at your waist circumference, blood pressure, and fasting blood sugar. Men should try to keep their waist under 38 inches and women under 35 inches, blood pressure under 130/85, and fasting blood sugar under 100 mg/dl. (Of course, consult your physician on any of these numbers.)
While not covered in this study, other research has shown the life-extending impact of more sleep and better social connections. Add up those 7 behaviors, and there’s nothing stopping you from adding more than a decade to your life. As Arnold says, build habits that make it easier to repeatedly do those behaviors, and you’ll be unstoppable.
Workout of the Week: The Sleeper
Most exercise is designed to wake up your muscles and burn calories. But did you know that an evening “training” routine can also help your body wind down?
Just a few minutes of movement can help prepare you to pass out faster and enjoy deeper sleep.
The key is shifting from traditional exercising to focusing on foam rolling (or any type of massage), which can help reduce anxiety, increase relaxation, and even potentially boost serotonin — all of which might help you fall asleep faster and experience more restorative sleep.
If you’re new to foam rolling, all you need is something solid (like a foam roller, tennis, or lacrosse ball) and a little space.
Focusing on small movements, roll the solid object on the front and back of your legs (quads and hamstrings), your glutes, upper back, and the bottom of your feet. And call it a night. All you need is about 5 to 10 minutes.
And that’s it. If it’s a struggle, make it easier by listening to your favorite podcast or an audiobook. That way, you not only help your brain wind down (which improves sleep), but it helps you build another healthy habit by connecting it to something you enjoy. Give it a try, and let us know how it goes!
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