Welcome to the positive corner of wellness. Here’s a daily digest designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes.
Today’s Health Upgrade
An important cooking fix
The cholesterol cutter
Tiny changes, big wins
Toxins In Your Kitchen?
Your stove is under some serious heat. Recent research from Stanford scientists suggests that gas stoves emit more air pollutants than previously believed. The EPA and World Health Organization suggest that prolonged exposure to these substances could be linked to various health conditions and increase the likelihood of asthma in children.
Kitchen renovation not on your to-do list? A few simple adjustments could keep your kitchen safe.
The key is improving ventilation with a DIY touch. Stanford researchers suggest that many risks can be reduced or eliminated by making sure you cook on the back burners, running the stove fan when you cook, opening windows or doors, or using your range hood (if you have one).
Relying on your diet to improve your health is great, but that doesn’t mean food is always superior to medicine. A recent study compared whether statins or supplements do a better job of lowering cholesterol. It wasn’t much of a competition.
The researchers found that cholesterol-lowering drugs were far more effective than dietary supplements in reducing cholesterol levels. What’s more, the dietary supplements — such as fish oil — did not make a dent in LDL cholesterol levels. That's not to say omega 3’s have no benefit, as they could reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
Does this mean you need to take statins? Of course not. Lifestyle changes that help you lose weight might allow you to prevent going on medication. But, if you have high cholesterol, please consult your doctor for your best approach, as there are many factors to consider.
Hey guys, Daniel here. I’ve worked with Arnold for about 17 years. You might think after that much time around him, my routine is as ironclad as his. And some parts of it are. I never go a week without deadlifting. But other things are a struggle.
For the past five years, I’ve aspired to meditate for 10 minutes daily. I feel like I’ve tried everything, from downloading every app imaginable to tracking in journals. I might succeed for a month or two, but — eventually — I’ve always fallen off.
Four months ago, I told myself I’d do one minute per day. It felt silly (will one minute even accomplish anything?), but it also felt doable. I haven’t been perfect, but I’ve done it without fail for more than three months, which is longer than ever before. After so many failures, it finally feels like it has become routine.
Here’s what changed: Forgetting to meditate for a minute felt like a much less significant failure than forgetting 10 minutes, so I didn’t become negative when I fell short of my goal. Arnold talks about the importance of positive self-talk, and I can’t stress how important it’s been for my success. Also, the 1-minute commitment made it feel like I could easily restart the next day. After all, we’re talking about 1/60th of an hour? I can do that.
That’s why we are encouraging you to pick actions that you know you can accomplish. It might feel ridiculous, but one minute will always be better than zero. And, as Arnold reminds us in all the work we do, don’t let perfect be the enemy of possible.
Weekend Challenge: The Anxiety Crusher
In the 1970s, Arnold was experiencing more opportunity than at any time in his life — and with it came extreme anxiety. His solution: transcendental meditation. Arnold committed to 20 minutes of meditation in the morning and night, allowing him to disconnect his mind, relax, and defeat his anxiety.
You don’t need to start with 20 minutes. As you just learned, even one minute can make a difference. This weekend, just try 5 minutes of meditation. You can sit quietly, jot down your thoughts, your use a guided meditation through an app. Give it a try, tell us how it goes, and tag Arnold on social with #pumpchallenge.
Remember: keep up with Arnold’s Big Challenge. Stick with your habits, build that routine, and maybe Arnold will be giving you a FaceTime call.
Have a great weekend, all!