Should you trust most health information?

After years and years of reading books, listening to podcasts, watching videos, reading studies, I have come to the logical conclusion that most nutrition and fitness advice is garbage.

Now having said that, that does not mean that there aren’t inferences you can make from the myriad information floating around online and in books in regards to health and exercise modalities, but that there is so much complexity to the fields that most of us, being untrained in the science itself, especially in statistics, which is used so much and in such an imperfect way to justify most of the advice given these days, that to simply read or hear something online and take it as gospel is the epitome of foolishness.

Most of the things we find out online will never be applicable to every human being on this planet, especially not at all times.

We are all so different, with such vastly different backgrounds, genetics, and lives that to say one way of eating or training is ideal for your whole life would be madness.

There are some general principals that seem to hold up across all the differing science, and they are so laughably simple that we never should have had to study them in the first place.

Move a lot, relax a lot, eat enough food, don’t over eat, enjoy yourself while being alone, enjoy yourself with someone else or many people, don’t stress out, do stuff that challenges you, look at stuff you find beautiful, sleep as well as you can.

Almost all that advice which can be found universally throughout all the literature on health, is some pretty basic logic we have known about for thousands of years.

Oh, and none of it involves freaking out about what food you have eaten or how much time you spent in the gym.

Just explore your body, fuel it, and have a fun life. All the minutiae, all the little details, that stuff is the 20% that only applies to you at a specific point in your life, and should be focused on last, after getting the normal shit together.

This is not to downplay how sick people can get if they happen to have an allergy or a severe nutrient deficiency or hormonal imbalance, but so many people become hyperfocused on those small details that they forget the more basic things that many times will fix up those other issues as a secondary effect.

Don’t get lost in all the bullshit marketing and scare tactics used online to sell you a diet or pill, just explore and try new things and see you feel and perform, and don’t become addicted to one way of doing things, because life is about growth and change, not stagnation and the magical one way of doing things.

Remember, stay health and let your geek freak fly folks!

Little Joys Ch.43

This post is part of an ongoing challenge to share a little joy I have found each day of this year, and perhaps for the rest of my life. I hope you enjoy it!

February 12th, 2020

Sometimes we need to motivate the little child living inside ourselves to do better. It is so much easier to simply laze around, watch shows and eat junk food and just do everything possible to create almost coma like conditions.

I came across a fun habit and to do list tracking app today called habitica. It basically turns habit building and getting stuff done into a cute rpg style game. You level up, get pets and mounts, can party up with friends and defeat bosses by completing your tasks, and overall just turns the mundane into something fun to look forward to.

Stuff like this just makes my inner geek come soaring out, and lights up my little joy meter quite a bit.

For anyone looking to gamify their lives a little, I would recommend checking it out.

Remember folks, stay healthy and let your geek freak fly.

Fitness War Stupidity

For many years now, the interwebz have been host to war. A war between the different camps of fitness.

Whether its the functional movement folks, the bodybuilders, the athletes, the list goes on and on as to how many groups want to exclaim how much better their form of training is compared to others.

At the end of the day though, all that matters is that you enjoy what you do.

Sure, training might be a pain in the ass sometimes, but it’s the consistency that matters. And to be consistent you need to enjoy what you’re doing to one degree or another.
Now it may be that the enjoyment you pull from your training has nothing to do with the actual training you’re doing at the moment, but more so the effect you know that training is going to have on other aspects of your life. Maybe working out will make you better at playing soccer every Wednesday with your buddies, or maybe you love taking 4-hour hikes up mountainsides and meditating while looking over the world. For those online geeks and workers such as myself, training your body will help keep your mind sharp and help you stay healthy and looking great when hours of hunched over computer work and gaming tries to scrunch you up into an Igor looking figure.

Whatever your reasons, training can be of huge benefit to pretty much any endeavor you hope to embark on.  Ideally, finding simple pleasure in moving your body as nature intended, exploring every nook and cranny of this meat bag that we inhabit would bring everyone the joy they required to move around. But many don’t find this reasoning attractive, so focusing on the others is best, unless you happen to be one of the lucky few who simply love to move.

Remember that there is no end to training your body, just as there is no end to training your mind. There is always more to learn, more to explore, more to do. That is what makes life so exciting, its all magic.

Being able to think, and move and dance and lift and go crazy is a gift we all take for granted daily, so learn to appreciate it a bit more and treat your body with the respect it deserves.

Otherwise, it’ll kick your ass to the curb when you need it most.

Little Joys Ch.32

This post is part of an ongoing challenge to share a little joy I have found each day of this year, and perhaps for the rest of my life. I hope you enjoy it!

February 1st, 2020

We have created a culture where working ourselves to death goes hand in hand with laziness on a scale unheard of in the past.

People are either at their jobs, feeling miserable for 60 hours a week, or spending day after day staring at their phones and computers, watching pointless videos specifically created to waste our time and keep us hooked to the screen.

Finding a balance is hard.

If you happen to be someone who is aware of the dangers of both of these areas, then you’re probably doing your best to work in a way that is fulfilling, keep yourself in shape physically, stimulate your mind, and also have time to be with friends and family.

But even that endeavor can feel like a chore sometimes, because then you start shitting on yourself if you don’t manage to get a certain area of your life into a perfect flow. It’s a never ending stream of judgement and negativity.

These last two weeks, I have had a great flow. I have worked every day, written for myself and the website, trained almost daily, taken long walks, hung out with people.

I have hit every marker, yet as I was walking towards one of the nice views here in the city of Da Nang, I realized that I was exhausted, head was splitting from the sun, and I really, really needed to go to the bathroom. But alas, I had set myself the goal of walking down the whole beach, up that damn hill, and seeing the lady Buddha statue.

I was making the mistake of investing my plan for sightseeing with the same importance as my other weekly goals, which had purpose and meaning. This is the problem when we become too goal oriented, we end up attributing meaning to things that have no business being in that category, and we push ourselves even when all our body needs is a genuine, well deserved rest, and in my case, a potty break.

Does that mean I sat down and stared at my phone and lazed around for the rest of the day? no!

Each of us has to choose what we consider to be a proper way to re-energize ourselves after a long week. For me, it was taking a grab back to my hotel, taking a two hour nap, then taking a nice walk along the beach, followed by some writing and reading, and another walk, oh and I ate 5 meals and some snacks.

My body needed food, and rest, and gentle movement, and it needed to just unload some of the burden off, so I wrote some poetry. That worked for me. That made me happy.

Everyone needs to decide what their happy place is, what little things, little joys, they can add into their day that will stimulate their mind and body without destroying it.

Think about it, then do it!

Little Joys Ch.8

This post is part of an ongoing challenge to share a little joy I have found each day of this year, and perhaps for the rest of my life. I hope you enjoy it!

When sometimes I am reminded that the mechanics and shopkeepers stay in their shops not only all the forenoon, but all the afternoon too, sitting with crossed legs, so many of them — as if the legs were made to sit upon, and not to stand or walk upon — I think that they deserve some credit for not having all committed suicide long ago.

-Henri David Thoreau 

One of the most undervalued skills you can have to improve your overall health is the ability to take long walks for no reason whatsoever.

There are numerous benefits to walking that have been studied. Improvements in blood glucose control, hormone regulation, increases in your cardiovascular system, mood improvement, the moving of your lymphatic system to flush out toxins and a host of others, it goes on and on.

Travelling through Asia these last few months I have seen a general lack of appreciation for the art of the walk, everyone seems to be obsessed with using their scooters to get around. Due to this congestion, taking walks becomes difficult to accomplish even when you want to unless you’re in a good location.

I was able to take two long walks down along the water today and it felt glorious. Seeing the sun and the moon glint off the water, the sway of the trees, that serenity that comes when you are simply moving for movement’s sake. I immediately began to think of how to continue the next chapter in the novel I am writing, something I have been stuck on now for a week.

Walking frees the mind to wander, and in that wandering, you almost inevitably come face to face with the creative spirit we all hold inside ourselves.

I shall name mine Wilson.

Everyone say hello to Wilson, he is shy but is quite playful once you get to know him.

Wilson and I will be working hard together to post more and be awesome, wish us luck.

The toxicity of gaming culture

Many people will think this post is some man hating rant about how male toxicity is ruining the gaming industry. This simplistic idea is shared by a bunch of people who don’t understand biology nor how our environment affects us.

Take a human being, someone who is already introverted and shy, stick them in a room alone, barely interacting with other humans face to face, not learning proper social cues and emotional control, make them play something aggressive with other people who they cannot see or hear or touch, and we wonder why gamers can be assholes.

Twitter, facebook and instagram are another perfect example of what happens when you remove people socializing face to face, let them remain relatively ambiguous and free from consequences, and the shit will fly.

There are aspects of male biology that make men fall into this trap more often, higher testosterone levels can really play havoc on aggression, especially considering many gamers are young teens who are already have very little control of their emotions.

But it has nothing to do with male toxicity, and everything to do with the toxicity of online gaming culture. In the same way that the toxicity on social media has to do with its culture.

Social interaction online can be a great thing, people can connect from all around the world. But we have to be realistic about the fact that most humans in the world get zero training on how to take care of themselves emotionally, physically and intellectually. They sit around in front of screens banging away, feeling like shit, cut off from the real world, and it all goes to hell.

Gaming in and of itself is great, regardless of the type of game. What we need is a paradigm shift in how we raise our children, we need to focus less on math skills and more on life skills.

We need to teach ourselves how to behave, with empathy, with courage and most especially with a higher level of understanding of how our brains are primitive and need our higher consciousness to rein them in constantly.

This takes training, lots of it.

Let’s begin, shall we?