Are You Really Healthy?

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Yesterday was one of those days where I couldn’t wait to get home.  It certainly wasn’t the stack of dirty dishes waiting for me in the sink, nor was it the pile of laundry that I had been puting off – although, for the record, they both got done!

No, I was anxious to get home because I wanted to dive into Nate Green’s The Hero Handbook.  Once my “chores” were done, and the next day’s meals we made, I grabbed my laptop, light a few scented candles, turned on some Sade, and….whoa whoa whoa, wait a second – I’m thinking of Monday night.  My bad.

Okay, so last night I drove home, blah blah blah, washed dishes, made my meals for the following day, grabbed my laptop, sat on my couch, and read.

While it’s been a really enlightening read thus far, there was one phrase in particular that really struck a chord with me:

A hero builds his body – his greatest asset – to look good and withstand sickness and physical obstacles.

Ding ding ding ding ding

So true.  In fact, the above statement is very much analogous to a Mike Boyle reference from an article he wrote a while back, where asked a simple question: 

Imagine you are sixteen years old and your parents give you your first car. They also give you simple instructions. There is one small hitch, you only get one car, you can never get another. Never. No trade-ins, no trade-ups. Nothing

Ask yourself: how would you maintain that car?

As you might guess, he went on to say that most people would be meticulous with oil changes, using proper fuel, keeping up with maintenance, etc.

Taking it step further, he then asked: 

Why is the human body different? Why do we act as if we don’t care about the one body we were given?  ONE BODY.  No refunds.  No warranties.  No do-overs.

Some pretty heavy stuff right?

Just the other day I shared with the world how I had a little, shall we say, “bug” crush my world, and I essentially spent the entire night praying to the porcelain gods.  It wasn’t pretty.   Matter of fact it was downright scary at times, and I have to give credit where credit is due and thank my girlfriend, Lisa, for stepping up to the plate and taking care of me. 

Afterwards, I received several emails – mostly from friends and family – asking me if I was alright, and more importantly, to inform me that if I ever break up with Lisa, they’d pretty much disown me.

But there was one email, though, from a distance coaching client no less, that is the real inspiration behind this post.  It was a simple email – basically just saying that it was nice to see that I had such a speedy recovery and that “it’s a sign of a healthy body” that I was able to do so.

Again, a hero builds his body – his greatest asset – to look good and withstand sickness and physical obstacles.

How many of us are quick to equate six pack abs or the ability to fit into size zero jeans as “healthy.”  I know plenty of guys with impressive abs that are a train wreck on the inside – booze, smoking, drugs, you name it.  Not healthy.  Likewise, there are plenty of women out there who somehow squeeze into size zero jeans, yet haven’t had a carb since 2002.  Again, not healthy.

Looking good, as subjective as it is, is only half the equation.  There’s no question that hitting the gym a few times per week is going to help.  As an example, I can count on one hand the total number of times I’ve missed a scheduled training session.

Forgetting your gym clothes (again) is not an excuse.  It’s a cop out.  Lets be clear – there are only a handful of reasons to skip a training session:

– you have ebola and/or

– Jessica Alba just called and needs you to be her personal oil boy for the day.**

That’s pretty much it.

But there are so many other factors that come into play.  A few off the top of my head that come to mind…..

1.  Going to bed at a decent hour.  I may be butchering this, but it’s been said that for every hour of sleep you get BEFORE midnight, it’s worth two hours afterwards.   Meaning your quality of sleep is much more “quality’ish” if you sleep from 10-6, than it is from 2-10.

What’s more, having a routine that doesn’t involve playing Call of Duty right before bed might be a good idea.  Same thing goes for those of you spend all their time on the internet. 

Get off Facebook for crying out loud and do something productive, like read a book, or have sex.

2.  Buying and cooking real food.  Simply put: you are what you eat.  If you’re the type of individual that lives off of Hot Pockets and frozen pizza, it’s no wonder you have little energy and feel lethargic and depressed all the time.

Conversely, providing your body with ample nutrients, vitamins and minerals from whole, real, nutritious foods will make your immune system as strong as an ox.

You wouldn’t put low grade fuel into your BMW, right?  Why, then, not treat your body the same way?

3.  Call me lame, but limit your alcohol intake.  I am by no means passing judgement – if you’re the type of person who enjoys a glass of wine with dinner every night, or even a nice, cold brewski on a hot summer day, more power to you.  But there is a big difference between that and pulling off your best Charlie Sheen impression every night of the week.

I’m sure I could make this list longer, but I think you get the idea.  Building a healthy body – unfortunately – is a lot more than just heading to the gym every day.  While admirable, it’s only part of the equation.  Have any suggestions/tips/rants you’d like to share?  I’d love to hear them below…..

 

**EDIT:  Just read on Yahoo’s home page that Jessica is pregers, again.  RATS!!  Okay, Olivia Munn, you’re up!

Did what you just read make your day? Ruin it? Either way, you should share it with your friends and/or comment below.

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  • Deadbeat

    Superman is lame. Character has always been too perfect. A few flaws are a good thing.

  • Preach it brotha! Also, like Nate mentioned in the handbook, drink some freakin' water!

  • Tony Gentilcore

    Shit…..you're right MG – forgot to mention water! Totally meant to include that, but forgot. Thanks!

  • Tony could you point me in the direction of some quality reads or studies on the internet / tv before bed topic?

    Wolverine will always be cooler than Superman.

  • Nock

    If anyone wants to read about the reason why it is essential to sleep before midnight here is a link that details our body's clock called “Circadian”. http://scienceblogs.com/clock/2008/05/circadian_quackery_1.php

  • Greg, I'm not Tony, but my last name begins with a “G”, so that should count for something. Here's something from PubMed on blue lights and melatonin suppression: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21164152

  • Thanks!

  • I have to agree with the idea that the healthy body heals much faster. I took a pretty solid fall down a flight of stairs a few months back. I was fortunate that I really only banged up my back and the back of my legs (it was kind of cool, I looked like I was wearing the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), and two days later the soreness was gone and the bruising was visibly subsiding. I attribute all of that to being a relatively healthy, active guy and drinking lots of water.

  • J B

    Keep up your mobility and actively work on your injuries. Nothing makes you seem/feel old like a “bum knee” or a “bad back” particularly if they come from tight hips, and crap posture.

    Stand up straight and move well and you seem younger, more heroic.

  • Deborah

    Nothing to add just want to comment that this is a very solid post. Great info.

  • Tony Gentilcore

    @ Nock and Michael: thanks for those links!

    @ JB: totally true. Just something as simple as “get off your ass and move” seems logical enough. Hell, there are so many health benefits to just going for a walk – it's amazing to me that people won't even do that!

  • Tavis Bruce

    Hey guys,

    I know some of you were wondering about the affects of your sleeping habits. Charles Poliquin has written extensively on the issue of sleep and I think he has some really quality information that has greatly impacted my sleep/life. Some suggestions are intuitive whereas others are not so much but make a big difference.

    “Top 10 Tips to Increase Quantity and Quality of Sleep”: http://www.charlespoliquin.com/Blog/tabid/130/EntryId/115/My-Top-10-Tips-to-Increase-Quantity-and-Quality-of-Sleep.aspx

    “Switching into Yin gear”: http://www.charlespoliquin.com/Blog/tabid/130/EntryId/23/Switching-into-Yin-gear.aspx

  • xiaochen

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