Thursday, August 1, 2013

Master the Basics and Do it Every Day

I'm a huge fan of Dan John.  He's a strength coach that has the ability to boil down the fluff and periphery to get to the important, central stuff.  Own the principles, not the methods.  Dan has many books, articles, videos, a lot for free,  all over the Internet.  I would suggest anyone interested in health and strength to take an hour or two and read his stuff and watch his videos.

One of the things that has always stuck with me is Dan's approach to the basics.  Don't get crazy reaching for the top of the pyramid if your base is not there.  The other point comes from legendary coach Dan Gable who Dan often quotes.  "If it's important, do it every day."

With that template, master the basics and if it's important, do it every day, here is my list in no particular order.

1.  Drink water.  Half your body weight in ounces.  Sport drinks don't count, tea doesn't count.  Water.  If you drink coffee or pop add another 8 ounces of water.

2.  Don't drink pop.

3.  Walk.  Try to get 15 minutes a day. Minimum.

4.  Get sunshine.  Have the actual suns rays touch your skin.

5. Get your Vitamin D levels checked twice a year.  Keep your level above 50.  1000 IU for every 25lb of body weight when supplementing.

6.  Lift weights.  Find something you like and do it 2x a week.  I don't care if it kettle bells, cross fit, powerlifting, bodybuilding or what ever is next around the corner.  The more muscle mass you carry as you age, the more healthy you will be.  Guaranteed.  Carry something, push something, pick something off the floor, pull yourself up.  (colored dumbbells do not count though.)

7.  Floss.  There is a lot of evidence for the health of your gums and the health of your heart.

8.  Wear your seat belt.  ( I stole 7,8,9 from Dan John himself)

9.  Take fish oil.  3-5 grams a day.

10.  Get rid of polyunsaturated oils.  I think this is why most people that adapt a paleo or primal or low carb diet see such improvements.  Unhealthy oils destroy your body.

11.  Be grateful.  Make a mental list or a physical one.

12.  Breath well.  Inhale with the diaphragm.  Exhale.  The ribs should move, not your shoulders.

13.  Stretch the hip flexor and then pair it with a glute activation exercise.  Your lumbar spine will thank you.

14.  Get down on the floor on your back and get back up.  Several times a day.  No particular technique needed.  I've lost track of how many patients tell me they fear getting down on the floor for how hard it will be for them to get back up.  Don't let that happen in the first place.  If you don't make it a priority, it can be weeks before you have to actually do it.  Think about that for a second.

15.  Eat some vegetables.  Think Rainbow.

16.  Master the hip hinge.  Use it.  When you bend at the hips not the back, you save your back abuse.

17.  Read.  The person that doesn't read and the person that doesn't know how, not much difference.

18.  Roll the bottoms of your feet with golf balls.  A lot of fascial lines evolve or cross the bottoms of the feet.  Next time your tired at work or after work, take a few minutes to do this and feel your energy return.

19.  Focus on getting some good fat in your diet.  MCT oil, coconut oil, grass fed butter, olive oil, fish oil, avocado, red palm oil, to name a few.

20.  Drink Green Tea.  On top of the water you are going to drink.  It's like amazing for you.

21.  Laugh.

22.  Sleep.  7-8 hours a night.  There is a lot out there these days about how to get by on less, but science doesn't seem to support that.

23.  Your own personal physical/personal goal.  Find a way to work at it every day.  If you want to write, write at least one sentence.  If you want more mobile hips, do 5 min a day of hip mobility work.  Striving towards something you want every day, builds strength and character.  Lay some ground work every day, it's the consistency that counts and makes real changes.

This is my list, I think it's hard to argue with any of them.  What do you want to add?

6 comments:

vernie cassity said...

Very helpful, thanks doc

SENDcoach said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ted B. said...

Help others. There are documented psychological and physical health benefits to gain.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/28/health-benefits-of-volunteering-helping-others_n_909713.html#s316120&title=Thoughts_of_Giving

Lori Tsutsui said...

I would add PRAY as you workout and keep the mind free of clutter.

Judy B said...

I've been rolling the bottom of my feet with a golf ball at lunch each day. Very interesting - not just for the afternoon slump but for running.

jogara jumawan said...

This article will be very helpful for everyone, in any ages and with the help of Pain Physicians in a pain management Brooklyn we can free from pain.