February 13, 2024

How to rewire your brain and body for more resilience with Dr. Aditi Nerukar

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On episode 629 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we meet Dr. Aditi Nerukar and discuss her book, The 5 Resets: Rewire Your Brain and Body for Less Stress and More Resiliance.


Let's Say Hello

[00:01:25.960] – Allan

Hey, Ras.

[00:01:27.340] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:01:28.990] – Allan

I'm doing all right. Back in January, I started talking about having some big dreams and big audacious goals. I've been talking about this on the Facebook group. If you haven't been a part of this, you should join our Facebook group at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group. But I set a goal for myself this year, an objective. Again, big dreams don't have to necessarily be actionable things, but it's something I want to accomplish this year. That was to help people lose A grand sum total of 10,000 pounds. We're starting to make that happen. People are getting involved, and we're starting to see it happen. I want you to be a part. I'm part of it. I realized coming into the new year that I was a little heavier than I needed to be. Someone takes a picture and you're looking at it, it's like, Oh, okay. Because sometimes you just don't see it when you're looking at yourself. But I was like, Okay, I could use to lean up a bit. And so I started doing some things to lean myself up. So I'm a part of that 10,000, and I want you to be a part of the 10,000.

[00:02:38.810] – Allan

So it's like, Yeah, get out here, join our group, message me directly if you just don't want to be a part of Facebook. So you can email me. Go to the website. You'll find my email address there. But message me and let me know you're interested in this. It's not that you have to be a client. I'm opening it up to anybody that's basically taking what we do here at 40 plus fitness and using it as a lifestyle driver. And with that lifestyle, if you're losing weight, I'd like to add you in and have you as a part of the 10,000. So that's what I've been up to.

[00:03:10.940] – Rachel

That sounds like a lot, Allan. That's wonderful.

[00:03:15.110] – Allan

So how are you doing?

[00:03:16.750] – Rachel

Good. My New Year's resolutions this year were to spend more time in the gym, and I'm working on my plan and lifting more than I'm running, which is a really big mindset shift for me I really love running. It's what I do. It's what I love. And so changing up my attitude and working in the gym a little bit more, it's been a little tricky, but I'm really enjoying what I'm doing now.

[00:03:42.170] – Allan

Yeah. Well, what I think the key is To look at the reasons why you really enjoyed running. I know for you, it was very much a social thing. It was a personal push. So you're looking for PRs and you're doing some different things, different distances. You turned some of it into travel destination stuff.

[00:04:01.260] – Rachel

Always fun.

[00:04:02.730] – Allan

So I think the more you can incorporate what you liked about running into these other activities, like lifting or whatnot, I think there's an opportunity there for you to find your way.

[00:04:13.890] – Rachel

Yeah. You know what's really fun is I've got a really nice home gym. My husband lifts as well. So we have a lot of really fun equipment. And so I'm making a point to use all the equipment that I have in the gym. I have different bars, different kettlebells, smash balls, medicine balls. I can't do everything all in one day, so I make it a point to pick a piece of equipment and use it. To me, it's like playing with it. It's playing with the kettlebell. It's something different. That's what's keeping it interesting. The more I dive online to different lifts and different ways to move weight, there's so much out there, and it is fun to learn something new. I'm pretty excited by that.

[00:04:53.600] – Allan

Well, good. That's what will keep you motivated is making it fresh, making it exciting, and seeing progress.

[00:05:00.840] – Rachel

Yes. We did one rep maxes at the beginning of the year. And so from that, I'm building different lifts, different ways to enhance that. So by the end of the year, we'll see how much stronger I could hit.

[00:05:15.620] – Allan

There you go.

[00:05:16.660] – Rachel

Sat down on my calendar. It's my goal.

[00:05:18.720] – Allan

Excellent. So are you ready to talk to Dr. Nerurkar?

[00:05:22.740] – Rachel



[00:05:56.320] – Allan

Dr. Nerurkar, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:06:00.490] – Dr. Nerurkar

Thanks so much for having me, Allan. Such a pleasure to be here.

[00:06:04.210] – Allan

Now, your book is called The Five Resets: Rewire your Brain and Body for Less Stress and More Resilience. And this time, we're actually recording this early. This is going to come out in February. But we've just gone through the holiday season. There's all kinds of things going on in the world that just really fire us up all the time if we let it. I know I've personally gone through a significant amount of stress in my life, and that's part of the reason why I live where I live now is to try to have less stress. But even then, sometimes I just find it a little difficult. And so I like what you've done in the book here, giving us really 15 different ways that we can go about working on improving our resilience and/or letting some of that stress go.

[00:06:47.200] – Dr. Nerurkar

Yeah, the Five Resets offers five small but mighty mindset shifts that are science-backed, along with 15 strategies. And really, the key of each of those strategies for me was that they are cost-free so that they have zero dollars associated with them. Because as a clinical physician for over 20 years, it was really important to me. I saw lots of patients from all walks of life with all varied amount of resources. So having something free and accessible was really important. Secondly, low time cost. So not something that's going to take an hour of every day to do, because again, that feels very unattainable and it's not accessible to everyone. And of course, practical and actionable to build into your messy, overscheduled life. When you are feeling stressed, the last thing you need is to add something to your life that is going to cause more stress.

[00:07:42.400] – Allan

Yeah, that was the thing is you tell someone, Okay, well, you could do this breathing practice, or you go take this yoga class, or you go do this thing, and they're like, That's just more stuff. At that point in your life, you feel like you just need less. You talked in the book about resilience, and then another word that you used was toxic resilience. And I think the reason that resonated with me was as I went through my career, and I went through a lot of really stressful times in my career and in my life, with a lot of change, divorces, the whole bear, all that stuff. I just feel like as I've gotten a little older, that my resilience has weakened. And as I got to reading in the book, I was like, Okay, we need to define terms because what I think of as resilience was actually toxic resilience. Could you talk a little bit about those two terms and how they apply?

[00:08:34.280] – Dr. Nerurkar

I would argue, Allan, that because of your life experience, your resilience, your innate and true resilience isn't weakened at all. And likely, it's been strengthened by the many things that you've gone through and come through and come out of, but simply that you have increased your awareness for what toxic resilience is. And so toxic resilience is essentially what our modern society is built on. It's hustle culture. It's really propagated by hustle culture. Many years ago, 5, 10 years ago, you would hear the word resilience, and it had a positive connotation. The true definition of resilience, the scientific definition, it is our innate biological ability to recover, adapt, and grow in the face of life's challenges. For resilience to itself, you need a little bit of stress. Not too much stress, just right stress. However, in recent years, particularly with the global pandemic, let's say, that word has been overused. Now that we're in this post-pandemic era, it continues to be overused, and it's almost morphed into this dark connotation of what true resilience biologically is. Now, we're seeing much more a manifestation of toxic resilience. Toxic resilience is when it's a mind over matter mindset, when you push past human limitations, when you don't give yourself clear boundaries, and when you have a sense of needing to have productivity at all costs.

[00:10:11.170] – Dr. Nerurkar

You've heard this term many times. You're maybe a demanding boss has said to you, Oh, you can take on a project, an additional project. You're resilient. Or someone has said to you, You need to meet this deadline. Oh, come on, you could do it. You're resilient. Even in parenting, for those of us who are parents, you might say, Oh, there's lots of messaging. Someone might say to you, Of course, you can handle all of the work demands and parenting. Come on, you're resilient. So you've heard these toxic messages over and over and over again. So it's not your fault if you think that's true resilience. That is not. That is toxic resilience. Really differentiating the two is important because resilience, true resilience, is your innate biological ability. It is defined not by those things I mentioned that mind over matter, mind mindset and productivity at all costs and not understanding our human limitations. It is true resilience is defined by understanding our human limitations, creating strong boundaries, celebrating when to say no, and most importantly, leaning forward through the lens of self-compassion, giving yourself grace through difficult times, understanding that your brain and your body is particularly during times of high stress need space, rest, and recovery to function optimally.

[00:11:36.660] – Dr. Nerurkar

Only then can your true resilience shine through. And the Five Resets was developed, the book, the approach, simply because I would see these patterns over and over again. So your story really resonates with me because so many of my patients would say, I just don't feel resilient, Doc. I don't know what's going on. And in fact, they were plenty resilient, true resilience. They were just in that hustle culture mentality of toxic resilience. And the first step is to dismantle that and debunk that idea of toxic resilience. It's like the energizer bunny. We all know what that analogy is like. It's like the person who just keeps going and going and going. But the energizer bunny is a fictional character. It is not a human being with need for rest and recovery. And these are biological needs. No one is bionic. We are just mere mortals. And really honoring that part of us and really creating boundaries and limitations through a lens of self-compassion is what true resilience is all about.

[00:12:40.600] – Allan

Yeah, that was what was so hard, is learning that sometimes you just have to say no, and you don't want to say no because you're driven to perform. And so it really was difficult for me. And it still is. I still find these from time to time. Even what feels like smaller stresses will pop up, and I'll be like, Why am I so freaked out about this little thing? But I do. That's why I like this. Can we briefly go through the five resets, what they are and how they work together?

[00:13:07.820] – Dr. Nerurkar

Sure. So the five resets are five small but mighty mindset shifts, and they've been developed by me over decades of clinical work. Initially, when you're a doctor, pattern recognition is how we diagnose conditions. So if someone comes to see me and they're having abdominal pain or they're having chest pain or headaches, these are vague non specific symptoms. But when you dig deeper and ask many questions, you figure out that there's a pattern. So not all headaches are created equal, not all chest pain is created equal, not all abdominal pain is created equal. And when you ask the right questions, you get to the bottom of what that issue and that diagnosis is. Pattern recognition. So you might ask about lots of different clinical things. When patients go to see their doctor, there's lots of questions that doctors are asking because we're trying to create a sense of pattern. We're trying to see, okay, Does this person exhibit the pattern of this? And therefore, it would be that diagnosis. The five resets were developed because I had a clinical practice in Boston at a Harvard hospital. I was the medical director, and I taught people, patients, stress management techniques.

[00:14:17.940] – Dr. Nerurkar

Patients would come to see me, specifically asking for help with their stress. What I started to see over and over and over is that there was a pattern to stress. Stress wasn't just this vague, mythical, magical thing out there. It was quantifiable and it was concrete to me because I had seen hundreds and hundreds and thousands of patients, and I was able to have that sense of pattern recognition. The five resets are five simple small mindset shifts that anyone can make when they are feeling a sense of stress. The first reset is get clear on what matters most, M-O-S-T. It's an acronym for one of the strategies in the book in that reset. And that is essentially laying the groundwork and helping you figure out where you are and where you'd like to go. Because once we have that destination, we can close that gap. You know, many of us, with every single one of my patients, they all knew what they wanted to achieve, whether it was decrease stress, they want to stop smoking, lose weight, get healthier, gain mobility, sleep better, eat better, The list goes on and on. But from where they were to where they wanted to go, it seemed like there was a big gap.

[00:15:36.720] – Dr. Nerurkar

Because there is really… People know what they need to do, right? So there's no lack of information or knowledge. The gap is between having that information and knowledge and taking action. And the five resets helps to close that gap. So the information and knowledge you have, taking that action to get there, that is what the first reset is all about, creating a roadmap. And that is what helps you get there. The second reset is to find quiet in a noisy world. This reset has several science-back strategies. The purpose of this reset is what we talked about earlier, creating a sense of spaciousness in your brain so that you have the ability for your brain and body to create a little space and reset and recharge. From the minute we're awake till the time we go to bed, and sometimes all night, we have lots of things competing for our time and mental bandwidth. And this second reset is really about how to manage your mental bandwidth. And there's several strategies there, focused on many things, including sleep and the digital space and social media and scrolling, and we can talk about that.

[00:16:48.170] – Dr. Nerurkar

The third reset is to sync your brain to your body. The foundation of this reset is the mind-body connection. And that might sound like a very woo- woo term to those who haven't heard that term before. But in fact, it is scientifically sound, and there is plenty of research to support, robust research, in fact, to support this idea that your mind communicates with your body, and your body communicates with your mind, and vice versa. We've used the mind-body connection our whole lives, like butterflies at falling in love, or before a meeting, your heart starts racing, or an embarrassing moment and your face gets flushed. All of these are the mind-body connection and action. The good news about this is that you can learn to sink your brain to your body and tap into that mind-body connection to help you overcome your stress and increase your resilience.

[00:17:41.520] – Dr. Nerurkar

The fourth reset is come up for air. In it, there are several science-back strategies to help you learn some relaxation techniques, breathing techniques and other techniques to help you tap into that mind-body connection so you can apply it to your everyday life. It has, particularly with the breath, we talked about this, Allen, earlier. You know your breath is the only thing, the only physiological process in the body that is governed voluntarily and involuntarily.

[00:18:15.190] – Dr. Nerurkar

Our hearts don't do that. Our digestion doesn't do that. Even our brain waves don't do that. The only thing in your body that has voluntary and involuntary control is your breath. So we can sit here and just talk and breathe. We're not We're focusing on our breath and our bodies are still breathing because of our brain and body connection. And then we can influence our breath. So that is also really part of that reset.

[00:18:39.240] – Dr. Nerurkar

And then the fifth reset, the final one, is to bring your best self forward. What that means is it's a culmination of all of the resets. It's how do you bring all of this science into your everyday life? What can you expect with the timeline of less stress and more resilience? I typically say it takes eight weeks to build a habit. So as you move through these resets, this whole book is designed to be a roadmap. And so starting with the first reset, building upon that to the second, third, and fourth, and then the fifth is really the culmination. And most importantly, to celebrate your wins. That's a huge part of the fifth reset. Similar to what we were talking about, about toxic resilience, true resilience is understanding your boundaries and limitations, the very real human limitations we have, and celebrating every single win, both big and small.

[00:19:30.540] – Dr. Nerurkar

Because human beings, typically, as I've noticed with many of my patients, we are bad historians when it comes to ourselves and our own victories. We are great cheerleaders for others, but we don't give ourselves the same sense of self-compassion. Those are the five resets in a nutshell.

[00:19:47.060] – Allan

Now, I want to dive into the first one because I think you talked about setting as a foundation, and I think that's important. But it was Uncover your Most goal, M-O-S-T, and it's an acronym. Can you go through that acronym and and what that means?

[00:20:02.390] – Dr. Nerurkar

Yes. The reason that is the very first strategy of the very first reset is because of what we talked about. There is this wide gap between knowing and having information and taking action. It is not your fault if you feel like the gap is wide. It's a schism for many people. My job as a clinician and as a doctor with all of my patients has always been to help close that gap. Having a most goal can get you there. In the five resets, in this particular strategy, I offer lots of examples of how do you figure out what your most goal is. Patients have said, I want to learn how to throw a baseball with my grandson this summer. Someone else said, I want to go to my reunion and feel really good and confident. I want to… One of my patients, one of my most favorite most goals was a patient who was going through cancer therapy. And when I asked her what her most goal was, she said, I want to write children's books. I've always wanted to do that, and that's something that's really important to me. So having that most goal, it's your North Star and your why.

[00:21:08.730] – Dr. Nerurkar

When you create your most goal, it's a very step-by-step process written out very concretely in the five resets. And the reason it's concrete is because when you are under stress, your brain is governed by the amygdala, which is a small, almond-shaped structure deep in your brain. That amygdala is focused on survival and self-preservation. It can't think ahead. That part of your brain that's thinking ahead, strategic planning, organization, memory, all of these things that are needed for you to get out of your stress struggle, it's governed by the prefrontal cortex, which is the area of your brain right here behind your forehead. The most goal in all of the strategy in the first reset, get you out of that amygdala mode and into that prefrontal cortex mode. You can't do it on your own because when you're under stress, your brain is just governed by the amygdala. But with this reset, you can slowly get get out. You'll just feel yourself getting out of that mode simply by doing the exercises. So the key question when you're developing your most goal and figuring out, what is my most goal? It's not so much, what's the matter with me?

[00:22:14.900] – Dr. Nerurkar

It's what matters to me most. And so M stands for motivating. What is something that you would like to do? I've given you several examples: writing children's books, playing baseball with your grandson, or going to a reunion. I've had many patients say that they want to go on a hiking trip or a biking trip or go on a cruise or something to look forward to that is motivating. O is objective. Can you concretely measure progress towards that goal? There are many strategies on how to do that, but is it objective or is it something out there vague? It has to be objective and concrete. S is small. Is it something that is manageable for you? We talked about this gap between knowledge and information to action. If it feels too big and unwieldy and aspirational and out there, it's not going to feel within reach for you to accomplish it, which then doesn't make it very motivating. So is it small? Is it something concrete and small that you can do? And finally, the T is for timely. Can you achieve your most goal within three months? I mentioned this before, it takes about eight weeks to build a habit.

[00:23:30.390] – Dr. Nerurkar

So give yourself three months because you want to include some of the other strategies to get to that most goal. We're going to talk, hopefully, about the rule of two and other ways that our brains respond to change. But as you build in these 15 strategies, you don't have to build in all 15, certainly. But as you build in one, two, or three strategies, it takes eight weeks to build a habit. So you want to give yourself enough time to be able to build in and incorporate into your life one, or two, or three strategies so that they stick. So is it timely? Can you achieve this within three months? Typically, with my clinical experience, three months is about that sweet spot of what I've seen for my patients who are able to decrease their stress and resilience. So this most goal is a way for you If you are feeling that sense of overwhelmed, anxiousness, lethargy, hypervigilance, or many other ways that stress manifestsends for yourself. If you are feeling that right now, just know that you're not alone and it's not your fault. It's just your brain responding heading to current events and the way of…

[00:24:32.360] – Dr. Nerurkar

And we can talk a little bit about why we're all feeling this way right now, including you and me, Allen. No one is immune to this sense of stress and burnout right now. But the Most Goal can help you get clear. It can help you figure out where you need to go. It's like a Waze Map or Google Maps. You need to see that destination, and then you can map out the plan. And then the rest of the strategies within that first reset help you make that map. So creating that roadmap to get to your most goal, because from where you are now to where you'd like to be is actually a much smaller distance than you think.

[00:25:09.030] – Allan

Yeah. I'm such a fan of action. It's feeling like you're moving towards something versus away from something. And that's why I really like that concept of setting a goal for the different strategies that you're going to implement and what that's going to mean for you. It wasn't in a way that I would have thought about stress before I read your book. I The other thing that I was really glad you had in the book, because I think it's overlooked a lot, is using gratitude. Can you talk a little bit about gratitude and how that's going to help us deal with stress?

[00:25:42.400] – Dr. Nerurkar

Gratitude, often when people hear the word gratitude. If people are data-driven, I speak to audiences all around the world, and when I talk to audiences who are data-driven in their scientific or they're action-oriented, they hear the word gratitude and they think, Oh, no, this is like a teenage girl's journal. I'm a grown adult. I'm a grown woman or a grown man. I'm not going to sit and write in a journal everything that I'm thankful for. Like, not for me, thanks. Gratitude, in fact, scientifically, it's cognitive reframing. Essentially, what happens when you focus on gratitude, and I'm going to talk about the difference with the five resets and gratitude versus out there in the world when you hear, Oh, just be thankful. Just be thankful. What does that even really mean? So gratitude in scientific terms, is cognitive reframing. Essentially, what you focus on grows. The same amount of negative and positive things are likely happening to you throughout a day, any given day, an average day. But when you are under that stress mode governed by your amygdala, your focus is on survival and self-preservation. So negative experiences are heightened and you are just more…

[00:26:57.440] – Dr. Nerurkar

There's a sense of red alert and hypervigilance for negative experiences. Positive experiences are happening, too, but they're just flying by the radar, not really getting tracked. The reason gratitude is so vital for brain processing and creating neural connections, so connections in the brain, is because it makes you, quite concretely, focus on these good events as well. Rick Hansen is a psychologist, and he calls it moving from Velcro to Teflon. So negative experiences become less sticky in the brain, away from Velcro, and they become like Teflon. But the alternate thing is that positive experiences go the other way. Because when you're under periods of stress, you're not really focused on the positive experiences. It's not you, it's your biology, it's not your fault. It's just how the brain works. And so when you actively start focusing on the positive and with the gratitude practice that I teach patients, it's to write down five things every day that you're grateful for. And why? It's a 60 second exercise. This is not a deep thoughts journal entry. Keep a pad of paper and a pencil or pen next to your bed. Do it first thing in the morning or at night.

[00:28:09.110] – Dr. Nerurkar

And it's only five things. Some days you'll be able to think of three things. You have to write five. Some days they'll be 15 things. You can only focus on five. And when you write quickly, put the date, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, write down those five things, call it a day, 60 seconds. Over time, this gratitude practice, this written gratitude practice, has found demonstrated benefit in mood, energy, stress, and resilience. This is just a few of the ways that it has been found to be beneficial because of what I talked about, cognitive reframing. So why do you have to write this down? That's often a question I get. We live in the digital world. Why can't I just use my iPhone and type it in? Because our brains use a different neural circuitry to type versus writing. So think about a grocery store list. You write it on a Post-it, you go to When you're in the grocery store, you lose the Post-it. But you still remember everything you've written down on that list. Contrary to typing up something, and let's say you're supposed to present or you type up your grocery list, and then you leave your phone at home.

[00:29:13.680] – Dr. Nerurkar

You're more likely to forget what It's on that list. Writing that gratitude practice down every single day does something different to your neural processes and to your circuits in your brain to help you remember the good. When you start focusing on the good through this very simple exercise, this is not like this aspirational, just be thankful, just be grateful. Because often when you're feeling a sense of stress, you don't feel very grateful. It doesn't feel authentic. It feels disingenuous to feel grateful because you're undergoing a period of stress. And often that leads to more stress if someone says to you, just be thankful, just be grateful. You should feel so lucky. Look at people who are not eating in certain parts of the world or who don't have a roof over your head. That doesn't feel very good when you're feeling stressed because it defeats the purpose. Instead, a concrete gratitude journal where you have to write it down every day. And some days, I've had patients who said, Well, I couldn't think of anything to write today, so I wrote, I have two arms and two legs. I can breathe. I sleep in a bed because I think there are people who might not sleep in a bed.

[00:30:25.850] – Dr. Nerurkar

You know, like very concrete things. I was able to have access to clean water today, and I got a little bit of food today. And that's all I'm grateful for, and that's enough. It's not huge aspirational things that you have to be grateful for. It's simple everyday things. The more simple, the more concrete, the more mundane, the better. And over time, at 30, 60, and 90 days, you'll notice that your stress gets decreased because it's simply a brain process that's happening.

[00:30:57.470] – Allan

And they can't occupy the same space at the same time. You can't be grateful and stressed at the same time. You forget the stress for even just those few moments. And if that just shifts that off for a little bit of time, I think that's just tremendous. So I was glad you put that in there because I think that is a really important step in understanding how well off we actually are in the grand scheme of things and how our brain, the way it's wired, is making something seem worse than it actually is. And so I think that's just a good practice.

[00:31:28.880] – Allan

Doctor, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:31:37.740] – Dr. Nerurkar

What a great question, Allan. One of the first things I would say is to get enough rest. So prioritize your sleep like the vital resource it is. It actually has a clear correlation to fitness over 40 or at any age, but particularly as we age. Sleep is one one of the hallmarks and foundations of everything because it's truly a therapeutic intervention. It helps every cell, tissue, and muscle in the body, including the brain. It helps your brain process difficult emotions. Our immune system is the most active when you're sleeping. And so there are many strategies in the five resets to help you get the sleep you deserve. So sleep is something that is a non-negotiable. And often the first sign of something, awry, when you're feeling a sense of stress or mental health issues, sleep is often the first thing to go. And so getting yourself back on track, lots of strategies in the book to help you do that. I think the second really important piece in your equation is some form of daily movement every day. So it doesn't have to be something big. Even five minutes of stretching or walking can make all of the difference.

[00:32:53.980] – Dr. Nerurkar

But a little bit every single day can go a long way. And lots of data in the five resets, but also you can do your own research to learn that it's not about one hour gym sessions at all in terms of mental health and fitness. It's not about weight loss. Our culture is obsessed with weight loss, but in fact, taught bellies and muscles never inspire people to lose weight. That's all cosmetic. That's like a cosmetic promise. What actually inspires people to get fit is doing something that can give you more energy to get to that most goal, for example, all of those things that you want to do. So it's never about weight loss or I want a six-pack or I want this or that. It's never motivated, even one of my patients. What has motivated patients to get out and start walking 5, 10 minutes a day is like, Oh, I'm going to sleep better. I'm going to be less stressed. I'm going to feel a little bit more energetic. I'm going to be productive. I'm going to be able to have good relationships because I'll be more present. Okay, I'll do it for for those reasons.

[00:34:01.340] – Dr. Nerurkar

Then finally, I think the third really important thing is to feel a sense of community. We know that there is a loneliness epidemic. The surgeon general has talked about this, a US surgeon general. He happens to be one of my childhood friends, but he's really focused on the public health crisis that is loneliness. Loneliness isn't just a nice to have. It can actually have impacts, not just on our mental health, but physical health. Being lonely increases your risk of stroke and heart disease by 30%, and it can shorten your lifespan. It's equal to smoking 15 cigarettes a day for non-smokers. It has that same impact in health risk and risk of death as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. So creating that sense of community, even if you are an introvert. This is not about being a social butterfly. This is simply about feeling that sense of connection and tribe with a few people. So I like to say anywhere from two to five people, feeling that sense of connection that you're 4:00 AM friend. So if something were to happen to you at 4:00 AM, are there a few people in your life that you could turn to to help you?

[00:35:06.570] – Dr. Nerurkar

And vice versa. So feeling that connectedness, social connectedness, has huge benefits on mental and physical health and fitness. Those are my top three. And then if you were to give me a fourth, if you would be so kind to give me a fourth, it would be to decrease our reliance on… It would be to decrease your reliance on this little device, your phone and screens and social media, because that is doing lots of things to your brain to worsen stress and health and a lot of the Five Resets, an entire half of a chapter focuses on the importance of creating a digital boundary. We have boundaries in every other relationship in our life with our spouses, with our children, friends, coworkers, but we do not have a boundary when it comes to the relationship we have with our phones. It's a porous boundary. And so this is not about renouncing your phone and becoming a digital monk. Of course not. There's actually no health benefit to that. What has been shown to be beneficial for health and well-being is to decrease your reliance on these devices simply because it has an impact on your brain and body and stress and resilience in the long run.

[00:36:27.700] – Dr. Nerurkar

Thank you. Dr. Nerurkar, someone wanted wanted to learn more about you or your book, The Five Resets, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:36:35.410] – Dr. Nerurkar

You can go to 5resets.com, that's number 5resets.com, to order the book, learn more. There's videos, there's lots of tools there for people to really dive into the meat of what The Five Resets is. And you can follow me on social media at draditinerurkar. That's at D-R-A-D-I-T-I-N-E-R-U-R-K-A-R.

[00:36:59.480] – Allan

All right. Thank you very much. And thank you for being a part of 40 plus fitness.

[00:37:04.670] – Dr. Nerurkar

Thank you so much. I love what you're doing and really think it's so important.

[00:37:10.070] – Allan

Thank you.

Post Show/Recap

[00:37:12.150] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:37:13.690] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. Again, another fun interview about mindset. It's like my favorite topic of discussion. Her five resets are really basic, but actually really easily implemented in your daily life. I really like those tips.

[00:37:30.160] – Allan

Yeah, I think one of the course for this for me was that when I was younger, you just grin and bear it. My upbringing was just, Suck it up, buttercup, and keep moving on. I don't care that you're upset. I don't care that you're stressed out. Just keep going. Yeah, that's good. And then because that was my behavior pattern, pretty much I would be stressed out. I would do other stressful things.

[00:37:58.590] – Rachel

Oh, no.

[00:37:59.970] – Allan

You know, like going in the gym and having a really hard workout that just wore me out was a way for me to deal with stress. And going through this book, it has me rethinking, was that just a distraction? And and not actually a cure? Because sometimes you put yourself out there and you're doing something, so you're not thinking about something else. Some people will turn to alcohol for stress, and some people will turn to drugs for stress or sex or whatever. And it's really just a function of covering up for a short period of time the stress they're feeling. Now, like some of those things, a heavy hard exercise is stressful, and you're adding stress, even though it could be a hormetic effect stress, a good stress, where they define it. What I basically was doing was just creating too much stress and not having that willingness to step back and say, whoa, that might have been too much. And I think that's the other thing of it. I was trying to do, we're going into the holidays. There's the shutdown in this country. So really struggling to try to keep our business afloat and thinking, okay, great.

[00:39:12.620] – Allan

I don't want to go through having to close down another business, especially when this big… Like I did the gym almost exactly a year earlier. I was like, Is this going to happen again? And so I was going through a lot of stress, and I was trying to do the crush the holidays challenge, which was daily videos. And I was like, if I'm not feeling well, I don't like recording, I don't like getting on camera. I don't like doing a lot of things because it really takes a lot of energy. So I kept waiting, when am I going to find a time when I feel good? And they weren't. So that just added more stress to it, which is why I wasn't good at it. It's why I wasn't doing my job on that challenge. And the other side of it is with that, I was filming videos, but I wasn't seeing the faces or the people. So it wasn't like that. When I do an interview for a podcast or like this part, we see each other. We're on Zoom, but we see each other. So there's a social interaction there. When I'm coaching a client, I see the client.

[00:40:17.250] – Allan

We're talking or messaging, that thing. With this challenge, I wasn't getting any of that. This was just me putting out without any feedback, hardly any feedback of interaction. And so it just felt hard. And that's why I kept putting it off. And I put it off and get late and be like, Okay, now is not a time either. My energy is low. And a couple of times I did. I got on the video, my energy was really low, and I was like, Okay, I hate that. So that's why I quit it. That's why I dropped it and did the refunds, because if I can't do it right, I'm not going to do it at all. That's how I feel about it. So it's a shame, but it was just one of those realizations that when I feel stressed, I need to recognize it. And then beyond that, then I need to, instead of just trying to cover it up with another activity or alcohol or anything else, is just to step back and say, breathe, work through some of these five resets, show gratitude, and move on. And that's one of the things. I didn't do it exactly like this, but a lot of the things that were in this book were things that I was considering as I went through that process.

[00:41:29.870] – Rachel

Oh, for sure. Well, and breathing is one of the things that she was saying. Come up for air and take that minute to reset your system, and maybe you can think more clearly. It's a similar concept in the running world, too, Allan, is that a lot of people run to escape their problems. We're technically running away from our problems. But I guess I think of it more like if you in the gym or me on a run, burn off that level of energy and then come back to the problem and you've got a better mindset, a better attitude towards tackling whatever is ahead of you. But I mean, sometimes you just have to say no. Sometimes you just got to take some things off your plate, especially if your cortisol is very high. Like at the end of the year, I say this every year, December is the most stressful month of the year. There's just too many obligations, too much going on. You're not taking the time for yourself, and something's going to give, and it might be your attitude. I think we need to go back, circle back to ourselves with some of these mindset tips and just calm, take a minute.

[00:42:35.100] – Rachel

At this age, Allan, like you were saying, when we were younger, we would just grind through, push. You've got a job, you've got young kids. What is your option? You have no other option. You've got to be successful at the job. You got to be successful and take good care of your kids. But now that we're a little bit older, I think in the 50 above bracket for me, we've got a little bit of breathing space to better organize our lives and the time that we need. One of her other mindset tips was to find quiet in a noisy world. When you're overwhelmed and stressed, sometimes you just need to get away from it. Take a break, go somewhere where it's nice and quiet and just take a minute to breathe. And to think.

[00:43:17.030] – Allan

Absolutely. All right. Well, I'll talk to you next week then.

[00:43:21.460] – Rachel

Great, Allan. Take care. 

[00:43:22.960] – Allan

You too. Bye.

[00:43:23.930] – Rachel


Music by Dave Gerhart


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