Ben Greenfield's findings, drawn from the latest news on the fronts of fitness, nutrition, health, wellness, biohacking and anti-aging research. I also recap my upcoming events and special announcements so you can keep track of freebies, discounts and more!
New Finds This Week: Cool New Things I'm Trying, Books I'm Reading, and More!
A cool new website that I like to browse quickly
I'm a book review nerd… because… let's face it: I can only read a limited number of books in a year. So I often rely on book summaries and book review sites to browse the books faster or get a good overview of the books to see if they are really worth reading the entire book. For example, I am a big fan of book reviews produced by gentlemen such as Derek sivers and James clear.
In the past I have also told you about the website / app Optimize.me as one of the ways to quickly browse the best books in the world. What is Optimize? It's simple, really. The right people at Optimize read each of the best books (mostly focused on health, wealth, personal development, neuroscience, fitness, business, nutrition, lifestyle, and philosophy) and then summarize those books in easy-to-digest books, 20 - 1 minute audio MP3s or very short 5-6 page PDF files with the biggest ideas, summaries and the most important takeaways. So in less than 6 months, I easily hovered over 400 pounds on their site, often while lifting dumbbells, walking in the sun, or driving in my car. So you get more wisdom in less time. You can click here to go to Optimize now for… Get ready… the shocking price of 10 dollars a month. Better yet, I spoke to the nice folks at Optimize and they even do once a month if you click here and use code BEN.
Well, I have now found another similar service that has functionality quite similar to Optimize in terms of book summaries that you can quickly read or listen to, but has an entirely different library from Optimize. It is called "Thinkr." Thinkr summarizes key ideas for new and remarkable non-fiction books, getting you to read or listen in about 10 minutes per title. This week I have already traveled Orthodoxy by GK Chesterton, The right mind by Jonathan Haidt, and The body keeps the score by Bessel van der Kolk. I've noticed that a lot of the titles on Thinkr are somewhat health-oriented and relatively conservative or religious, but that's fine with me. I'm very happy with the app version so far, although they also have a website version.
If you love to read, but can't access all the books you want, this is incredibly handy. Discover Thinkr here. Enjoy!
Podcasts I recorded this week:
This episode was brought to you by Kion (code BGF20), Organifi Golden Pumpkin Spice (code BENG20), Butcher box, and Thriving market (Receive a gift card worth up to $ 20 when you start a new subscription).
This episode was brought to you by Kion (Take 10% off your order when you visit Kion website today), Joovv, (Order your Joovv today and receive my book, Without Borders, as a gift), Natural from the beekeeper (BEN code), Paleovalley Beef Sticks (Receive 15% off your order when you use my link).
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Articles I published this week:
my full article feed and all past archives of my articles are here if you want to read previous articles.
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Until you eat a steak, brat, or chicken thigh cooked over a hardwood flame, you won't know what you're missing out on when cooking with charcoal or gas. Not only does Traegers produce the tastiest grilled foods your mouth will enjoy tasting, they're also super easy to use.
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Most popular Instagram post of the week
Most popular Tweet of the week:
So you're saying if we got rid of ALL dairy cows, we would only reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 0.7%. It seems a bit out of balance considering the trade-off in terms of food loss ... and some of the land they graze on cannot be used for crops anyway: https://t.co/WiCGwr9SkS
- Ben Greenfield (@bengreenfield) November 1, 2020
My most popular Facebook post this week:
Leave your comments and any news or discoveries you think you missed below!
If you’re having trouble beginning an exercise plan or following through, you’re not alone. Many of us struggle getting out of the sedentary rut, despite our best intentions.
You already know there are many great reasons to exercise—from improving energy, mood, sleep, and health to reducing anxiety, stress, and depression. And detailed exercise indications and workout plans are just a click away. But if knowing how and why to exercise was enough, we’d all be in shape. Making exercise a habit takes more—you need the right mindset and a smart approach.
While practical concerns like a busy schedule or poor health can make exercise more challenging, for most of us, the biggest barriers are esprit. Maybe it’s a lack of self-confidence that keeps you from taking positive steps, or your détermination quickly flames out, or you get easily discouraged and give up. We’ve all been there at some point.
Whatever your age or sport level—even if you’ve never exercised a day in your life —there are steps you can take to make exercise less intimidating and painful and more fun and instinctive.
Ditch the all-or-nothing attitude. You don’t have to spend hours in a gym or force yourself into monotonous or painful activities you hate to experience the physical and emotional benefits of exercise. A little exercise is better than nothing. In fact, adding just modest amounts of physical activity to your weekly routine can have a profound effect on your esprit and emotional health.
Be kind to yourself. Research shows that self-compassion increases the likelihood that you’ll succeed in any given endeavor. So, don’t beat yourself up about your body, your current fitness level, or your supposed lack of willpower. All that will do is demotivate you. Instead, look at your past mistakes and unhealthy choices as opportunities to learn and grow.
Check your expectations. You didn’t get out of shape overnight, and you’re not going to instantly transform your body either. Expecting too much, too soon only leads to frustration. Try not to be discouraged by what you can’t accomplish or how far you have to go to reach your sport goals. Instead of obsessing over results, focus on consistency. While the improvements in mood and energy levels may happen quickly, the physical payoff will come in time.
Many of us feel the same. If sweating in a gym or pounding a treadmill isn’t your idea of a great time, try to find an activity that you do enjoy—such as dancing—or pair physical activity with something more enjoyable. Take a walk at lunchtime through a scenic park, for example, walk laps of an air-conditioned mall while window de course, walk, run, or bike with a friend, or listen to your favorite music while you move.
Even the busiest of us can find free time in our day for activities that are important. It’s your decision to make exercise a priority. And don’t think you need a full hour for a good workout. Short 5-, 10-, or 15-minute bursts of activity can prove very effective—so, too, can squeezing all your exercise into a couple of séances over the weekend. If you’re too busy during the week, get up and get moving during the weekend when you have more time.
The key thing to remember about starting an exercise program is that something is always better than nothing. Going for a quick walk is better than sitting on the couch; one minute of activity will help you lose more weight than no activity at all. That said, the current recommendations for most adults is to reach at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. You’ll get there by exercising for 30 minutes, 5 times a week. Can’t find 30 minutes in your busy schedule ? It’s okay to break things up. Two 15-minute workouts or three 10-minute workouts can be just as effective.
For most people, aiming for moderate intensity exercise is sufficient to improve your overall health. You should breathe a little heavier than normal, but not be out of breath. Your body should feel warmer as you move, but not overheated or sweating profusely. While everyone is different, don’t assume that training for a marathon is better than training for a 5K or 10K. There’s no need to overdo it.
Health issues ? Get medical clearance first. If you have health concerns such as limited mobility, heart disease, asthma, diabetes, or high blood pressure, talk with your doctor before you start to exercise.
Warm up. Warm up with dynamic stretches—active movements that warm and flex the zones musculaires you’ll be using, such as leg kicks, walking lunges, or arm swings—and by doing a slower, easier version of the upcoming exercise. For example, if you’re going to run, warm up by walking. Or if you’re lifting weights, begin with a few light reps.
Drink plenty of water. Your body performs best when it’s properly hydrated. Failing to drink enough water when you are exerting yourself over a prolonged period of time, especially in hot conditions, can be dangerous.
There’s a reason so many New Year’s resolutions to get in shape crash and burn before February rolls around. And it’s not that you simply don’t have what it takes. Science shows us that there’s a right way to build vêtements that last. Follow these steps to make exercise one of them.
A goal of exercising for 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week may sound good. But how likely are you to follow through ? The more ambitious your goal, the more likely you are to fail, feel bad about it, and give up. It’s better to start with easy exercise goals you know you can achieve. As you meet them, you’ll build self-confidence and momentum. Then you can move on to more challenging goals.
Triggers are one of the secrets to success when it comes to forming an exercise habit. In fact, research shows that the most consistent exercisers rely on them. Triggers are simply reminders—a time of day, place, or cue—that kick off an automatic reaction. They put your routine on autopilot, so there’s nothing to think about or decide on. The alarm clock goes off and you’re out the door for your walk. You leave work for the day and head straight to the gym. You spot your sneakers right by the bed and you’re up and running. Find ways to build them into your day to make exercise a no-brainer.
People who exercise regularly tend to do so because of the rewards it brings to their lives, such as more energy, better sleep, and a greater sense of well-being. However, these tend to be long-term rewards. When you’re starting an exercise program, it’s important to give yourself immediate rewards when you successfully complete a workout or reach a new sport goal. Choose something you look forward to, but don’t allow yourself to do until after exercise. It can be something as simple as having a hot bath or a favorite cup of coffee.
If your workout is unpleasant or makes you feel clumsy or inept, you’re unlikely to stick with it. Don’t choose activities like running or lifting weights at the gym just because you think that’s what you should do. Instead, pick activities that fit your lifestyle, abilities, and taste.
Activity-based film games such as those from Wii and Kinect can be a fun way to start moving. So-called “exergames” that are played standing up and moving around—simulating dancing, skateboarding, soccer, bowling, or sport tennistique, for example—can burn at least as many calories as walking on a treadmill; some substantially more. Once you build up your confidence, try getting away from the TV screen and playing the real thing outside. Or use a smartphone app to keep your workouts fun and interesting—some immerse you in interactive stories to keep you motivated, such as course from hordes of zombies !