April 11, 2023

Get functionally fit to live a life you love

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Everybody wants to be healthy and fit, but what does that really look like and how do we get there? On episode 585 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss how to get functionally fit so you can live the life you love.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:42.440] – Coach Allan

Hey, Ras. How are things?

[00:02:45.420] – Coach Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:48.220] – Coach Allan

Busy, as always, but enjoying it. Bringing on some clients for my new program, and I'm actually doing a little bit of in person stuff. One of the reasons I wanted to do the retreat was I kind of missed having someone in the gym lifting and doing the thing, so I went ahead and brought on some local clients, working with them. They're all over 40, so I'm not breaking any rules, so I'm kind of doing that. And then our daughter Summer is getting married in really just a few short weeks. So also planning a trip back to the United States for a few weeks, see family do the wedding thing. Second and final, daughter married off. All kids married off. Done. Scratch that.

[00:03:39.180] – Coach Rachel

Nice. That's fantastic.

[00:03:43.250] – Coach Allan

And enjoy some time with Tammy while we're up there traveling.

[00:03:48.150] – Coach Rachel

That sounds wonderful.

[00:03:49.760] – Coach Allan

How are things up north? Way up north

[00:03:52.870] – Coach Rachel

Good. Yeah, way up north. I'm the exact opposite of you. I am doing my best to relax and rest this week. I'm kind of in taper. I've got a big race this weekend, so I'm doing my best to get a few miles in, but not too hard, and to do all my recovery and rest tricks and tips that I tell all my athletes. So I'll be ready and ready to go this weekend.

[00:04:18.420] – Coach Allan

So for folks that really haven't done a whole lot of training for running but are interested, can you explain what taper is?

[00:04:27.340] – Coach Rachel

Yeah. So the taper would be the few weeks between your last big week of training and the run, your actual race, and it depends on how much time you need to taper, depending on the run. So if you're doing maybe a five K or something a week, taper would be plenty of time. You kind of taper down the amount of running and the intensity, and you rest. You focus on fueling, you focus on nutrition, you focus on getting your head right, strong and confident and ready to go. And I'm actually tapering for an Ultramarathon, so I've been tapering for a couple of weeks now, but my big race is this weekend, so same thing. I'm still running, but fewer miles and less intensity, and I'm pounding in all the best nutrition and hydration I can so that my body is ready for this weekend, for the miles.

[00:05:21.900] – Coach Allan

How far is this ultra?

[00:05:24.860] – Coach Rachel

This one is about 34 miles, so a little over 50K.

[00:05:29.630] – Coach Allan

Cool. I know you got this.

[00:05:32.290] – Coach Rachel

Looking forward to it.

[00:05:33.280] – Coach Allan

We'll talk about it.

[00:05:33.950] – Coach Rachel

Oh, I know it'll be fun. Yeah. I'll let you know how it goes.

[00:05:38.590] – Coach Allan

All right, great. Are you ready to talk about functional fitness?

[00:05:44.260] – Coach Rachel


Episode – Get functionally fit to live the life you love.

What I'm going to do on this episode is I'm kind of kind of wrap up a whole lot of different topics around fitness and mindset that I've discussed over the years. I just haven't really ever done it in a full wraparound thing, and so we're going to be bouncing to a lot of different things. But if some of this resonates with you, I definitely want you to check out the quiz that I'm going to talk about at the end, because that'll kind of help start you on this journey or get you further down the line on it anyway. So now a lot of times the reason that I'm talking to a potential client or a new client is that they really struggle to stay motivated when it comes to fitness. In some cases, they hate exercise at all. They don't like working out. And even some say, I just don't want to get sweaty. I don't like being sweaty, or I don't like the gym, or I don't like. There's a lot of things that they're using as these barriers that are keeping them from being fit.

And some of that's real and some of that is imaginary. But we're going to talk about these in a way that you can explore this thought, this process, and find a way to stay motivated to work out and get fit. So one of the core attributes for the way I approached training, it's the way I fixed myself, was commitment. Getting away from the levels of decision and resolution and willpower and all of that and really just drilling down into commitment. Now, commitment has two parts. There's the why. Why do you want to do this? Why do you want to be more fit? And the why kind of usually has about two aspects to it. Sometimes it's a little bit more, there might be something exciting in your future that you want to be ready for. But in general, the why relates to people. Almost always relates to people. We don't do this typically for ourselves, although sometimes we do, but there's usually other people involved, the people we care about. We want to be fit so we can be there for them and so that they don't have to take care of us. The second aspect of that is what we want to be able to do.

And that gets a little bit overlapped into the vision. But sometimes just having that big goal is reason enough. I wanted to do a tough mudder and I wanted to do it with my daughter. I wanted to be fit and be able to participate in her life. And so that was my why. That was a very compelling why for me. And so it pushed me to do more. Now, before I got started on the journey, though, I had to understand my vision. What does that mean? What does it mean for me to be fit? And so initially there were some capabilities that I needed to have. I needed to be stronger, I needed to weigh a little less, I needed to have more grip strength. So there were these capability, things that I wanted to have related to that race. My capabilities that I need now are actually much the same. I'm the guy who lifts things at Lula's. I have to be there when I'm working out with my clients in person. I also have to be able to move the equipment around and I need to be able to be strong enough to protect them if they were to drop a weight or make a mistake.

So there are certain capabilities that I need to have in my life also. Your vision can be driven around lifestyle. We've talked a lot about things that our parents used to do or grandparents used to do that they no longer do, and their lifestyle changed. My grandfather loved to play tennis, and then at the age of 80, he couldn't play tennis anymore. And that changed his lifestyle significantly. Not being able to take care of himself changed his lifestyle significantly. So thinking about the capabilities and the lifestyle that you want to have kind of starts to give you a clear picture of what your vision is. And then the final bit is about values. And this is where we tie the vision to the why. The values are who you are. They're how you want to be seen in the world. So you don't want to be seen as someone who's dependent. You don't want to be seen as someone who's not capable. You don't want to be seen as someone who's weak. And so those values of you wanting to be a contributor, wanting to be a part of things, wanting to be independent, those values that you hold dear are the wraparound.

That's how we form this commitment, because it ties the vision to the why. Okay, so now when you think about that vision and you think about what you need to be able to do, the lifestyle you want, the values you have, now, this is not so much about working out. Working out doesn't sound fun. It sounds like a job. It sounds like another thing to do. Exercise. That word sometimes even sounds worse. Sometimes exercise just sounds like we're doing something for no apparent reason at all, like running on a treadmill, going nowhere. I'd like you to introduce the term training. When you're doing something that's improving your fitness, you're training. You're training to be the person that has the capabilities that you want to have. You're training to be the person that has the lifestyle you want to have. So you see how now it changes the complexion of exercise, working out, movement in general, because now it's done on purpose. You have a purpose. And so for us to meet that purpose, for us to accomplish this vision, we need to start training in a way that builds just that. So no longer are we just going into the gym for half an hour and piddling on that and doing a bit of this.

We literally go in with a mission. We go in working on what we call functional fitness. And functional fitness is where we're able to build a fit for Task body. It's where we're able to get ourselves in the condition we need to be to do the things we want to do. And that could be something special. Like, I did a tough mudder. I've talked to people who want to do Mitchell pushu and other hikes and other things, races and whatnot. And so you're training for those things, and you're also training to have what you need to succeed in all of your life, to have the lifestyle and the capabilities that you want. So let's break that down. What does that look like when you start training for your vision, when you start training to be functional fit for task? Well, first it's important for you to consider this from three different optics, okay? There's a short, a middle and a long. Now, initially, we need to be playing this from the long term perspective, okay? What am I going to be like when I'm in my 80s? What am I going to be like when I'm in my 90s?

What am I going to be like when I'm over 100? And so we don't want to do short term things that break us too far away from our long term goals. So I know some people want to have six pack ABS. It sounds cool and all, but a lot of times when you see the actors or you see the bodybuilders with the six pack ABS, they're doing unhealthy things. They're doing things that are actually messing with them in the short run to have those ABS, to do that movie or win that show. So when you're thinking about this from a long term perspective, first priority, it changes things a little bit. Now you're doing things to maintain health. Now you're doing things to maintain this over time. We're not damaging joints. We're not doing things that are silly for the sake of a short term thing. And then you can start looking at the short term things. So you may want to run a five K. You might want to lose a little bit of weight, whatever it is. Those short term things, being able to pick up a tennis racket again, being able to play volleyball again, those short term things are the quick wins.

They're built in such a way that you should use them to know you're moving forward and help build confidence. So the Couch to Five K program tends to be a really good approach for someone that wants to build stamina so they can keep up with their grandkids. And they use that as a training mechanism to start building that stamina. The Couch to five K. You can go in and start a basic strength program initially for the short term of putting on some muscle so you look a little better for the summer coming up really quick here. But you're looking at your long term and you're going to be able to do more. And so as you watch the weights go up, as you get stronger, there's some confidence building there. You know you can get stronger. You see yourself getting stronger. So your long term drives the whole thing. The short term are these little stepping stones that are going to show you how you're moving forward. So they're basically mile markers. And I'll talk about goals in a minute. But this is a way that you build a program that works for you because you get the short term wins building towards the long term.

And then there's sort of this midterm. And this is where when I said I want to be a participant in my daughter's life and not a spectator, that's where this comes in. So the midterm things are where you look at life tasks. When you look at bucket list items, you look at things that you want to be able to do ten years, 15 years, 20 years. You're looking at the midterm of your life and saying, if I'm going to be on this planet for another 50 years, I don't need to be training the whole time just to be stronger, stronger, stronger. I need to have some things that I'm going to enjoy. I want to be able to enjoy my retirement. I want to be able to enjoy grandchildren. I want to be able to enjoy a lot of things in my life. So I'll have these midterm goals that are basically where I expect to be on the aging curve at any given point. Because we have control over our aging curve, we're still going to age, but we can do it quickly and peter out, or we can slow that down, stay strong, keep our stamina, and be able to do things for the rest of our life.

There's zero reason my grandfather should not have been able to play tennis in his eighty s, I mean, golf in his 80s. There's zero reason if he had started training in his thirty s and forty s and fifty s, he would have been able to play golf. But he played golf, and that's all he did, and then he lost golf. So training would have helped keep him in the game much, much longer. Okay? When we look at the long term, we're looking at healthy aging. We're looking at maintaining our health and our independence. We're looking at being able to do the things that are necessary. So I make the joke I want to be able to wipe my own butt when I'm 105, but that's on purpose. That's my long term. I vision the long term. And I've heard I'm kind of weird for doing this, but vision the long term and build your programming to think in terms of the long term first, then the short term, and then we break out the midterm and say, how does that look? And we manage that, and we have training programs, and we take those steps, and there's always the short term.

We keep looking at building towards the midterm and then the long term, but we got to keep that all in mind so we're not sacrificing one for the sake of the other. Now, a few weeks back, I guess maybe a couple of months back, I talked about smart goals, where we add the extra A, making it smart goals. Now, if you've worked in business, in a corporate environment, I know you know what smart goals are, and they're typically listed out as specific measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound. Okay? I added action based, because if an outcome is your true goal, which it's a vision is an outcome, if your outcome is the goal, it's really hard to measure, it's really hard to achieve, it's really hard to make it time bound because the outcome isn't 100% in your control. You could have an outcome goal of wanting a PR on your next half marathon or your next five K, but if you twist an ankle that's out, it's not going to happen. So smart goals are about actions. Smart goals are things about actions, things you can control. So the way I want you to think about it is to have what I want, what do I need to do to get there?

So if I want to get a PR on a five K, well, I need to work on my running, not just running the five K, maybe running a little further than a five K in some of my training runs, maybe running a lot faster on some of my training runs or running hills. So the actions are certain training mechanisms that I want to do in a given week and the weeks leading up to that five K. So if the five K is eight weeks from now, I might have a training program that says, okay, week one, I'm running two to 3 miles a day, five days a week. And then I say, okay, the next two weeks, maybe I go ahead and take one of those days and I bump it up to a three mile, I mean to a five mile run, and I take one of those days and I turn it into a speed on the Hills speed and Hills Day. So now I'm building more endurance so that the five K, which is 3.1 mile, is actually easier for me because I can run further and I can go faster because I've worked on my speed.

And so my smart goal would be, here's my training program. I'm going to do this training program for the next eight weeks. It'll include these runs these days and here's why I know I can do it. Now, this is relevant to my short term goal of being able to get a PR on my five K. So it works. And I'm running these five KS just as a measure of building stamina so I can keep up with my grandkids when I take them to the zoo this summer. So you can kind of see how you can break all this down and build these smart goals. And then each of those workouts, you click them off. It's like, I did my five miler, I did my Speed hills day, I did my runs for the week. And so each of these is that little step. The training you're doing is the step, it's the next thing. And so that becomes more motivating because you're seeing it happen. Some people even like Tony Horton was on the show a while back, and he pulls out a paper map and just basically says, let's start checking off workouts. So if five runs happens to also correlate with your five days of the week for the weekdays.

Then literally, you should see an X or check mark on every one of those days during the calendar. And maybe you have a couple where you see, if I miss it, I'm going to do it, make it up on Saturday or Sunday. You can do that too. But you see the check marks, you see them happening, you're getting a streak going. You're getting it going, and you're seeing the results. And so that's where this all kind of comes together. Now, all that said, this sounds practical and easy when I say it right. And you've probably gone down this line a few times of setting goals and starting the workouts, and then something happens along the way that derails you, okay? And that something is us. It's our own mindset. And so that's where the rubber hits the road on. A lot of this is going through that self awareness practice. So we know what our tendencies are. We know what's going to go on. I wake up in the morning and I'm supposed to do my run, and it's raining, and then I don't do my run. What happens? Well, maybe I miss the next run too, or I eat like crap that day because I messed up.

I didn't do my run. I should have got on the treadmill and done my run, or I should have run in the rain or whatever, but I didn't. And so a lot of times we get in our own way now in doing that self awareness work. And this is really work you'll do for the rest of your life. We don't really ever solve ourselves. We just learn more and learn more, and that makes us better at being ourselves. And so as you go through your self awareness work, and you keep going through your self awareness work, it's worth going back and kind of relooking at it and reanalyzing it. So as I've worked with clients over the years, I basically come up to about five different mindsets as people approach fitness. And each of these mindsets, if they're not worked toward and understood, tend to get in the way. So they can block you from being more fit. But many of them are also superpowers. If you know them, you can lean in. You can lean in and figure out how that mindset can make you stronger, how that mindset can make you faster, how that mindset can help you build stamina so you can go longer.

So all the fitness things that you want, once you know your fitness mindset, it makes it a lot easier to stay on course and get where you want to go. And so if you want to learn about this and you want to learn what your primary blocker is, you can go to 40 plusfitness. COMFIT. This is a free quiz. It won't cost you anything. It takes about 60 seconds. So quite literally, if you started right now doing the quiz online at 40 plusfitness. COMFIT, you'll finish that quiz before we finish this episode, okay? And now this will tell you what your primary blocker is and then you'll know what you need to do to get past it and use it to move forward. I don't run all my clients through this, but I have a good conversation with them at the very beginning of our sessions, and we talk about what they are and how they work. And nine times out of ten, I could just call out their primary mindset at the beginning because the words they use and how they approach it and what they've done in the past, it becomes apparent to me.

So this quiz is going to help you a lot, figure out what your fitness blockers are so you can go to 40 plusfitness. COMFIT. So let's take a step back and kind of recap what we've talked about today, okay? You need to be a certain person. You need to be a certain person today, tomorrow, and maybe 50 years from now. And to be that person, you need to train. And so when you train for a purpose, a function of who you're going to be, that's functional fitness. So you should look at your training, not exercise or workouts or sweat sessions or whatever they are. You doing something to train yourself to be something else. Like we went to high school, to graduate high school, to be adults and live in the society and know how to speak and write and read and everything else, right? This is training. It's the same thing, okay? Now when you're looking at your training, you want to focus on all of your needs across your entire lifespan, your aging, span. Start looking at the long term so you have a good picture, mental picture of where you're going overall.

Then you can start working on the short ones that are going to give you kind of that quick hit, confidence boost, easy win, quick win. So that's the thing you can do that's going to happen this month. So not this huge long term thing, but what can I do this month? What's important to me this month that I know is also kind of moving me in the right direction for my long term goals. And then you can start peppering in the medium one. So maybe you are retiring at 65 and you want to go do Mitsubishu. And so you want to be fit from a stamina and strength perspective to be able to do that at 65. So your medium term goal is to make sure that you build and maintain stamina and strength and balance and that you're ready for when that day comes. So you see how you can take your long term. You can mix in in short term wins and then build out your medium term to make this all fit together into a long term program that serves you your whole life. Now, the way we get these short term ones done and that just builds the blocks going forward is the mile markers to keep us moving forward are the smart goals.

So we're specific measurable attainable or achievable and action based relevant. So they tie back to who you want to be long term, medium term and short term. And they're timely. So again, most goals need to be a month or maybe a quarter, but usually a month. And when you're doing the month to month, it allows you to adjust. As your life changes, you can adjust them. So timeliness needs to be in your face, it needs to be now. And so if you're writing your goals for your short terms that are driving towards your medium and long terms, you've got everything set out in front of you. And the only thing left to do beyond that is to look for those blockers and do some self awareness work so that you know what could get in your way and what could prevent you from reaching those goals and therefore hitting your short, medium and long term visions for who you need to be. So I hope this was helpful for you. If it was, go ahead and email me or message me on Facebook and let's have a conversation. I'd be interested to know what your long term vision looks like and how you want to build a program for yourself that's going to take you there.

So message me on Facebook or you can email me. Coach at 40plusfitness.com.

Post Show/Recap

[00:29:22.010] – Coach Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:29:33.900] – Coach Rachel

Hey Alan. I always love talking about functional fitness and being fit for task. And the other thing I like to talk about, especially something I've been reflecting on lately myself, is having this level of fitness later in life. We spend a lot of time planning our careers, our families. We plan, we know we're going to retire, we put money away in the account for that, but we don't spend quite as much attention to detail or planning on planning a healthy retirement. Like, I want to travel, mike and I want to be busy when we do get the chance to retire. And we want to be healthy enough to hike mountains and do all sorts of fun stuff in our retirement. So we kind of need to start planning now so that we're active and healthy and good to go today. So that a decade or two decades from now, we still have maintained a level of fitness so that we can be as active as we want later in life.

[00:30:32.420] – Coach Allan

So, yeah, way I kind of equate that is, is your fitness paycheck to paycheck or is your fitness are you investing in a 401? So there's going to be something there later, right?

[00:30:43.620] – Coach Rachel

Sure, yeah, that's a great way to look at it.

[00:30:47.140] – Coach Allan

And your fitness should never be paycheck to paycheck because that just means that. You're going to age and you're going to dwindle and you're going to lose. You're going to lose in this thing because you've got to put something in the tank and you got to be consistent about it. You got to be doing it now and a little bit, a little bit, a little bit. It's not like you got to kill yourself. And it's not like you have to train for a 34 miles ultra, but just a little bit. And thinking, what do I need? What am I going to need? What kind of stamina will I need to keep up with my grandkids? What kind of things will I need to be able to be there for my family, be there for my wife when she needs me? And so it's making a small investment now that, you know, will pay off and being consistent about making that every single time, the same way you do your 401, it just becomes automatic. You just do it and you don't think about it anymore. You just do it. And there are times where you step it up a little because you can, and it makes sense.

[00:31:42.970] – Coach Allan

And there's times you back it up a little bit because you just can't. But you're always putting something in and you're always on it and not looking at this like, well, I'll do that tomorrow. It's paycheck to paycheck kind of fitness.

[00:31:57.340] – Coach Rachel

Yeah, well, you also mentioned the word exercise. And who likes to exercise? Nobody likes that word. It's a terrible word. Well, you know, we do, but we're not really exercising, like you said. We're training. We're doing something that we love. And I love to run. You love to lift, heavy things other people might like. Tennis or pickleball is a really growing sport right now, and there's all sorts of things that are out there. And when you're doing something you love, pickleball is not exercise. Hiking the Appalachian Trail is not exercise. You're training to do these things, and it just gives it a whole different connotation. And I'm sure that there's something out there that somebody would love to do, maybe not running like I do, but there's got to be something out there.

[00:32:46.830] – Coach Allan

Yeah. And if you find that there's just something holding you back and you're just really not wanting to do this, then I would definitely look at that quiz I talked about, the 40 plusfitness COMFIT. So 40 plusfitness COMFIT, it'll take you 60 seconds, and you'll learn something about what might be keeping you from making that investment perfect.

[00:33:09.640] – Coach Rachel

That sounds like a great thing to do.

[00:33:11.670] – Coach Allan

All right, well, Rachel, I'll talk to you next week.

[00:33:15.780] – Coach Rachel

Great. Take care, Allan.

[00:33:17.400] – Coach Allan

You too.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


How to move freely and live fully with Juliet and Kelly Starrett

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

When you optimize your movement, everything you do gets easier. Juliet and Kelly Starrett have put together a manual to help you do just that with their new book, Built to Move. On episode 584 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we dive in and learn how we can improve our movement and our life.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:46.790] – Allan

Hey, Ras.

[00:02:47.770] – Rachel

Hey, Allan.

[00:02:48.990] – Allan

How's the last few minutes of your life been?

[00:02:51.460] – Rachel

Pretty quiet.

[00:02:52.690] – Rachel

It's nice to be holed up here in my office.

[00:02:56.150] – Allan

Yeah, our hello section. We're doing two episodes at the same time, so nothing's changed other than a few minutes on the clock since we did the last one. But just thought we'd take a moment to have our little hello session anyway. So, Ras, are you ready to have a conversation with Juliet and Kelly Starrett?

[00:03:13.750] – Rachel



[00:04:13.650] – Allan

Juliet, Kelly, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:04:16.940] – Juliet

Thanks so much for having us, Allan.

[00:04:18.590] – Kelly

Thank you.

[00:04:19.140] – Allan

Now, your book is called Built to Move: the Ten Essential Habits to Help You Move Freely and Live Fully. And the interesting thing was when Becoming a Supple Leopard came out, loved the book. When the second edition of it came out, I bought it again and gave the first edition away. And then when Deskbound came out, I bought that. Those are both sitting on my bookshelf over here. And then this one comes out and I'm like, how did you write a better book than the best books that are already out there? And you guys did it. You did it.

[00:04:52.720] – Juliet

Thank you so much. Thank you so much. We're really excited about it.

[00:04:56.480] – Kelly

Well, I think what you can see is some evolution in our thinking that we maybe have been very keen on our roots are high performance, that's where we came from. But as we've progressed and gotten a little bit more old or mature or wise or our lives have gotten up, we're looking around and seeing that we had to have a slightly different conversation because some of the things that we were talking about ten years ago really haven't come to pass. And if we were going to take a crack, honestly, at saying, hey, fitness and wellness has left a lot of people behind, what does that look like to us and what's important to us now as we start to crest 50? And it turns out that all of that experience has been integrated into this book. And if we were going to be honest, something that Juliet I talked about is that those other books really lacked this blueprint, this daily manual about how to go about your life. That was what was missing from our writing.

[00:05:47.910] – Juliet

In some ways we think of this book almost as a prequel to Supple Leopard because this is sort of again, we think of them as base camp practices and Supple Leopard is sort of like the advanced class.

[00:05:59.890] – Allan

Yeah, well, I always talk to my clients and we talk on this podcast that fitness is not CrossFit. I mean, CrossFit is great. I love CrossFit, but they call that the fittest person on the earth when they do their competitions. And that's great. But for us, fitness is fit for task. So it's being the best grandmother you can be. It's being out with your friends and feeling confident and comfortable that you can play tennis or pickleball. It's being late for the bus and having to take a little sprint there to catch the bus stop before the bus pulls away. It's the things we do in our everyday life that is what real fitness is about. And I've always also said there's not a user manual for us, but built to move. Well, there it is. You've basically given us the user's manual for how to move our bodies. And if our bodies are not moving the way they're supposed to, we can evaluate and then we can do something about it. And that's the beautiful part of this. It's not just saying, here's your diagnosis, good luck. Your doctor says eat less and move more, then you're like, okay, but you guys are actually giving us more of a manual of how to do it and how to actually improve it and if it's already working, how to keep it going, which again, I just think it's brilliant. Thank you.

[00:07:14.350] – Juliet

Well, and I really love how you're framing the idea of fitness. And one of the things we really wanted to do with this book is make it as accessible as possible. And one of the ways we frame fitness in our own minds is just simply being able to do the things you want to do physically for as long as you want to be able to do them. And that is really wide ranging, as you said. I mean, that can be just having the stamina to walk 25,000 steps with your grandchildren at Disneyland or that can be you want to be a 65 year old triathlete. I mean, it's very wide ranging. But I do think we've overly narrowed the definition of fitness to people think it is sort of like the CrossFit body or whatever that means. But to us it's really much broader. And I think that's how our own thinking has evolved over the years.

[00:07:58.760] – Kelly

And let me say that one of the things that we know was the truth about some of our earlier work was that we had objective measures. And our objective measures were your native range of motion. That's the underpinning of sort of our old work. What is it that everyone agrees the shoulder should be able to do? How can we get you back to those positions? And then the proof was in the output, the wattage, the poundage. And one of the things that we realized was that we hadn't given people clear objective measures or vital signs, physical vital signs, around some of the other features of our behaviors, whether it's nutrition or sleep or walking or moving. So what we've done here is recognize that if anyone can know what decent blood pressure is 120 over 80. That's not great blood pressure, but it knows it's a range where you're saying, hey, I need to pay attention, or I need to make a change. And what we've tried to do in Bolton move is give people objective vital signs where you can say, hey, I have a newborn, or I'm on a deadline and my sleep is awful, but I'm just below the vital sign line right now.

[00:08:57.790] – Kelly

This objective measure, and it gives you a place to say, I should pay attention to that or helps to inform you about some blind spots, because, frankly, people are working. They're crazy. They're working hard and have complicated lives, and we need to show them that it's not all or nothing.

[00:09:12.380] – Allan

Yeah. And to kind of give folks an idea, what we're talking about from a range is you guys saw that commercial with the old man trying to lift up his granddaughter. I ball every time I watch.

[00:09:23.650] – Juliet

Me, too. I watch it, like three times a year and just cry my eyes out.

[00:09:26.790] – Allan

I cry every time I see it. And you've got that. So the guy's just trying to lift up his granddaughter to put a star on the tree that he bought for her, and it's just that moment he's been training for. And to go as far as Juliet, your father, who's out there rafting and hiking and doing these things with his kids and keeping up with them, yeah, it's hard, but he's doing it because he's at that level. This is a wide range of fitness that we get ourselves into at this age group, and so it's right for all of us. So I think that's what's really beautiful is this is not just something if you have bad movement patterns. This is a great book. Even if you do, this is how you keep having those patterns and you keep moving. Well, yeah.

[00:10:07.540] – Kelly

One of the things that Julian and I are fortunate enough to be in is a world of high performance sport, and we get to work with alongside a lot of superhumans men and women and really complicated, amazing teams. And what we've realized is that our grounding is in this high performance, but that only is important because it informs us what good practice looks like. And part of what Juliet and I have been trying to do is say, hey, if sport and high performance environments is a laboratory, and that's how we've kind of always viewed them, that if we don't actually apply that science to society and transform our communities, then that stuff is less important to the both of us. It's more hate circus and entertainment. And so we're really trying to sort of conjoin those behaviors. And one of the questions that we regularly ask and you're pointing out is, how is it going? Are we being served by our current lab results? And it turns out that just about anything you care about probably is trending in the wrong direction globally or even nationally, from obesity to being overweight to depression, substance abuse, pain.

[00:11:16.260] – Kelly

And one of the things that we have come to realize is that the underpinnings of any high performance environment is this book. And it's not diet and exercise. And what we're seeing is if we are going to in fact be 100 plus years old, which we're definitely trending towards more and more with science and drugs and surgeries and all the things that are coming, we better think differently about how we're living our lives because the environment person sort of interaction is becoming a little bit more convoluted and complicated.

[00:11:45.990] – Juliet

And one thing I would add to that too is it is a myth that all of these high performers actually are checking all the boxes as well. I think it's easy for those of us who are weekend warrior types to think, okay, well the Starretts work with these elite athletes and they've checked every single box. And in some ways because I think we have gotten so much more sophisticated in training, so much more knowledge is widely available thanks to the Internet. We have this explosion of technology that can be applied to fitness that there's an assumption that all these high performers are getting the basics right, but in some ways they're not. In fact, because of all this, Sophistication they too have forgotten to focus on the basics. And so I think it's important for your listeners to know that the things that we are prescribing to do for weekend warriors everyday movers are the exact same things we are actually prescribing for the highest performers to be doing as well.

[00:12:41.750] – Allan

Yeah. Now there was one thing that you brought up in the book that I think is really important because if you go into any bookstore and you start looking for fitness books that relate to people over 50, you're going to find the stretching books because we've lost a lot of flexibility, we lost a lot of mobility. And so when you bring up mobilization or mobility training, which I bring up a lot, they default to this oh well, I already stretch before I do my workout and I stretch after my workout, therefore I'm covered. Can you kind of compare and contrast what is the difference between mobilization and stretching?

[00:13:18.630] – Kelly

May I, should I take a swing at this?

[00:13:19.720] – Juliet

oh yeah.

[00:13:23.090] – Kelly

When people say stretching, it really is sort of a nebulous term. If I said diet, that could include traditional diets, paleo juice, cleanse keto. It's a really nonspecific idea. And one of the things that we're trying to say with mobilizations that we're prescribing is that you are a complex, amazing, systems based human being. If you just feel tension in a muscle or a tissue that's not necessarily making changes in that muscle or tissue. Because I think when what's happened is we've all known, hey, we should stretch, but we all don't know why. To what end? What is enough? And is it working? Because remember, the goal here is to restore our native range of motion. In fact, what we want everyone to be thinking about here is that your range of motion and ability to move freely has nothing to do with your age. It's the one aspect of your movement that sort of is age independent and age proof that it's more difficult to heal as you get a little bit older. We slow down, but we still heal, but it's slower. It's harder to keep muscle mass on. We know it's harder to change body composition, to lose those stubborn few pounds.

[00:14:34.850] – Kelly

But your range of motion, that's a really stable system. And what we know is that as we get older, maintaining our range of motion allows us to maintain movement options. Movement solutions. Your balance will improve if you have better ankle range of motion. You are more likely to have fewer aches and pains if your hips do what hips are supposed to do. So what we're talking about in the mobilizations are saying, hey, here are some targeted techniques that we actually call in house position transfer exercises. We're doing this slightly different variation on restoring what your tissue should do to a specific aim of restoring a range of motion you should already have. So you might stretch because it feels good, right? Like you just move your neck around. But we can think about stretching. If someone said, hey, I go to yoga, isn't that enough? Well, yoga is a movement practice, and you may feel tension in your musculature and tissues while you do that, but that may be an incomplete way of addressing a range of motion. So what we're trying to do with these mobilizations are introduce some other techniques like contract, relax, and some other sort of key concepts to help people be able to return to their native range of motion in a specific way.

[00:15:49.890] – Kelly

So this is more akin to an exercise that restores your range of motion than, hey, I'm passively pulling on something because someone told me this is good for me at one point in my life.

[00:15:59.590] – Allan

Yeah, and it's sort of that concept. We do the stretching because we want it to prevent us from hurting ourselves. But the reality is it's mobilization and being able to move through the full range of motion that allows our body to do the things it's supposed to do so we don't get injured.

[00:16:15.530] – Kelly

And what you're bringing up is a really important thing. Oftentimes when people come I think when we were working with younger populations and we were earlier in our careers, 15 20 years ago, we were using these sets of mobilizations and ideas of restoring to how your tissues slide and glide and what your joints do. We were using them to restore positions so that our athletes could go out and win world championships. That's great. But that has nothing to do with me as a 50 year old man. And what it turns out is that those same mobilizations oftentimes can be employed to return my, again, native range of motion. What is it my body should be able to do? Everyone agrees that this is what your shoulder should be able to do. Every physical therapist, every doctor, every surgeon, there are these native ranges to every human, not gymnast ranges. I'm not talking about that would be nice, but that's not the reality. What we saw was that when people had pain or stiffness, one of the easiest things we could do was do something to change their physiology. So by getting some input into the tissues that was different than just tension stretching, we saw that sometimes that was enough to restore or change how their brain was thinking about the tissue.

[00:17:25.430] – Kelly

So suddenly that pain didn't mean I was injured. My body was throwing up an error message. And immobilization was a simple way of turning that message off. By changing some aspect of my tissue or by mobilizing, I was able to return or change or improve my range of motion. And my brain thought that was different. So we ended up realizing that we had this sort of spinning coin. And on one side was, let's return your positions so that you can do what you want to do. On the other side was, hey, I'm in pain. Well, what can I do about it? I can restore my positions and own my shapes and own how my tissues move. And that may be enough to get me out of pain or change how my brain is perceiving what's going on in my body.

[00:18:05.260] – Juliet

And one of the things we're really trying to change the perception about in this book, and I think this is particularly relevant for those of us over 40 who do suffer from aches and pains because we're trying to use and move our bodies, is that and Kelly alluded to this a little bit, but pain doesn't necessarily mean you're injured. And I think that's where people often go in their minds, like, oh, I have knee pain. I'm injured. And one of the things we're trying to be evangelist about is, hey, before you take time off work and get seven MRIs and go see twelve chiropractors and physical therapists, you really can take a crack at some basic soft tissue and mobility work and really potentially affect change in your own body. And I'll give you an example. I can't tell you how many people we've had come to Kelly saying, oh my God, I have knee pain. Should I go get an MRI? And I should probably go see the orthopedist

[00:18:59.840] – Kelly

we call this the pain spiral. And it's very common,

[00:19:02.240] – Juliet

and it sort of leads to this medical intervention situation that often ends in a physician not seeing anything on an MRI and instead just telling that person, well, you should stop doing what's hurting. So you may love running, it may bring you joy, but you definitely should stop doing that, which is not what people want to hear. Instead, we're able to say, hey, look, your knee is a system connected above and below with muscles and tons of soft tissue and connective tissue. And I can't tell you how many people we've said, hey, you need to spend seven days doing soft tissue work on your quads and your calves, ten minutes a day that are connected to your knee. And people are blown away like they don't believe us at first that it's going to make a change in their knee pain because they think for sure they're injured. And so one of the things we're trying to do, and we do have some sort of pain toolkits in this book, is to try to reframe thinking a little bit, such that if you do have aches and pains in your joints and shoulders, there obviously will be a time at which it's totally appropriate to go see a physician.

[00:20:05.820] – Juliet

But maybe that shouldn't be your first course of action. Maybe you take ten minutes for a few days to just see if you can make change. Because the amount of people we've been able to see who can is astounding.

[00:20:16.990] – Kelly

And if I may just jump in there. The other side of that is that people fail to appreciate that the environment, the lifestyle decisions we make influence how regular and how tough and durable our tissues are and how our brains perceive what's happening in our bodies. So one of the first conversations we have with anyone when we're dealing with an acute injury or chronic injury or persistent pain is we actually look at their sleep. And then what we know is that if you're a stressed person who's getting less than 7 hours of sleep a night, we know that that is not helping you sort of calm this ringing bell down and that if you want to heal, change your body composition, grow, put on muscle, get skinnier. Whatever your goal is, it turns out eight is a really magic number. So the rest of the book it seems like, and this is what's really confusing, I think, about how we presented fitness and wellness to people is that we are a system and that my moving during the day affects my sleep and my sleep quality and sleep density. But if I can sleep more, I can oftentimes heal more effectively or even just get my brain to stop being so twitchy and freaked out and perceive my body as a threat.

[00:21:29.030] – Kelly

So if pain is a request for change, we want to sort of expand what that means. Well, hey, we can work locally and change some aspect of your tissue or get some different input. But also let's look at these other things that may be contributing to a system that sort of has a blanket.

[00:21:43.250] – Allan

and in the book, you kind of identify basically as that. It's like, okay, here are some things, and you have ten vital signs, is what you call them vital signs, but they're basically checks to kind of do that, check in with yourself, how am I doing with this? How am I doing with that? And it's not subjective. In some cases, it's a little subjective, but in a general sense, you've put measurements. You said, okay, let's try to do this and see how you do. And then from there, we kind of have an assessment of where we stand. And that's always a good thing, because when we talk about goals, you got to have a measurement. You got to know when you're successful, all those different things that go into writing a really good goal. This is the perfect start, the perfect benchmark, and then the tool that makes that stuff happen. So we sound complicated when we start talking about tissue and moving and this and that, and, okay, if it's my knees hurting, how could it actually be my hips that's causing this? And so that's the hard part that you guys have worked out, is you do these assessments, you have a better understanding of where you stand.

[00:22:44.320] – Allan

You do the exercises, the pain goes away, your movement improves. And all of these things, all ten of them, they literally build on each other to form a platform for you to be a better human, to move better, to live that life fully that we talked about all the way through the century mark. And so can you go through just briefly and kind of talk about each of the ten vital signs you have in the book? A little bit about why they're important, each of them is important, and then a little bit about how we could kind of maybe assess them and understand where our weaknesses and strengths are, and then just kind of how to put it all together.

[00:23:20.210] – Kelly

Before we jump into that. I just want to appreciate that the most important part of the book is something that Juliet and I came to work and understand, working with people who are very busy. So if we went to the Marine Aviation Weapons Tactical School, which is a very intense program where they're teaching marine aviation advanced techniques, no one is sleeping. So if we walked in and said, sleep more, that's not a solution. And if we had busy working parents with young people, and we said, hey, we need you to spend an hour a day at the end of your day doing this checklist of things, we also saw that that was impossible for people. And so Juliet and I spent better part of the last decade coming up with something we called a 24 hours duty cycle. And this is important in context, because what I want everyone to understand is you don't have to run this perfect checklist. We've really started to conceive that behavior change starts, when are you going to have some control and agency? When are you going to fit this into your life? So it's yet not another thing you've got to get done.

[00:24:21.280] – Kelly

And our motto around the house is, let's be consistent before we're heroic. And if we don't help people conceptualize where they can sort of layer or feather these things into their lives, it's not going to make a change. So that's the first thing I want people to understand about the book, is that it's a really easy starting place to begin to make fundamental changes. And let me give you an example. If we look at the first vital sign of getting up and down off the floor without your hands, it's really a sneaky vital sign about looking at hip flexion and what your hips should be able to do. But the easiest expression of that is, can you sit cross legged and get up and down off the floor without using your hands or putting your knee down? And that's not a strength issue, and it's definitely not a big range of motion I need to be a gymnast to sit crisscross applesauce. But one of the easiest ways to begin to change that is to say, hey, I'm going to watch TV tonight and sit on the ground for ten minutes while I'm watching TV.

[00:25:15.050] – Kelly

And every time I get uncomfortable, I'm going to fidget. So if most of us are watching TV in the evenings, which we are, right, watching news, we're getting caught up, we're self regulating, we're calming down. All we need you to do is get onto the floor and lean up against your couch and you've already begun to change your behavior, which is putting range of motion into your hips. You're changing shapes, and you're going to have to get up and down off the floor before you go to bed or get that snack or something else.

[00:25:41.140] – Allan

Or just sleep, right there.

[00:25:44.030] – Kelly

We've constrained the environment. We've shaped a behavior without having to make another choice. And that's one of the things we're really trying to do here.

[00:25:51.760] – Juliet

And one interesting note from a data perspective on this particular vital sign, which is get up off the floor. And it's the first one we put in the book, in part because it's kind of a fun test to do and you can get your whole family involved, and I think you learn really quickly where you are when you do that test. But one of the things we know is that in countries where people sleep and toilet on the floor, they suffer from much fewer low back pain orthopedic injuries, hip replacements, knee replacements, and fall risk. Fall risk, which everybody knows once you fall, especially as an elderly person, that's sort of the beginning of the end. And so there's some really interesting data behind it. But what we love about this particular vital sign is that it is so easy to immediately get some information about how your body's working. And then it's also the practices that we have around it, one of which literally is sitting on the floor more often while you watch television. And we know also from data that everybody is watching quite a bit of television a day. It's just an easy way to fit it into literally any busy life.

[00:26:54.120] – Juliet

And just to add a little bit of further context to what Kelly said, and I think it's important on these vital signs, I mean, we spent a lot of years thinking about which ones we did and did not want to include in this book. And the ultimate question for us is what do we do? We are users, we are busy parents of two kids and we work full time jobs and we are like normal people. We're not fitness people that spend 24 hours a day making Instagram videos about our abs like that's not what our life is like.

[00:27:24.180] – Kelly

I would like to have making 24.

[00:27:26.050] – Juliet

Hours, but we are users and these are the basic practices, all ten of these vital signs that we actually are focused on implementing in our own lives. And so getting off the floor is the first one.

[00:27:39.720] – Juliet

I believe our second vital sign is breathing. And people have started to, I think, get some concept of the importance of a breath practice. People have heard of Wim HOF cold therapy plus breathing. But interestingly as people may or may not know, kelly's a physical therapist. And when he has a client come in, especially a client that is complaining of low back pain, which is a very common problem, and I'm sure many of your listeners have or have had the first order of business Kelly does with them is work on their breathing. And we find it to be so critical in terms of how your body functions and also how your brain can think about and manage things like pain.

[00:28:23.280] – Kelly

What's interesting is, again, instead of saying, okay, now here's another practice that you have to do, what are you going to kick out? You're going to kick out making breakfast for your kids so you can do a breathing practice? What we are trying to say is we've got something called a blood oxygen level test, the Bolt test in there and it was popularized by a really brilliant thinker named Patrick McCone, and he is oxygen advantage. And it's a simple idea of understanding how CO2 tolerant we are. So hang on in there everyone. Remember that Juliet and I are really obsessed with being old and maintaining the things that we love to do as long as we can. But the other side of that is that we realize that we never have to have a compromise between being durable and longevity and performance. When we focus on helping the body do what it should do and improve its capacities, it turns out you can play more pickleball and you can do that spin class or whatever it is you like to do more effectively. And one of the things that I think is misunderstood about sort of some of our breathing traditions like yoga or meditation is sometimes we didn't always appreciate the impacts on the physiology.

[00:29:33.580] – Kelly

And that when I could get someone to breathe and do some breath practices. One of the things that we know, for example, is that you can strip off more oxygen off of the hemoglobin. Remember that blood is carrying oxygen, but the mechanism by which that oxygen comes off that blood cell is actually driven by your CO2 levels, the carbon dioxide gas. And so the more I can get my brain comfortable with having higher CO2 levels in the bloodstream because the CO2 is what triggers me to breathe. Suddenly, what we see is that you can actually access more oxygen, which means it's easier to go upstairs, which means if I have pneumonia or emphysema or I'm dealing with a chronic condition or I want to hike more effectively, and destroy the people in my hiking club or my bike group. I'm talking about this is the conversation we've had with our elite Tour de France cyclists. That this same idea of, hey, let's improve the efficiency of the system ends up going a long ways, but it also improves how well your rib cage moves, and it improves how well you can take a big breath, which changes your Vo2 max and makes it easier for you to move and balance and put your arms over your head.

[00:30:43.150] – Kelly

So when we start to see breathing not as a meditation alone practice, but as a mechanical practice, it's shocking the impacts that it has downstream.

[00:30:52.850] – Juliet

And just a note on the practices in our breathing chapter. And again, because our whole focus has been how can we fit this into our lives without adding another hour long breathing meditation practice? We recommend, and we are inspired, of course, by Jacob Nester's amazing book Breathe that one of our future chapters that we can discuss is walking More. And so we don't have a separate breathing practice. We suggest that while you're walking more, you actually just practice nose only breathing. Or one of the things we do a lot in our own practices whenever we're exercising, part of our warm up is just to work on a little bit of breath practice during our warm up. So again, it's not an added new practice. It's something that we're conscious of, we know the importance of, but we're figuring out how to just layer it into other things we're already doing and just bring an awareness to it. So we obviously are huge fans of walking and adding in generally more movement in the day. And so the time when I practice most of my nose only mouth closed conscious breathing is while I'm walking.

[00:31:51.340] – Kelly

What you can start to see in the book is that almost the book is split into sort of two categories. One of them, for example, and another vital sign is extend your hips. We're really trying to look at hip extension, which is my ability to walk and bring my knee behind my butt like I was in a lunge position. Because of the amount of time we're spending sitting, because of just the nature of being a human in today's world. We've seen that this inability or loss of capacity or loss of freedom to put the hip behind us ends up with a phenomenon called tail wagging the dog, where as soon as my leg starts to come behind me, it ends up taking my pelvis with it just because I'm a little bit stiff in that lunge position. And if you look at any of our movement traditions like Pilates or yoga, they are obsessed with hip extension. If you look at our sprinting and some of those practices, they're obsessed with hip extension. So I'd like to be known as the knees behind butt guy. And the idea is that we find that when we're managing again, restoring what the body can do.

[00:32:51.320] – Kelly

And we have something in a test called the couch stretch, which, if you follow our work, you know, is the arch nemesis of every human being. But the idea is it's just, hey, let's take this leg into some extension and challenge the tissues here. And what we find is that ironically, just by improving the shape, we often see commensurate changes in pain around the knee or people's low back starts to feel better and they can go up the stairs, run, get into lunges more effectively, have more movement choice. And again, what we're seeing is part of the book is saying here are some objective measures, like putting your arms over your head, being able to sort of take a breath, looking at balance, and then some end up being very much around the behaviors that make a robust person. Like nutrition, like sleep, like not sitting too much. And so I think what ends up happening in these vital signs, so we don't just kill people with boredom over all the ten, is you take the ones that were maybe a blind spot for you and we can see. Was that sort of a behavior or was that a movement behavior?

[00:33:53.030] – Kelly

Was that a way I was living my life? Or hey, I didn't realize this is something I didn't have access to?

[00:33:57.420] – Juliet

And just one quick backstory on that. I mean, we really backed into what we call sort of these lifestyle conversations. And, you know, from reading our other book, Deskbound, we never set out to be like the standing desk people or the walking people. It's not that sexy, it's way sexier to say that we work with the 49ers or something. But we've really backed into these lifestyle practices. Again, seeing that we've really just missed these base behaviors. People are in our neighborhood, moms and dads are saying, hey, should I be keto? Should I be taking what supplements should I be taking? And what we always go back to is the basics. We say, okay, wait a second. Before you embark on some diet or start taking a bunch of supplements or buy some kind of pod that you sleep in at night, like, are you sleeping? Are you eating fruits and vegetables? Are you moving enough throughout your day? Can you move your body into the shapes that allow you to be able to do the things you want to do? If that's pickleball, great. And so we really did sort of back into the lifestyle side of this book.

[00:34:57.100] – Juliet

And again, also because these are the things that we've realized in order to feel good and be able to move the way we want to do, those are the things we have to prioritize in our own life.

[00:35:06.310] – Allan

Yeah, and I think you said something that's really important there is you stack this stuff, which is really good about when you go through your 21 day challenge, you stack this stuff and you say, okay, we're going to talk about walking. But at the same time you're walking, there's a breathing technique and there's some things you can do to mix both. I think everyone can relate to the fact that there's kind of this running joke amongst people that I know I'm not getting on the floor until I have a plan to get back up. And so if you relate to that, then there's something in this book for you. The breathing, I think, is kind of an interesting thing because a lot of us can relate to going up a flight of stairs and getting a little winded. I'm carrying luggage and talking to my guests at our bed and breakfast. Sometimes when you're carrying about 50 60 lbs of luggage and you're going up a flight of stairs and you're talking, you get to the top and you're kind of like, wow, I'm a little winded. But instead of me going out there and saying, you know, what I need to do is get up in the morning and run these stairs about 20 times so that I build up this endurance to do this stuff.

[00:36:06.680] – Allan

A breathing technique of just getting my body used to taking in just a little bit more and holding carbon dioxide and being a little more comfortable with that is going to allow my body to use oxygen more efficiently and I'm less likely to get winded walking up the stairs talking. And then for me, mobility has always been a struggle. And it's really a struggle because you spend the first 40 years of your life doing everything wrong. If you're a bodybuilder,

[00:36:32.130] – Kelly

well, you can do whatever you want. Let's be honest, that's the magic, right?

[00:36:35.760] – Allan

But the thing is, you're training as a bodybuilder and it's like full extension is not what they teach you to do. They teach you to do tight and stay tight. So lengthening your hips, because you sit all day, those types of things. As you kind of go through this, I think you're going to go through every vital sign and say, wow, that's important. Oh, that one's important too. Oh, I'm not eating like I'm going to live forever. I'm eating like Twinkies are going to go out, and I'm not going to get another one.

[00:37:02.390] – Kelly

Well, you brought up something, I think that's really great here one is we're talking about a movement practice, or essentially is, can you be useful? Can you do what you want to do? Do you feel like, hey, I'm afraid to ride this bike, or I'm having a hard time skiing because my hips are getting stiff? We have all these conversations. They're all on a continuum. The next question is, okay, what do I do about that? And the next question is, okay, when do I do that? And then how do I get consistent? That right. Well, if I schedule yoga and I go yoga every two weeks, that's probably an incomplete solution. We think that that's great. Go do yoga.

[00:37:37.580] – Kelly

Go it's a movement practice. Breath. It's fantastic. Tons of end range Isometrics built in there. But what we'd rather you do is spend the last ten minutes of the day when you actually have some control in your life or in the evening towards the end of the day, getting on the ground or working on a tissue or working on a position. And what we found clinically was that if we said, okay, take off your shoes, hike up your dress at work, get on the ground in the office, no one's doing that. That's crazy. But if I said, hey, once you're down, shifted a little bit at home, put the roller or a ball next to the TV, next to your coffee table, and let's spend and ask ourselves, what feels stiff? What feels tight? What haven't I done? Where did I work today? What's kind of barking at me a little bit? And now we've connected a soft tissue mobilization practice with what's really happened with someone in the day, and we've done it in a way that they can be really consistent at it. Because we saw that ten minutes ended up being a really sort of critical mark.

[00:38:33.810] – Kelly

If I said 15 minutes or 20 minutes out the door, I'm out. But ten minutes, everyone has ten minutes. And you can do a lot of other things while you're doing that. You could do a breath practice. You could just zone out and watch TV. But if you spent that ten minutes and you aggregated that five or seven days a week, a month, two, it's pretty transformational. So you really brought up this important idea of, hey, I need some additional inputs. Why? To maintain my range of motion. And if something is good, then I don't need to work on it because I've sort of above the minimum, but some other area where I've sort of contest myself or see what's going on or even ask what's sore or what wasn't I able to do today? What we found is that when people made that commitment to just ten minutes with a simple set of tools like a foam pool tool noodle. Or roll on a ball of wine, whatever it is you need to do, we saw that we could actually impact how they felt and impact how they move. Another thing we have around the shop is athletes that feel better, perform better, human beings that feel better, have better lives.

[00:39:32.860] – Kelly

So I think that's a really important piece that you bring up there.

[00:39:35.750] – Juliet

And one of the things we do on this, encouraging people to actually do these things which are difficult to do again, because we all have busy lives and sometimes that one thing is just one too many things is we do this thing called Peppering Our Environment which we are huge fans of this idea. And if you came over to our house and saw our living room because we love TV and we often end our night by sitting down and actually watching TV for an hour, like it's a nice transition for us. And so if you look at our TV room you will see that it is littered with lacrosse balls, foam rollers, different mobility tools. I recently bought these little kind of yoga mats that you can sit on because we do a lot of sitting on the floor and I realized that our floor was super uncomfortable and that was limiting the amount of time I wanted to sit on the floor. So I'm trying to take all these little micro steps to make these habits as easy as possible for me to actually do.

[00:40:30.620] – Kelly

We want you to spend your willpower and doing really hard things.

[00:40:34.240] – Juliet

I just wanted to not take care of your body. One of the other vital signs we think is so important is underlooked. I think overall is balance and it's one of the first things to go as people age. In fact, as we're cresting into 50 we're actually starting to have more and more friends who are reporting feeling that their balance is starting to go even as early as 50. And again, nobody is going to say okay, let's go to a balance class for an hour. Nobody is going to do that. One of the things we do is pepper our environment. We have these little portable slack lines we keep around our kitchen called a slack block. And we have little balance tools in our garage, like an endo board. And we just have little tools around our house and at our desks at work so that we can incorporate things like a really simple balance practice into our day. Again, without adding on, having to go somewhere, go to a class, add on a new behavior. It's just another stacking behavior.

[00:41:29.970] – Kelly

Even the test is a great daily practice that you don't have to do anything. And if you haven't ever seen the old man test, one of our friends, Chris Henshaw, came up with this, and he was an elite triathlete who was trying to come up with a task that he could beat his kids at. And they were such good athletes. And literally is stand on one leg, don't put your other leg down. And put your socks and shoes on. Then stand on the other leg without ever touching the ground again. Put your socks and shoes on. And if you just did that every day, if you just practiced in a year, you would spend hours working on your dynamic balance, trying to balance on one foot, you're going to do it.

[00:42:07.830] – Kelly

So let's just work this in. And now we've just taken that off the table. Holy crap.

[00:42:13.650] – Juliet

And the other thing we've tried to do is make it fun, because I think that's another thing that we've done a horrible job of in the fitness business is we've made it just so like drudgery, where you've got to go to the gym and check these boxes. It's not fun. And just these little balance tools we have around the house are very playful and fun and sitting on the ground with your kids at night and working on your mobility and practicing your balance. And we've just been in our living room with our own kids doing the old man test, and it's hilarious and fun and we don't always make it. And so we've just sort of tried to add like, an element of fun and play to this. Because, again, our thinking here is that a lot of what's out there in this space is about restriction. How can I restrict my diet and restrict the things I'm doing? And we want this book to be about expansion. In our nutrition chapter, for example, there's no restriction. Our nutrition suggestions are appropriate for any diet anyone follows, whether you're vegan or carnivore.

[00:43:10.410] – Kelly

But hold on, I challenge you to hit those two benchmarks. Good luck with it.

[00:43:16.190] – Juliet

What people need is some expansion and less restriction. And in our nutrition chapter, we're just saying, hey, you actually probably need to eat more fruits and vegetables

[00:43:26.540] – Kelly

and you're not getting enough protein that's it.

[00:43:30.370] – Juliet

We're just trying to make it fun and accessible for people.

[00:43:33.360] – Kelly

And one of the things you heard Juliet say was fun and accessibility, that happens in the functional unit of change or health, which is your home. So the second we bring in a physical therapist or a physician or some third party, that really removes our agency and our control. And what we know is that it doesn't work. It's not sufficient enough. Unless your physician and your dietitian and your physical therapist lives in your house, it's not going to happen. And so we see that this functional unit of change is the home we call it that's like a hyper local object, hyper local phenomenon. And that if you have a garage and a kitchen and you put your shoes on and suddenly you realize that your control around feeling better actually happens in your time, under your demands and under sort of your watch. It's not an external piece. And that really feels like a revolution for people.

[00:44:24.130] – Allan

Because it makes it accessible. You're not having to pay those bills. Go to the masseuse, go to the physical therapist, go to the orthopedic guy and get them to do what they do or chiropractor, and you're not going to their place. Limited time, limited exposure, limited attention. Get this done. They give you the homework. It's a piece of paper with some pictures on it. And 99% of the time, they never look at that picture again. They never look at that paper again. The interesting thing that you've said, and it's kind of what brought this full circle for me, is I have this joke. It's not really a joke, it's actually real, but I say, I want to be able to wipe my own butt when I'm 105. And people right, but people think and then it starts to hit him. It's like, wait, so he wants to live to 105. He wants to be able to move and be independent and do these things. He wants to be able to do a squat. He wants to have the mobility and dexterity to do the paperwork. He wants to be able to just go and not worry about whether he's going to make it or not.

[00:45:20.060] – Allan

So there's a lot built into that little sentence. But the cool thing about what you guys have here, and again, that's why I love it so much, is this is going to give you benefits today, and it's going to give you those benefits in the future, because a lot of people will tell me it's, hey, Allan, you're 7, so you're talking 50 years from now. You want to be able to do these things. It's just hard for me to wrap my mind around doing something for 50 years from now. I want to do something that's going to stop my back pain or knee pain. Right now I want to be fit now. I don't want to be fit in a 50 years, but this does both. And I think that's what's so wonderful about the way you guys have approached this is you're looking at it and saying, okay, here's the thing to know how you're doing, to gauge yourself, here's a practice or a few practices that you stack together. You fit them in with what you're already doing. You can stand on 1ft. Close your eyes while you're brushing your teeth. Go for a minute, brushing your teeth at 1ft with your eyes closed.

[00:46:15.420] – Allan

And then the ding goes off. You switch feet. The second minute you're supposed to be brushing your teeth for two minutes, you're on your other foot for that whole time, or like you said, putting your shoe on the old man test socks and shoes. It's extremely hard because I've tried it. It is really, really hard.

[00:46:29.840] – Juliet

It's really hard. Well, I think you bring up a thing that I think a lot about, and I think you're right, it's got to be both. I think very few of us are inspired by, okay, I want to be able to do these things when I'm 100 years old, short game and long game is but, yeah, I think you're exactly right in terms of the short game and the long game. And one of the things I like to point out is that we are all so comfortable with this idea of setting goals either in our home lives or definitely in our businesses. Everybody is aware that you've got to save for retirement and sets financial goals around that. So I would challenge everybody to set some short term and long term physical goals. Because again, I think what happens to a lot of people is they turn 70, 75 and they haven't set those goals. And all of a sudden they've lost the ability to do the things they want to do again, whether that's just play with their grandchildren or go for a hike or whatever. And so there's so many things in this book that can make people feel better, move more freely right now.

[00:47:28.320] – Juliet

And I think this is like your 401k for movement when you're older, because nobody's goal is going to be, I hope I'm stuck in my Lazy Boy or in a skilled nursing facility when I'm 80. That goal is for zero people. So everybody wants to be able to move in some capacity and move freely now and into the future. This book is sort 401k of the movement.

[00:47:52.930] – Kelly

And let me say that that is completely in line with when we come into professional organizations, premier national teams, choose some big crazy organization in sports, on TV. We've been there and working with them. We start with a goal and we literally work backwards into what does it that look like today? What does that look like in a week? And chunk that out might be in three months chunks, might be six month chunks. So Juliet really brings up this important point. No one, or very few of us have actually said that my goal is to be independent, be able to toilet and transfer them 105. Then you can really work backwards and say, what does that look like? Well, it looks like I need to walk today and manage my sleep to the best of my ability. So you've nailed the idea. The other thing that I want people to understand is that these practices create buffer zones. They allow you because as you get older, bad things are going to happen. You're going to fall, you're going to injure yourself. You may have been injured from high school soccer whatever it is, or you may have a disease problem coming down the pathway.

[00:48:52.290] – Kelly

And so we talk about our own experiences in the book here, but understand that sometimes what looks like miraculous outcomes when people are confronted with cancer or a big surgery or trauma, it just turns out maybe they had a little bit more resilience and tolerance built into the system. And so what we're doing here is saying, hey, look, it's going to be unlikely that you get out of the next 50 years completely unscathed without having to go to the doctor. But how you show up for that event is going to definitely impact its outcome. And we're not trying to scare anyone here. Again, our focus is we think you can feel better and move better and do all the bad stuff, but it turns out these things are what is essential about being a functional, durable human.

[00:49:35.740] – Allan

Before I let you go, I think there's going to be one big question. People are like, well, wait a minute, wait a minute. Juliet, Kelly, you can't write a fitness book and not talk about weightlifting and running. You talked a little bit about yoga. Where does exercise fit on all of this?

[00:49:51.840] – Juliet

Well, I will start by saying not including it as one of our ten practices was a very conscious decision, in part because we feel like everybody is fire hosed with information about particularly diet and exercise in this sort of moment in time in our fitness space. And what we realized is, ultimately, we are totally exercise agnostic. You'd think we wouldn't be? We owned a CrossFit gym for 17 years. We've worked with elite athletes. We both have certain ways that we like to train. But one of our own evolutions over the last ten or 15 years is becoming exercise agnostic. Those of your listeners who read the book, you will see we do pay homage to the fact that we both do love to exercise. Exercising is a huge part of our life. It's how we both probably manage our mental health. It's what we like to do. It's our hobby. We used to both be professional athletes. So, yes, we are huge believers in exercise. We believe people should do it. But we really wanted to not write an exercise book. We didn't want to put a stake in the ground about what exercise is or isn't the best.

[00:50:58.150] – Juliet

And our philosophy has really become so reasonable that we are of the mind that, yes, people should exercise.

[00:51:06.600] – Kelly

And we can define that as you should probably breathe hard and you should lift a weight.

[00:51:09.980] – Juliet

You should be under breathe hard and lift a weight. But how you do that, man, the sky's the limit. Because what we've seen over the years is people will do what they enjoy. And what people enjoy is wide ranging. I mean, whether that's pickleball or zumba or CrossFit or orange theory or triathlons or you name it, right. When people are told to do something that they don't enjoy, they don't do it. Period, end. If you don't enjoy doing it, you will not do it. And so we do think it's critical. Anyone who follows us online knows that we do exercise and we love exercising, but we really wanted to sort of stay out of that lane and say, yes, we think you should breathe hard and lift a weight, and how you do that is really up to you. Anything to add to that?

[00:51:56.740] – Kelly

I think Supple Leopard comes out ten years ago in a month, and if you'd asked me then, I would have been like, yes, you should have a double body weight deadlift, and you should be able to write.

[00:52:07.770] – Juliet

That was 39 year old Kelly.

[00:52:11.460] – Kelly

What I will say is one of the things that's nice about this book is that you can actually use it as a diagnostic tool, and that if you enjoy some exercise and you think you're doing it, come in and take some of our tests and see how well your exercise regime is actually supporting your native movement. And ultimately, one of the things we'd like to see is that you can hit some of these things and conjoin some of these things. If you're doing good strength conditioning, you're working on balance, you probably don't need to do lots of extra balance. You can work it in. You're working on breathing in there. But ultimately what we've realized is watching the world expand in sort of hyper technicality, the confusion that is the internet with exercise is that that message isn't getting there. And that if we told people to exercise more and here are more COVID body weight pump shred exercises you can do in your living room with a therapy and a book, that message hasn't changed the range of motions or capacitives of someone. So I think if everyone had a kettlebell and a jump rope or a kettlebell in their kitchen and a hill, I mean, there's an old Russian coach, I think, or he was an Eastern block throws coach, and someone asked him, what should you do for cardio?

[00:53:24.760] – Kelly

And he's like, you should go run or walk a steep hill. And they were like, what if you don't have a steep hill? He's like, I don't know what to tell you. But it was that simple of an idea that go walk up and down the hill until you breathe hard, you feel like you've had enough. And that's a pretty elegant message. I think the fact that we have seen that you can buy bumper plates and Olympic lifting shoes and kettlebells at Kmart and at Walmart means that those tools are available to us. And as Juliet saying, how much is enough? Well, that depends on your goals. I think what's happened is we've taken diet and exercise and made it all about, do I look good naked? Is this about body composition, ego not what am I training for? And I think when we come back to that goal setting that Juliet said suddenly then we can ask, well, are you doing the kinds of training that really does make you a better runner or better at skiing or better at playing pickleball? Then that's a different conversation. But ultimately what we're shouting at people is, hey, let's use this to burn calories because that's the only thing that matters and that's really the wrong conversation.

[00:54:28.460] – Allan

So I asked for three of these and I usually would ask both guests and so I'll give you the option, you guys can alternate and just give me three or you can each give me your three. It's cool. So, Juliet and Kelly, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:54:48.120] – Kelly

Watch this. We're going to say most important thing and we haven't talked unison. One, two, three. Sleep.

[00:54:53.880] – Juliet


[00:54:56.430] – Allan

Vital sign number three. I mean, number ten.

[00:54:59.470] – Juliet


[00:55:00.670] – Kelly

What would you take next, J, in your own kind of life around those three things?

[00:55:04.880] – Juliet

I would just say I would say sleep and then general movement and movement throughout the day. Again, I'm a fan of exercise, I do it very regularly.

[00:55:14.960] – Juliet

But for me I feel the best when I've added in plenty of non exercise activity type of movement. So that's making sure I'm walking enough in the day, moving around during the day, either standing while I'm working or making sure I'm getting up and down quite a bit if I'm sitting while I'm working. So for me it would be sleep and plenty of movement, especially in the form of non exercise activity. And eating a vegetable. That would be my third thing, eating a vegetable.

[00:55:43.540] – Kelly

We'll leave it there.

[00:55:44.660] – Allan

Okay, cool. Kelly and Juliet, if someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about your book, Built to Move, and of course the other awesome books you guys have. Where would you like for me to send them?

[00:55:56.450] – Juliet

Sure. Folks can check out. Built to move at builttomove.com you can learn more about the book. Of course, it is available at every bookstore and every online book retailer. You can follow us on Instagram at @thereadystate and all of the other socials as well, twitter, Facebook, @thereadystate.

[00:56:15.170] – Kelly

And I want to shout out to our Juliet and our amazing staff at builttomove.com. We have a 21-day-follow along challenge. It's free. You just need to put your email in. And we've got an email video course, supplemental to the book. It'll really useful to have the book, but we know that sometimes, hey, if I can follow along and get a little sort of nudge and some support, we can go a little bit further. So we've created a whole back end, gorgeous little sort of experiential platform that goes along with the book. And again, just go to builttomove.com. You can sign right up for it. And there's a 20-day sort of follow along challenge that mirrors the book. You'll get some daily reminders and some videos of us showing you what it actually looks like.

[00:57:00.140] – Allan

That's an awesome resource. So, yeah, go check that out. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/584, and I'll be sure to have the link there. Kelly, Juliet, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:57:13.570] – Kelly

Thank you.

[00:57:14.090] – Juliet

Thank you so much for having us.

Post Show/Recap

[00:57:24.730] – Allan

Welcome back. Ras.

[00:57:26.030] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. I probably could have listened to you guys chat for probably another hour. There is a lot you guys talked about with the book, Built to Move. I don't even know where to start. There was a lot to go over.

[00:57:36.680] – Allan

Yeah. The interesting thing is Jill from the last week, Kelly and Juliet, and then another interview that's going to be coming up in a few weeks. Katie Bowman they're all movement specialists. That's what they do. They're into how the body moves, how to breathe, how to optimize the movement of your body. They do work with extreme athletes. They work with normal, everyday people. And it's really what it's all about is using the human body the way it was designed to be used. And so a lot of times we talk about performance and you might think, well, I'm not an athlete. I'm not trying to make the Olympics or NFL team or this or that. But what you are is an athlete from the perspective of the movement patterns that you need to do to be who you need to be, that could be a caretaker. So your ability to help someone get up off the floor when they fall, your ability to get yourself up off the floor when you fall, your ability to play with your grandchildren, your ability to keep up with them, your ability to do all these different things, and all of them are fundamentally built around your ability to move.

[00:58:46.630] – Allan

And a lot of people get into their forty s and fifty s, and they start talking about this ache and that pain and this joint I can't and the doctor said don't, and the only reason doctor is telling you don't is because he knows or she knows that it's going to hurt. And he and she knows maybe you're just not going to do anything to improve your performance, and therefore it's always going to hurt.

[00:59:12.520] – Rachel


[00:59:13.280] – Allan

We create these situations, but if we start moving our body more and we start moving it the right ways, and we start paying attention to how our body was designed to move, then it just makes it a lot easier. I get on the floor all the time to pet my dogs.

[00:59:30.220] – Rachel

Oh, good.

[00:59:31.050] – Allan

When I have grandchildren, that's never going to be a problem. I don't even think about it. I get on the floor, I get back up, and I can keep doing that. And if I wanted to do a cardio workout in my home, that's exactly what I would do. I'll get on the floor and get back up. Get on the floor, get back up. Try doing that for about three minutes. That's a workout.

[00:59:49.940] – Rachel

It would be, yeah.

[00:59:50.880] – Allan

Okay. But just try sitting on the floor and you'll find you squirm a bit, move a bit. The Starretts watch TV with their family sitting on the floor. They're not sitting on standard furniture. Katie, who we'll be talking about too in a few weeks, she's even more extreme. She's conditioned herself to not even need a mattress or a pillow when she sleeps.

[01:00:09.210] – Rachel

Oh my God.

[01:00:10.690] – Allan

Which I've done the last time I talked to her, which about five years ago. I did that for a while. And it will literally change the way you move, the way you feel, because your body adapts and builds capacity that wasn't there. We wear padded shoes, thinking that's protecting our knees. In reality, it's weakening our feet and ankles. And so when we go barefoot, it's really, really hard because our feet hurt because they're not used to being strong enough to support our body weight without that padding. And so as you start thinking about movement, in particular with their books, the Starrett's books, because he did The Supple Leopard, and then there was a second volume of that, and then they did Deskbound, and now they have this book. This book is sort of like, I'm not going to say a step change better, but it's an evolution. He was originally thinking about how athletes could move and should be. So it was a really good book, but it is mostly adapted to athletes. And then he did Desk Bound, which was more of the person who is sitting at a desk or sedentary a lot, not through choice, but just where you are.

[01:01:17.370] – Allan

This one balances it all out and says, what can normal people do to live better? And it gives you all of it in this one book. So I love their books, I love what they do. They're amongst the best books on the market. They're always going to be in my perennial favorites, and this one's no different.

[01:01:36.080] – Rachel

That's awesome. One of the light bulb moments that I had listening to the interview was somebody mentioned about nobody has a goal of sitting in a Lazy Boy for the rest of their life. And I love that, it's so true. But let's think about that for a second. My grandfather was probably in his 70s, so retired, and he loved to play golf. He did a lot of golfing, which is great. He would walk or take a cart, but he'd be out there hitting the balls all the time. Well, his shoulder started paying him and I was too young. I don't know what his shoulder injury was, but then his doctor said, you should give up golf if it hurts when you golf, give up golf. And that's what he did. And it's not that he actually sat in his Lazy Boy for the rest of the life. I'm sure he didn't. But when you're thinking about these later stages, when you retire from work, don't you want to be active? Don't you want to go and do things and play the sports you enjoy playing or travel to the places you want to travel?

[01:02:32.680] – Rachel

So between then and then, between these ages, these decades, even, you can think about, well, what can you do to maintain the range of motion or the endurance of the activity that you want to do, whether you want to do nine holes or 18 on a golf course? And it's just something that I always thought about. He was in his prime of his retirement and then became more or less couldn't do the things that he loved to do. And so watching your range of motions and like they mentioned, peppering your environment with all the tools, the foam rollers and the weights or whatever you want to do, if you have it near you, you're more likely to use it and get benefit from it and like you getting up and down off the floor. These are all activities that will help you stay fit for task as you age with each decade.

[01:03:19.450] – Allan

Well, and that's what I tore my rotator cuff, and I very easily could have gone to a normal doctor, and the doctor would have said, well, okay, stop doing these things, stop lifting these heavy weights, and stop doing these obstacle course races and stop moving. And that was never an option. When I went and looked for the surgeon, I found the surgeon that worked with athletes at the university. I found the physical therapist that worked with athletes at a Division One level school, and those were my team. I brought the best team for recovery for me to get back to being an athlete, if you will. That was my whole goal with the team. And I did the homework when I went in for the surgery. I still could do just about everything except press. And we went in. We're going to get the surgery done. I got the surgery done on Thursday. I was in physical therapy on Monday.

[01:04:21.130] – Rachel

Wow, that's awesome.

[01:04:23.490] – Allan

And like I said, I had one of the best physical therapists. He worked with the football team at the local university for a while. And I went in and I said, no, I don't want to just recover. I said, I want to be back to 100% of what I was before. Let's make that happen. And I did everything he told me to do. I did every bit of homework, and I actually didn't do more than what he told me to do. So there was no rushing it, if you will, to say, no, I've got to recover faster, and doing more is going to be better. It was really just this seasoned approach of saying, this is what's necessary. Get it done and don't injure yourself further by doing something silly.

[01:05:07.880] – Rachel

That's great that you had a team that was not interested so much as fixing you and reducing the pain, but helping you prepare for continued activity. There's kind of a difference in perspective there.

[01:05:19.770] – Allan

There is. If I had been your grandfather and they said, you can't play golf, and I'm like bull, right? I'm not a big golfer, so no, I mean, but realizing if if that was something that was one of the most important things in my life, fix me, what do we do so I can play golf? If the doctor said it, I'm like, I'm going to have to fire you. You're not a team player.

[01:05:44.130] – Rachel

Right. And I'd like to think that at least some of the doctors that I work with, I mentioned, okay, these are my goals in life. This is what I want to achieve, and what do I need to do to get there healthily? I have been injured myself, and I looked for doctors that would be willing to get me back on my feet to running and not just a sedentary lifestyle again.

[01:06:02.900] – Allan

Yeah. So imagine if someone said, Rachel, you broke your foot a second time. You got to stop running.

[01:06:08.220] – Rachel

Yeah, I'd laugh. We all laugh at these things. I need to find another doctor.

[01:06:15.740] – Allan

I'm sorry I got to fire you. I'm not a team player. You're not trying to help me. I'm going to run. You just got to make it happen. And so it's just a part of this has been thinking about where you want to go, and movement is the key for all of it because you're not I mean, who doesn't like sitting in a Lazy Boy watching movies?

[01:06:35.390] – Rachel

Yeah, once in a while, but not retirement.

[01:06:38.650] – Allan

That's not where I want to live for 40 years. And so it's just kind of one of those things is saying, no, get yourself moving the right way. And then books like this are going to start you in a very good way. They're going to teach you the right way and very simple, easy to start. And I think that's one of the values here is it's not like you got to be working out seven days a week. They're not even talking about that. Exercise is the sort of the cherry on top of this thing that we're not even talking about exercise. They're just talking about general day to day movements, patterns that you should be able to do safely and without pain. And if you're doing it right, you're less likely to injure yourself and feel pain. That's part of it, too.

[01:07:21.780] – Rachel

Awesome. Fun interview.

[01:07:23.730] – Allan

All right, well, I'll talk to you next week.

[01:07:25.870] – Rachel

Sure. Take care.

[01:07:27.140] – Allan

You too.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Melissa Ball
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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


March 28, 2023

Unlock better physical and emotional resilience with breath | Jill Miller

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When we breathe properly, we set our body up to have better physical and emotional resilience. On episode 583 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we meet Jill Miller and discuss her book, Body by Breath.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:39.730] – Allan

Hello, Ras.

[00:02:40.920] – Rachel

Hey, Allan, how are you today?

[00:02:42.820] – Allan

Doing all right. Just very busy.

[00:02:46.080] – Rachel

Yeah, well, busy is good.

[00:02:47.980] – Allan

Busy is good. Busy is good. We're still sort of in busy season for Lula's. Tammy took the weekend off and went to Jazz Fest and we got some very demanding guests over the course of the weekend. Lots of moving parts, and then I'm actually doing some live training. I was wanting to do it. That's why I was going to launch the retreat, which is now happening. And I was like, okay, I still want to train people in person some. So I went ahead and solicited out to get some new clients. So I'm bringing in new clients to train in person in my studio. And I also now relaunched my program because I realized my normal program, my Be fit for Task program was great for people that wanted to work on fitness, but it wasn't as great for people that wanted to lose weight. The program was twelve weeks and then I condensed it to six weeks. So it's working very, very well for people that want to get more fit. So my Be Fit for Task program works really good for that but it's not so good for the folks that want to lose weight.

[00:03:45.100] – Allan

So I decided to go ahead and launch a new twelve week program that focuses on weight loss.

[00:03:50.470] – Rachel


[00:03:51.070] – Allan

And so it has to be twelve weeks because it's just the way the math works in our human body. You can change some things but when you look at really a month and a half you're just really getting into the meat of it and you haven't really had any struggles or any issues happen yet. So it's hard to say how would we manage when this happens. You can write all of the SOPs for yourself that you want to have, but when stuff really happens then you find out. So twelve weeks tends to work a lot better for that. So I just relaunched that program, I'm calling it the Shed program and I just got that going and so I'm starting to onboard clients for all that. We're capping it at twelve like I do with most of my things. I'm not going to have more than that many clients because that's how many I can handle. But it's going pretty good. We're having the kickoff calls and people are getting excited. We're starting some plans and getting going.

[00:04:44.890] – Rachel

That's exciting. I love to hear that. I love to hear people making changes. That's great.

[00:04:49.340] – Allan

They are. All right. How are things up there?

[00:04:51.630] – Rachel

Good. I think it might be spring. At least this last batch of snow has melted so that's wonderful.

[00:04:59.130] – Rachel

But yeah, weather's turn

[00:05:00.600] – Allan

we used to call it. There was a fake spring. You just think it's there. You start pulling out your bathing suits and all your stuff and getting ready and then there's another little cold snap and then same thing for the end of the year. You start going into fall, you're like, oh it's cooling off, it's great. And then you have an Indian summer. It's just another two weeks of really hot weather in September.

[00:05:18.490] – Rachel

Yeah, it's like the weather just can't get it together. They don't know what season to be in quite yet. But as we get to the end of March, beginning of April, then I can kind of feel like I can believe spring is actually coming. Then I kind of feel a little more confident in the weather changes. Yes. In March you can't be fooled. Don't be fooled.

[00:05:39.090] – Allan

Don't be fooled. It can snow as late as April.

[00:05:42.020] – Rachel

Yeah, but it's nice.

[00:05:43.490] – Allan

Well good. All right, well are you ready to have a conversation with Jill?

[00:05:47.400] – Rachel

Sure. Great.


[00:06:59.500] – Allan

Jill, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:07:01.980] – Jill

Well, thank you for having me. I fit into that demographic, so I'm excited to be here.

[00:07:05.860] – Allan

Well, good. Yeah, there's a lot of us these days. More and more people in the fitness space are in this area. I know when I first started trying to fix myself years ago that there was nobody here. Everybody was 20 25 30, and then, well, then you're just supposed to just cast off and we never saw you again. So it's good that more and more of us are actually understanding that taking care of ourselves is a lifelong thing. And there's more and more of us that are in our forty s and fifty s that are out there trying to get these messages out there. Now, one of the ways you're doing it now, this is not your first book, but your new book is called Body by Breath: the Science and Practice of Physical and Emotional Resilience. If I'd had this book five years ago, it would have been so valuable to me. It still is. But five years ago, I just really felt like I was losing the battle for resilience. And I really felt like, okay, stress was beating me up so bad that even when I could get my fitness together, or maybe my health together, I was never whole, if you will.

[00:08:08.570] – Allan

And what I really liked about your book was that it sort of took that whole concept of you're one being and how you take care of your body, it's all connected, and your breath is everything. It's where life and everything happens. And so as you got into this and I'll just say I've read a lot of anatomy books, as you might imagine, as a personal trainer and everything else, and I've read a lot of books about the systems of the body. This is a master class. If you're interested in learning more about your body, this is the book for you.

[00:08:41.830] – Jill

Oh, I'm going to take you on the road with me, Allan, can you do my intros everywhere? That's really awesome. Thank you so much for connecting with it in that way. And just last night I was checking this is coming out after the book is out, but we're in our final four days of prior to publication right now as we record this, and last night it was number one in medical anatomy and anatomy on Amazon. I certainly never, ever in my wildest dream, by the way, my dad's a doctor, so he is like, finally my doctor. But she could have been. Would have been. And not to scare people, the Anonymous is done in, I think, a very accessible way. Those were illustrations that my goodness, I think there's probably five to seven drafts on many of them to just keep finding what's essential, what's going to be able to connect off the page and into people's bodies, because that's really the translation that I want. I want people to have a sense of embodiment through the visual tour of the book. So I'm really glad that that landed with you.

[00:09:45.560] – Allan

It did, because as I was getting into it, I would ask myself the question, I'm like, do we need to go this deep into the anatomy? And then once you started talking about the why this works, we needed that. We needed that basis. And part of what I like about it is there's beauty in the complexity. And what I mean by that is so many people want an easy button. Just tell me how to breathe. And it's like, well, your body actually already knows how to do most of it.

[00:10:14.530] – Jill

We've gotten, in our own way, of being able to have efficient breathing in so many ways. And just to your point about, well, I just want it to be easy, my mother doesn't have easy breathing. My mother is asthmatic. She's been a lifelong asthmatic, chronic asthma. It wasn't until her mid 60s that she even knew how to locate her diaphragm, and it was because I was on a show. My friend Kelly Starrett, the founder of the Ready State, formerly Mobility Wad, he had me come onto a broadcast that he did through a platform called Creative Live. He had me come in and do a seminar for him on fascia and an hour long seminar on breath. This was really revolutionary more than ten years ago. These were topics that really were, I guess, not that hot yet. Although fascia was definitely trending, I showed the participants how to palpate their diaphragm, which is really simple. In fact, you can do it right now as you're listening. You just take your little paws, your little hands and you swing them around the bottom of your rib cage where you can get in you can't get into your ribcage easily all around it, but at the Costa margin, where you have that kind of teardrop shape on the right and left sides of your abdomen.

[00:11:25.120] – Jill

You can get your fingers underneath there. And if you kind of slump over, your fingers can piano play up against all the muscles you're touching, which is obviously your skin, some of the fatty layer of your abdomen, your rectus abdominals, your obliques, your transverse abdominals. But behind all that is your respiratory diaphragm. And then you take a breath in. If you breathe into your hands, you breathe in towards your gut, you'll actually feel the diaphragm contract and try to push your fingers out. So I taught them that process. And I get off stage and there is an enthusiastic message from my mother and she's ecstatic and weeping and so intense, and she says, oh my God, I just felt my diaphragm for the first time in my life. So this is an asthmatic who has lived with lifelong problems and pain and so many other impacts from her breathing posture and from the strain of breathing. But no doctor had ever told her about the primary muscle of respiration. This is also echoed in the very front of the book where I have an incredible yoga professional, a fitness professional, lewis Jackson, he wrote The Ford.

[00:12:30.760] – Jill

He was a lifelong asthmatic and he walked into one of my seminars in his mid 40s, and he had the exact same revelation why didn't anybody teach the asthmatic kid about the diaphragm? He had been dependent on inhalers. It had created a ton of shame for him around at parties, around friends. He was like hiding it all the time. Didn't want to be seen as that sickly, asthmatic kid. But nobody had even in his all his yoga training, nobody had actually described or help him map out the muscles of respiration and what that meant to his whole body. So anyway, so I really do think that just enough anatomy and there's a little bit more than enough, as you mentioned. But it really helps you to map yourself, connect to your core. The lining of your life are your breathing muscles. And why should we over focus on our quads and our biceps? My opinion, the diaphragm is the most important muscle of the body. I mean, I'm saying that above the heart. All right? So that's where I'm coming from here.

[00:13:33.840] – Allan

Well, they're definitely first cousins. They're close.

[00:13:38.630] – Jill

Yes. Well, the diaphragm happens to be a mattress for the heart. The heart sits directly on top of it, and the diaphragm is like humidam Humi dumb. Look how I'm massaging you, Mr. Hart.

[00:13:48.240] – Allan

Above me right now. One of the reasons why I got really excited about the breathing and the body and this whole conversation was because I've always thought of breathing as related to stress. That's when I noticed my breathing. That's when I felt like I had to start paying attention to my breathing, was in those moments of acute stress and then realizing I'm not breathing the way I'm supposed to when I'm in periods of chronic stress. That was me working in the corporate world and realizing I've sat here all day long and I'm actually not breathing most of the day. By not breathing, I mean actually not taking in deep breaths, getting oxygenated, just literally almost in a coma, sitting there and this shallow, almost like panting little dog breath, if you will. And I see it. We've got pets, and whenever they're distressed, they immediately go into that low breathe. And I'm like, that was me 25 years of my life. My days were that kind of breathing. How does breathing and stress resilience pull that together for us so we can understand not just that it's affected, but how we can use it to affect our stress?

[00:15:00.660] – Jill

Sure. Breathing is one of the greatest switches that you can use in your body to be able to pull yourself literally from state to state. You can breathe in such a way that you are up regulated, you're hyper, you're hyped, you're pumped. You can also breathe in ways that calm you down, that pull you out of high stress states. Because breathing is one of these amazing functions in the autonomic nervous system that isn't just autonomic, it's not just automatic. You can actually regulate it. And that's what makes breathing as a health tool so profound. Because healing doesn't take place in a sympathetic, upregulated high pipe state. Healing actually takes place in the rest, digest and recovery. And if we're dampening our ability to enter into parasympathetically, relaxed, rest recover states, then allostatic load the sum total of our stresses, just the pie chart of that is out of proportion. And eventually those lead to stress related diseases. And Ailments, the global indices of disease are all pointing towards that. All cause mortality is increasing due to anxiety related and depression related issues. And so it's important for us as a species to pay attention to what are the levers that this levers is one of the things I think Kelly talks about.

[00:16:24.110] – Jill

What are the levers that we can play around with to see if we can foster a habitat in our body that is okay with that other side of the stress spectrum? That other side of the stress spectrum is our rest, digest, recover, recuperate. So the book while the book is called Body by Breath, the word body is also in there. It's not just breath as the only tool. There are many ways that the book outlines how to use your body and also use some tools to augment a parasympathetic or a relaxation response. And breath is one of the major tools that is used. But the whole body stress is a body wide experience. It's not just in your head. And you know that because you get these really tight shoulder muscles. Your jaw clenches, your sleep starts to be disturbed. We have this body wide expression of stress. So typically one of the easiest and simplest ways to adjust your breath rhythm is to try to put more gas and more duration into your exhales. So long exhale breaths. And this is just a very simple thing. You just think about blowing out more candles on the birthday cake than you already have.

[00:17:37.200] – Jill

So maybe you inhale a certain quantity of air. It doesn't matter how much it is, but you just want to make sure that your exhale is longer than your inhale just to start to grow your capacity. That comfort of getting out of a stress breath, which is more that panting breath or a very shallow breath.

[00:17:55.430] – Allan

Yeah, you used the term in the book and it kind of clicked in my head as I figured something this would but what it was, was you said turning your off switch on. Okay. I would go through my whole day on switches on and you would think, okay then. Now what I'm trying to do is I'm driving home from work and also still in a stressful situation, but I'm trying to then turn off. I never thought of it as other than like if my boss called me up to his office, I would start doing box breathing in the elevator just so I wouldn't do a fight or flight in front of him because I couldn't I had to go face him. But it was just interesting that you put this concept in there because it was just something it was a tool. When I was working in corporate, I just didn't have can you talk a little bit about turning your off switch on?

[00:19:02.620] – Jill

Yeah, in the book I call it turn on your off switch. Thank you so much for asking me about that little lingo statement because it really does summarize the whole book. The book is about recovery, and the off switch in this case is the parasympathetic nervous system. So when we're in a highly stressed state, our sympathetics are basically running rampant and we're responding to that mostly unconsciously. How to take control of that excessive on is to actually try to stimulate a specific nerve called the vagus nerve, which is really the governor of the parasympathetic nervous system. So the ways that we go into the mellow are, one, by turning the on off, but turning the off on. And I know that's very confusing, but it's a little bit of neuroanatomy. So we want to do things that stimulate our vagus nerve because once the vagus nerve starts to come online and we can do this in many different ways and I outline this throughout the book, what happens is the arousal of the parasympathetic nervous system, it down regulates the sympathetic nervous system. So there is a switcheroo happening in terms of what effects start to happen from the brain to the body and also from the body to the brain.

[00:20:28.690] – Jill

So in the book I outline a five phase or five specific things to think about if you're trying to turn on your off switch. And I call this the five P's, and I think it's a very easy formula for people to get comfortable with. It's a five P's of the parasympathetic nervous system. It's a process. It brings you Ps. Lots of p's in there. But here are the five P's. The first P is perspective. Perspective has to deal with a mindset. It's very helpful if you're going to try to flip your stress switch that you bring in your adult brain. You bring in a host that allows your body based experience to occur, because once you start to decrease the speed that's happening in the sympathetic nervous system, you're going to start to have a lot of feelings. The adrenaline and the acceleration in our sympathetic nervous system blunts us to a lot of the subtler senses in our body. This brings me on a quick sidebar into our physiological sensing system is called interoception. And I highlight this in a big way within the book. But basically, these subtle senses are the physiology of your body speaking to you.

[00:21:50.690] – Jill

And so it's helpful to have a mindset that welcomes those feelings to occur, because sometimes those feelings are a physical feeling and other time those feelings are emotions. So we want to be a welcome host to our experience. So in a mindset in that perspective chunk, you would want to say things to yourself that are positive, like, all of me is welcome here or I embody my body. So you're going to welcome your experience.

[00:22:16.600] – Jill

The Second P is place. The place is not always ideal, right? You're in the elevator on the way to speak with your boss. You're in line at an airport, just hoping you can get off the standby list. So place is not always ideal. It can be cacophonous, it can be loud, it can be bright, it can be hostile. But in an ideal setting let me talk about the ideal setting for the parasympathetic nervous system, we're in a place that is warm, that is dark. Those are some of the things that the parasympathetic nervous system really likes. And if you can't be in those places, maybe if you're in a loud, clangy, bright place, you can pretend fantasize.

[00:22:55.790] – Jill

So maybe cast, if it's safe to do so, cast yourself in an imaginary space. It is very helpful. All right, so place.

[00:23:03.550] – Jill

The third P is position. Typically, for position, we want to get grounded. We want to get low to the ground. You could do this by reclining on a bed or a sofa or lying back in a chair. But to really maximize position, especially for the vagus nerve, we actually want to try to get our head lower than our heart, lower than our pelvis. And what this looks like, if you're in a reclined position is just elevating your pelvis up a few inches. I like to elevate my pelvis on my tool. It's called a gorgeous ball. But you can put your pelvis on a stack of books. Body by Breath is a very thick book. You can always put your pelvis on the Body by Breath book. Or a yoga block. We love those. Or a rolled up pillow or everybody's got something they can stick their tush on top of. And what that gentle slope does is it takes advantage of a neural feedback loop called the baroceptor reflex. And what the baroceptor reflex is, is there are nerve sensors in the sides of your neck and the carotid artery that are vaguely mediated.

[00:24:04.330] – Jill

And when your body starts to sense due to gravity that too much blood is flowing towards your brain, your brain can't afford that. Your body can't afford that. And so these stretch sensors in these arteries send a very quick feedback loop through the vagus nerve to the brain and suddenly there's a state shift. Your stroke rate will slow down so your heart will slow down and your breath pace will slow down and all the arteries within your body constrict. And this is to minimize blood flow to the brain so that you maintain your blood barrier, your blood brain barrier. But the consequence of that, the result of that is a mellowing. You get chill by doing this gentle slope.

[00:24:41.830] – Jill

The fourth P is what most people think the book is going to be entirely about is pace of breath. And I already mentioned to you the pace of breath. You typically want to have exhales that are longer than inhales. Although there are paradoxical breathing patterns that are reversed that can be very effective too, but for the most part exhales longer than inhales.

[00:25:01.720] – Jill

And then the fifth P has been my specialty for a very long time palpation. And then in this case, palpation, I teach self massage strategies that down regulate the sympathetics and up regulate the parasympathetic nervous system through gentle touch, through gentle motion and through depth of pressure, comfortable depth of pressure, especially into certain regions of the body where the vagus nerve is available. So we can affect the vagus nerve through manual or through mechanical means through pressure.

[00:25:33.350] – Allan

So as we work through this and we could do it as a stress resilience or we can just do it for an overall resilience perspective, sure, I like that. There's some tools out there I like whenever there's something that makes it to where someone can beyond just knowing that I feel less stressed, I'm sleeping better, those types of things. We can actually measure our performance, if you will, as far as if we're trying to do this. And one of the ways but interestingly enough, it was athletes where I've heard this from, they want to make sure that they are recovered enough to go into training because they train so hard. They use heart rate variability to measure basically their recovery. But it's a tool we could use if we're really stressed out. We're in a high stress job, and we want to make sure we're doing the right things and we're not overstressing ourselves. Because I've had some clients that are, like, wanting to train harder and harder, and I'm like, okay, you're already in a chronically stressful environment. Adding this extra stress of a harder workout to your workload, that's a load. That's a stress load.

[00:26:41.410] – Allan

We call it allostatic load. It just adds up. And workouts can be good hormetic. They can be good for you, but they can also be a part of the problem. Can you tell us a little bit about heart rate variability and what that's measuring and how we could use it as a tool to understand our stress management?

[00:27:01.260] – Jill

Sure. Well, I don't wear tech. My husband does, so I get to collect data. But I don't know. I'm very old fashioned. I want as few rays near me as possible, and I tend to do my own heart rate analysis through interoception. So I'll do different heart rate tests by sensing my pulse and also checking my heart rate. So I just wanted to put that out there because I know a lot of people are checking their reads. Okay, what heart rate variability is the beat to beat changes within your heart. So your heart actually, when you're amplified, your heart has a very regular beat threshold. So let's say when you're running, maybe you're at 120 to 130 beats per minute, right? It's very rhythmical. It's very on. And that's because the excitation within the body subdues or prevents the vagus nerve from firing upon the heart. When you're in a relaxed state, when you're not in an amplified stress state, the vagus nerve should be firing upon the heart, and that creates a sympathetic parasympathetic toggle within the heart itself. But when we are in sympathetic states, it dampens the strength of the vagus nerve signaling to the heart.

[00:28:27.620] – Jill

And so we get the steady, steady, steady state heart rate. When people are so they're psyched, like, oh my God, it was 130 beats per minute, but you're in high stress state, which we need for output and for exercise. But after that stress state, you should be able to come down. And the faster you come down, of course, without crashing, but you should be able to come down and that your heart then goes back to its normal between 60 and 80 beats per minute. Much of this is dependent on so many different factors, but the reason we have these beats to beat changes is because of the effect of the vagus upon the heart. When you have very highly trained athletes that also do a lot of recovery work, their resting heart rate can be lower than 60, and they're extremely healthy. And that is a signal. It's a sign of good vagal tone, meaning that when their body doesn't need to be amped up, it's not sympathetic. They have their parasympathetic resilience in place, helping them. To recover, rest and regenerate.

[00:29:28.550] – Allan

And the value of that, when you start thinking about it from a historical perspective, is you're walking through the jungle or through the woods or through the field. You're just calm, everything's cool, and then something happens. You need to be able to respond quickly. But we're not supposed to stay there. We're supposed to then get back to that rest and recover. Because if we spend too much time and we're not recovering well enough, there's going to be a time we don't get away because we didn't recover well enough to perform well enough when it was time to do that. And unfortunately, most of us are spending so much time in a chronic stress state that, like you said in the book, I think turning on that off switch is kind of an important thing that we've forgotten how to do.

[00:30:16.390] – Jill

Yeah, I think that I would like to see people engage in recovery based practices that really do impact the body and its structure in very therapeutic ways so that it builds what I call their endurance. For parasympathetic tolerance, I do tend to find that people, many people, not all the people that come into my studio, but many of the people that come to work with me, have been so conditioned to upregulation that when they enter into parasympathetic states, their body feels unsettled, it feels threatening, it feels scary. And for these people, meditation, like stillness, meditation, has been abysmal and really is something that is uncomfortable, causes the wiggles, causes the fidgets. And what I try to do is help those high anxiety individuals to find recovery based practices that aren't triggering another sympathetic response. I think some of the there's a chapter in the book around the vagus nerve, and I also highlight the work of Dr. Stephen Porges, who has a theory called Polyvagal theory, which is, please read the book so you can understand polyvagal theory. It's a little difficult to explain in short, shrift on a podcast, but incidentally, he was the first person to quantify HRV.

[00:31:40.570] – Jill

The many things that Dr porsche talks about is the evolution of the vagus nerve and how our bodies, as humans, have appropriated it from reptilian all the way up to primate and mammal and primate to help us identify these body based feelings and, I guess, harness the impact that the vagus nerve can have on our overall health and well being.

[00:32:09.130] – Allan

Yeah, well, the key of it to me is and it's one of the reasons why I think your book is so valuable, is it really does kind of explain we're not just this physical thing, we're not just this emotional thing. And it's really hard to talk about one without talking about the other if you really understand how it all works, because your emotions affect your physicality and your physicality affects your emotions. And all the trauma and all the history and everything that you've had, it's all a part of this jumble of what we become as a person. And if we want to be healthier, it's important for us to just understand how all that works and to find the right ways for us to turn off when we need to be off and turn on when we need to be on. And having these tools, I think, is extremely valuable. Now, in the book, you do share all of these exercises and that was really when the rubber hit the road. So the lessons that you get in the front half of the book are really important. Take your time, go through those. It's a reference manual for how your body works and all of this, then the exercises are excellent and very well photographed and set up so you understand exactly what's being done.

[00:33:25.890] – Allan

And now you know why you're doing it. Which for a lot of people looking at exercises, like, why does she have her hips way up on that and her feet way up on the wall? And that looks uncomfortable. You're not staying there forever. You're just staying there long enough to let a few things happen and settle within your body. But again, as we start looking at these exercises, you had one set and I was like, okay, this is important. I don't know that I'll be able to get my wife to do these exercises. But anyone that's struggling with sleep, I think, has found themselves and their brain is racing and they're suddenly in this almost a fight or flight mode. 02:00 in the morning. And how can they turn it off? Because because they might not be able to completely get up and do a whole workout at 02:00 in the morning. But you do have one. You call it Let sleep. I don't know if you know the full workout, but can you talk about a few things that people can do to help their body just go back into a rest state and go back to sleep easier?

[00:34:27.190] – Jill

Yes. So for that acute wake up, I feel for you. I mean, I feel for all the over 40 fitness people, especially females, that are waking up. Hormone changes are no joke. And as a woman in my perimenopausal years right now, I was absolutely astonished at how radical perimenopause changed sleep for me. So I will say, on a global level, one of the ways that I've dealt with the problematic early morning waking for myself is I've adjusted my bedtime. Because no matter what time I would go to bed, I'd wake up right around 04:00 a.m. And so I decided no more 10:00 p.m. Night time. I go to bed at 8:30. Now, with my kids, that's really helped.

[00:35:22.000] – Allan

Me that's my normal bedtime is 8:30 9:00.

[00:35:26.410] – Jill

If my body wants to wake up at four and my acute practices aren't helping me get back to sleep, then I just need to listen to this bigger sort of chronological change that's happening and work with it rather than against it. But that being said, I do have a few things that I do if I have other wakings during the night, and breathing is very helpful. Here's what I'll say first. Gosh, there's so much I want to say about sleep because I think one of the biggest things we miss, or our bodies miss, is that there is a natural melatonin wave that just comes up in your body right? In the morning we have our cortisol wave, and at night we have melatonin wave. And if you push past that melatonin wave because you really want to finish the episode, or you really want to finish reading the chapter, or you've got to send five more emails or you haven't finished with your food prep, you're going to have a rocky sleep. So it is very critical to attune yourself to interceptively. So this brings us back to interception physiological listening, to be able to pick up on that wave and know that that wave has something to say to you, which is lights out.

[00:36:46.920] – Jill

And so if we miss the wave, it's going to jank up our sleep. So that's one, don't miss the wave. If you miss the wave and you are having fitful sleep, there are a couple of different breath practices that have been proven to be an anxiety reliever and a parasympathetic inducer. And this just came out recently in oh, gosh, I can't remember. OD, I think it was in cell. And it was a study done by Melissa Balaban, David Spiegel and Dr. Andrew Hooverman up at Stanford, and they compared a few different breathing strategies against mindfulness meditation. And I'm bringing this into the sleep realm. The breathing practice is called cyclic sighing. And in cyclic sighing, what you would do just stay in bed. You don't need to move position, you don't need to do anything fancy. What you do is you take a big inhale, pause the inhale for a moment, and then take a second inhale on top of that so you're completely full, and then exhale slowly out through your nose or mouth in body by breath. I call this a chocolate chip breath or chocolate chip cookie breath. And this was a breath I designed in an acute way for my six year old, who started to get panic attacks within months of the pandemic happening and was frightening to watch her go through the inability to breathe and was really struggling.

[00:38:20.120] – Jill

And she doesn't have asthma, there's no other. It was all stress and emotion related due to the changes in the pandemic. And so what I had her do is take a gigantic sniff of warm chocolate chip cookies, try to just fill her body with that chocolate chip cookie scent, pause for a moment and then take an extra kind of cheat sniff, get more scent in, and then exhale slowly and let it go. And so the cyclic sighing breath, you don't have to imagine chocolate chip cookies because that might be too arousing for you in bed. But know that it's a two part inhale followed by a long extended exhalation. And this triggers a reflex in the brain stem of a certain area of the brain stem called the parafacial nucleus. That was discovered by Dr. Jack Feldman, who is a respiratory neuroscientist. But this also is a stoker of our parasympathetic nervous system. So you wake up, your mind is spinning, you start to fidget, start doing these cyclic thighs. Don't count them, just keep doing them and you might find yourself drifting off to sleep. So that's one that's very helpful. There's another breath strategy.

[00:39:31.030] – Jill

Here's the other thing. If you have a partner in bed, there's a little stress there because you start to realize that you can hear your breath go through your nose. So maybe don't let them sleep with you so you can do your breath practice and not wake them up. The other breath strategy I like to do is in the book also, it's called Psychic Alternate Nostril Breathing. This is the one that works for me. It's called an Anolum Vilom. And Anolum Vilom, you imagine the breath alternating from nostril to opposite brain hemisphere and then moving to the other side of the brain and then out the opposite nostril. So you're basically creating a little loop de loop of imagined air pattern or imagined airflow. And I don't know why it works for me, but it does. Ultimately, there are about 23 different breath strategies in the book. You might find one that works for you. So even though I'm saying, oh, well, science said cyclic size are the thing that's going to help coax you down, it may not be true for you because you might have a paradoxical reaction to any of these breath strategies.

[00:40:37.920] – Jill

That's one of the things that makes this so interesting. The other thing I would say is prior to sleep is to get in during the day some recovery based practices because there is a build up over time of your ability to click into that parasympathetic mode. So I think it's a good idea to start to build your tolerance for relaxation earlier in the day. And then you might find that there's a carryover at night. There's other individuals that I work with that find doing the fascia facial work. So in body by breath, there's some head, neck and face rollouts to help massage and stimulate different vagally mediated muscles of the face, neck and head. And so doing really gentle work on the jaw, the temples, even deep into the sides of the neck near the carotid, these can be things that, again, down regulate, sympathetics up regulate parasympathetics and help you nod off. And if you're a jaw clencher, it's very helpful to do the jaw massage close to bedtime to just change the resting tone of those muscles.

[00:41:49.650] – Allan

Yeah, I bring up sleep a lot because I do believe it's critical. It's just one of those big things. And I know that a lot of us over 40, particularly women, struggle with sleep. I'm the guy who's falling asleep each time I've taken yoga, and they use the non sleep. What is it called? Yeah, I'm out.

[00:42:14.250] – Jill

So that's interesting, too. That's a whole other chapter. So there's four tools. The tools are breath, breathe, roll, move, non sleep deep breast, also known as yoga nidra. And there is that category, or there is that segment of the population that when they go into non sleep deep breaths, they actually bypass the focus and they just pass out. And so that would be like an excessive vagal dominance, the non sleep deep breath. From where I'm coming from, if you need to sleep, you should sleep. I mean, that really is an indicator to me of absolute exhaustion. But ultimately, with non sleep deep breaths, we wouldn't be able to train ourselves to maintain attention, to maintain focus on our physiology in this interesting liminal state. And I detailed that in the chapters.

[00:43:00.230] – Allan

Yeah, it was one of those things where if it was a calm yoga session, because I did have one that was like combat yoga, and that one I didn't I was bruised up. I was beat up by the time that one was over. But, yeah, it was kind of interesting. But most of them because it's just this relaxing the breathing, this and I'm laying flat on my back. I'm like, out.

[00:43:24.530] – Jill


[00:43:27.730] – Allan

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

[00:43:40.230] – Jill

Number one, I'd say become aware of your breathing and which zone of respiration you tend to live in. So those zones of respiration I detail in the book, we have three zones the gut, the rib cage, and the stuff above the rib cage. And depending on becoming aware of where you're breathing is really step one towards adjusting yourself into, I think, a healthier, happier place. Number two would be help your body move and find something that commands your curiosity and focus within the movement. And so that could be body parts that you're interested in, or it could be a phenomenon outside of yourself, like a goal of being able to play with your grandchildren for the rest of your life. And then number three for being healthy, happy, and well is use self massage to regulate your emotions and help yourself physically.

[00:44:42.410] – Allan

And your book, Body by Breath details most of that, particularly the massage and the movements and everything else. So, Jill, if someone wanted to learn more about you or learn more about your book, Body by Breath, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:44:58.510] – Jill

We have a really helpful website, bodybybreath.com, that is everything about the book. My company is tuneupfitness.com, so people can also head to the website and check out the offerings there. We have filmed all hundred exercises within the book and those will be going up on the website eventually. I know we're in post production on that. I have lots of programs that also detail fascia and rolling. I have partner programs with my dear friend Kelly Starrett, also Tom Myers, who is one of the godfathers of functional fascia understanding, and then my friend Katie Bowman. We have a program called Walking Well. So there's lots of offerings and classes on the website and then there's lots of free stuff on YouTube, so cost is a barrier. I have so many free videos on YouTube that explain in very digestible chunks of the work. And you can find me on Instagram @thejillmiller. That's where I'm most active. But there's also teachers all over the planet. We have about 500 tune up fitness teachers that teach yoga, tune up, role model and body by breath methods. So you can find them by heading to the website of tuneupfitness.com and putting in your zip code.

[00:46:11.270] – Jill

And you can actually work one on one or in groups with our teachers.

[00:46:16.770] – Allan

Great. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/583, and I'll be sure to have the links there. Jill, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:46:28.430] – Jill

I'm so happy to connect with you. Thank you so much for welcoming me and for your deep interest in my book. I really appreciate it.

Post Show/Recap

[00:46:45.490] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:46:47.080] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. Every time I think I've heard everything about breathing, you have an interview with somebody that introduces yet another thing I haven't thought about. And it was just really interesting because in this discussion there was a moment where you were talking about having a longer exhale than the inhale. That was one thing that I just never thought too much about. But I was on a run over the weekend, running uphill, my heart's pounding because it was a challenging run. I was on on this trail and I'm like, okay, I'm going to try this. And I started to take some longer exhales and sharper inhales and I don't know, it was a hard run anyway, but I feel like at least it gave me something to focus on. And I did feel better. I felt a lot better once I was done with the hill. But it was an interesting practice that I actually used from your interview. So that was super cool.

[00:47:41.670] – Allan

Yeah. Key takeaway, kids, practice what you're going to do in the race. Don't just do it in the race.

[00:47:48.090] – Rachel

That's right. That is right.

[00:47:51.590] – Allan

All right. So it worked out pretty well with you breathing.

[00:47:55.750] – Rachel

It really does. And especially for runners, we have all these different conditions and whether you're running calm and in an easy pace or you're charging up hills or even windmilling down the hills, which is really fun, there's different moments where breathing in different patterns can have a real huge benefit while you're running or walking or doing whatever. So, yeah, it's always fun to listen to these different techniques and to put them into action to actually try them.

[00:48:24.390] – Allan

Well, what I really liked about this was that Jill's book was really just practical. Breath is a part of movement. Breath is a part of relaxation. Breath is a part of huge sleep. It's a part of everything. So the better you breathe, the better you're going to do in all of those things. And when you get that all kind of balanced out and you're breathing right the way your body was designed to breathe, using your diaphragm and using it correctly, then your body has what it needs as part of that whole, okay, I've got plenty of oxygen, I've got rid of enough of the carbon dioxide. My body doesn't have to feel like it's about to die. I can just relax a little bit more. And again, that's one of the keys. One of the keys for people who are really good at running is that they get adequate oxygen in and carbon dioxide, they get a right balance and they keep that right balance at what is basically a very low level of exertion for them. But they're moving really quick. So there's this disability. But then the other side of it is, well, they are going to put up with a whole lot of pain for that duration of that run.

[00:49:40.970] – Allan

But the breathing is the big piece because most of these runners, their resting heart rate is in the 40s when they're really pushing themselves, they might get their heart rate up to 150, whereas an average person, I get 150 just jogging down the street. But it's one of those things where breath is really a part of movement. It's part of all of it. There are some good exercises in here for you to go through and understand how to breathe better. And that's going to make everything else better.

[00:50:21.430] – Rachel

Oh, absolutely. And you just mentioned relaxation. And in every aspect of life when you've had a really tough day at work or you're frustrated with the kids or something is stressing you out. Really taking that time to practice some relaxation technique type of breathing. It sends your body into such a relaxed state so that your mind can actually think better and then you can problem solve a little better and not be so anxious about what's going on but actually have the wherewithal to deal with it properly. And I think few people just take you hear it all the time, just take a second, calm down. But if you actually did it, don't ever tell your wife to calm down. I'm just saying. But when you actually do take a second, take a deep breath, then it actually does put you in such a relaxed state that you can deal with troubles so much better. And I think that's missed on a lot of people.

[00:51:17.160] – Allan

Yeah, I agree.

[00:51:18.970] – Rachel

Great interview.

[00:51:20.230] – Allan

Thank you. Well, you'll talk next week, then?

[00:51:22.480] – Rachel

You betcha. Thanks.

Music by Dave Gerhart


The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Melissa Ball
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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


March 21, 2023

Create an extraordinary life after 50 with Michael Taylor

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

In his book, I'm Not Okay With Gray, Michael Tayler shows us how we can approach life and embrace all that it brings.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:44.470] – Allan

Hey, Rachel. How are you?

[00:02:46.540] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. Good. How are you today?

[00:02:48.630] – Allan

I'm doing all right. Kind of busy.

[00:02:51.470] – Rachel

Yeah. Busy is good.

[00:02:54.390] – Allan

Because we're rounding out the final bits of busy season here in Bocas. And so it's like a lot of moving still a lot of moving parts and this and that and just getting things just keeping things going and saying, okay, now I've got to spin this plate, and then I got to run over here and spin that plate. Just being pulled in a few different directions, but it's good. We've had a really good season at Lula's, and so I'm just really excited that that's going well. So just keep the plate spinning.

[00:03:28.830] – Rachel

That's awesome. Well, good. Glad everything's going well at Lula's.

[00:03:32.150] – Allan

How are things up there?

[00:03:33.620] – Rachel

Good. We are also kind of busy with the maple syrup boil still happening, still collecting. I got to do my rounds later this afternoon.

[00:03:43.260] – Allan

That is the funniest thing. Is that okay, you're keto and you're talking about maple syrup.

[00:03:48.080] – Rachel

Oh, my gosh. Yeah, it's funny. We tell everybody we have a lot, and actually, let's see, this year we'll have had about four boils, so we should end up probably close to about maybe four gallons, maybe not quite four full gallons of maple syrup. And you're right, we don't eat it. We share it. We give it to everybody. But the time outdoors is really special, and this type of little homesteading habit that we have of turning maple SAP into syrup is such a really neat, lost kind of art form. We like to share it with our friends, and so we like to have the kids come and see what it's all about. And it's just a really fun thing to do and to share. It's just fun.

[00:04:37.880] – Allan

Well, cool. All right. Are you ready to talk to Michael Taylor?

[00:04:42.820] – Rachel



[00:05:40.110] – Allan

Michael. Welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:05:43.230] – Michael

Hello, Allan. Thanks for having me. I'm really excited about the conversation.

[00:05:47.070] – Allan

Well, I haven't shaved in a few days, and it's starting to itch. I'm going to be shaving pretty quick here because another thing that happens when I don't shave, being 57 years old, somehow or another, you don't seem to have this problem, but I have a lot of grays that come out. And your book is called, I'm Not Okay With Gray: How to Create an Extraordinary Life After 50. Being 57, and I said, that title just kind of kicks you and says, okay, that's what I want, other than I'm okay with the gray, just sometimes not okay with where that takes us mentally.

[00:06:26.010] – Michael

Got you. Interestingly enough, the way the title came about is I actually would be fully gray, but I dye my hair, right. And so a friend of mine and I were having a conversation about dyeing my beard, my goatee, and he said, man, why you dye your beard, why don't you just go gray? And I said, well, I'm not okay with Gray. And as soon as I made the comment, I went, wow, that is a cool title for a book. And so as an author, what I usually do, whenever I have a cool title that pops up like that, I make a little note on my phone, right? I said no. I'm going to write a book called I'm Not Okay With Gray. And fast forward a year and a half or so, and here I am promoting the book.

[00:07:07.210] – Allan

And it's a great book if you're someone that's kind of at that point where you're struggling with a lot of where you are in the world, there's a lot in this book to look at. And I think one of the reasons that this is really an important topic is we get to or around the age of 50, some of it's a little earlier, some is a little bit later, but we start asking ourselves those deeper questions, is it all worth it? Where am I going? And sometimes it's because our kids are no longer kids anymore, and they're off running and doing their lives. Sometimes we've gone through some pretty drastic changes that midlife will often either spur in us to do, or they just almost seem to happen because we're actually looking ahead instead of feeling stuck and looking backwards for the good or the bad. But one of the words, the word you used in this book as you kind of went through the subsections, and when I first saw that the table contents because I actually read all the books, and I'm going through the table contents, and I'm like, okay, he's using this word.

[00:08:16.350] – Allan

He's using this word. And then when I start actually reading what you had written, I'm like, you could not have used a better word because you think about the title, I'm Not okay with Gray, and that's like, okay, well, what are you going to do about it? Well, you can dye your hair. Okay, great. That doesn't change anything fundamentally in your life, but you use the word embrace, and I think that is such a powerful word. As I was kind of sitting there, I got chills now thinking about how important that word is as we look to change our lives and just what the word embrace means. So I wanted to dive into your head a little bit about that word because you obviously chose it. You're an author and a speaker. You chose that word on purpose. This isn't an accident. Let's talk about that word from your perspective.

[00:09:08.510] – Michael

Well, first of all, the title had absolutely nothing to do with hair color. The title really is about I'm committed to empowering men and women over 50, right? To change their mindsets about aging so they can make the rest of their lives the best of their lives. Okay, so the title, again, is kind of a catchy title, but in reality, it's really about changing our mindsets. And as a former atheist, there was a time in my life where I had absolutely no I was completely close to the idea that there was something bigger than me out there. Right. Well, I went on this amazing journey, found my own spiritual connection. But what embrace is for me, it's about incorporating, bringing into your awareness, new ideas. And so when I say embrace, there's so many talking heads and experts out there telling you, you should do this, you should do that. I'm not trying to tell you to do anything. I'm making a suggestion for you to embrace this idea, this different way of looking at things, so that if you're willing to do that, I believe you can change your life. But we have to be willing to embrace these new ideas, which can be difficult for some, but I don't think anything changes until we embrace new ways of thinking, believing and behaving.

[00:10:36.160] – Michael

And so that's why I focused on that word.

[00:10:38.570] – Allan

Yeah. And like I said, I think it's just a really a powerful word because you're not telling people a path. This is the path to the extraordinary life. This is what you have to do. Just do these ten things and your life will be better. What you're saying is the world is the world. Sometimes it's changing in ways that we don't necessarily agree with or want. We have to control what we can control, and we have to put into our lives what we want to have in our lives. And we've got to not have things in our lives that we want out of our lives. And so the idea of embracing things and looking for the good in them, I think, is really a powerful way of approaching this, because there are going to my elbow hurts, my knee hurts. Well, my hip hurts. And we could embrace that and we can talk about that all day, or we can really kind of get into deeper conversations about who we are and why we're here and what we're trying to accomplish with, like you said, the second half of our lives. Because if you're over 50 and you're listening to this, there's a high probability you might just live another hundred, another 50 years with medical science the way it is.

[00:11:50.660] – Allan

And wouldn't it be a shame to not live that second half even close to the first half when all of your horror stories, you sit down, you talk about all the hardships and the things you had in your life, and I think I had these things and they're in my life. And I can say the whole question, would you go back and relive your life again? And how would you change it? It's like, I don't even want to think about that. I don't even want that. If you told me I could keep living my life the way I am. Or I could go back and live it again. I'd probably just live it where I'm at. I'd be what I am.

[00:12:31.390] – Michael

Yeah, but here's the thing that I think a lot of people are missing. We live in a society and culture that loves bad news. Amazing we focus so much attention on what's wrong with the world. But see, my belief is that there are a lot more things that are right with the world that are wrong with it. And one of the things that's really right with the world is as a human being, we are moving into a lot of people don't realize that they're predicting in the next 20 years or so, the average lifespan is going to be 120 years old. People are going to be living longer because of technology, because of they're doing DNA sequencing and all these cool things. They're doing it with the technology. So the question becomes, if we're going to be living that long, how are we going to live the second half of our lives? And so my personal belief I'm 62. I'll be 63 this year. But honestly, man, I really feel like I'm still in my thirty s. And when I say feel like that, it's not just physically, it's just emotionally, psychologically, spiritually. I just feel alive.

[00:13:45.370] – Michael

And I know that that's what a lot of people are hungry for. That feeling of aliveness. And you'll never get that feeling of aliveness from how much money you have in the bank, how big your house is, what kind of car you drive. It's an internal process of connecting with our authentic selves. And so again, I have set an intention, I plan on living to be 100 years old at least. I just want to get the three digits, if nothing else, just from my own goal setting. Whatever I want to say I'm 100. That's kind of cool.

[00:14:25.570] – Allan

Yeah. But the problem is there'll be dozens and dozens of us standing right next to you because a lot of us are going to get there. But when we get there, I think this is what scares a lot of people is that we might not have taken care of the vehicle that's going to get us there.

[00:14:45.370] – Michael

There you go. There you go. And that's the thing. It is my belief that there is nothing on this planet that is more amazing than the human body. The human body, in my opinion, I call it the ultimate vehicle, right? And we sometimes forget that it is the only vehicle on the planet that actually gets stronger the more we use it. And so if we don't use it, it begins to atrophy. And so the people that are afraid of getting older, a lot of times it's because we're afraid of being incapacitated. We're afraid of being limped over with a cane or a crutch or whatever. So I'm saying, why not change our mindset? To say, you know what? I do want to live to be 100. And so what do I need to do to try to make sure that when I get there, I'm not incapacitated? Well, you have a perfect show. We got to take care of our health. We've got to take care of this. We've got to take care of this amazing physical body that we have. And so it's important for us to understand the idea that the body is perfect by design, right?

[00:16:01.960] – Michael

And we just have to be willing to do a few things to help it stay and run at its optimal level.

[00:16:09.030] – Allan

So in the book, you shared ten simple steps to take care of your physical body. Could you talk about a few of those, some of your favorite ones maybe?

[00:16:18.550] – Michael

Well, but let me tell you how I got on this health journey, though. This is a really cool story, okay? When I was 18 years old, I got my first full time job. I've always had a great work ethic and so forth. So I got this full time job. Well, at 18, I still wasn't willing to give up my partying lifestyle. I'd go out, I'd stay out at 3:00 4:00 in the morning, get up and be to work by eight. Well, sometimes I'd even spend a night in my car in the parking lot of my job because I'd stayed out partying all night. Well, one morning I wake up, I take a shower, and as I'm showering, I feel this little twinge in my chest. Disregarded. Didn't pay attention to it. I get to work, and I was working at a building supply center and I'm loading these two by fours into this rack. And all of a sudden it felt like you remember the Rambo knife? Rambo? The big knife that he had? Well, it felt like the Rambo knife went through my heart. And it was so debilitating that I literally just blacked out. When I woke up,

[00:17:34.350] – Michael

I'm getting rolled to an ambulance again, and I'm only 19 years old. 18 years old. And they roll me to the ambulance. I wake up, I look around, don't know what's going on. So we get in the ambulance. The guys hooked me up with EKGs or whatever, and the guy says, you can slow down. There's nothing wrong with his heart. So I get to the hospital, there's the doctor. Once again, they've got me hooked up with all the EKGs and everything. The doctor walks in and he says, well, tell me what's wrong. I say, hey, man, you're the doctor. You tell me what's wrong. Did I just have a heart attack? He said, no, you didn't have a heart attack. Asking me questions. And he gets to the point about, well, can you think of anything that you've done differently recently? And I said, Well, I hadn't been sleeping a lot lately. And he goes, oh, tell me more about that. So I started explaining to him how I was doing what I was doing. And basically what happened was my body was so tired, it literally shut down. And what happened is the muscles in my chest cramped around my heart so intensely that it gave the symptoms of a heart attack because it basically cramped around my heart.

[00:18:50.560] – Michael

And boom, it just shut everything down temporarily. And that's when I blacked out. Well, he gave me some muscle relaxers, and I slept for like, 21 hours straight. But the amazing thing about that is that after that incident, I had a really interesting conversation with myself. And that conversation was, wow, my body is smarter than I am. I wouldn't slow down. So it took the necessary steps to make me slow down. And that was in 1978. And after that, I saw the movie Rocky. I wanted to be like Apollo Creed, so I got me a little set of cement weights and started working out. And I've been working out ever since. So in answer to your question, the things that we have to do, I think from a physical standpoint, I would point to exercise. But for me, the most important thing that I've done in regards to my health is something I started 30 years ago, which was meditation. Learning to meditate was the most life changing experience that I've ever had because I've always been an overthinker. And, man, I used to get these thinking headaches I couldn't turn my mind off. And so I took some classes and I learned how to meditate.

[00:20:12.040] – Michael

And it has been just amazing. Again, I've been doing it for 30 years after that. I think an important part that we don't talk about, especially as men, when we talk about our health, is our emotional health. I didn't recognize that. I had a lot of stuff. I had a lot of emotional baggage that I had to be willing to unpack. And one way that I unpacked it was I gained the courage to go to therapy and I unpacked a lot of that emotional baggage that I've been carrying around for a long, long time. And then that's when the third part is making sure I take care of my body, getting annual physicals, making sure that I'm paying attention to how my body feels. I'm not a health nut by any stretch of imagination, but I'm extremely healthy. Again, at 62, I can still bench press over 350. I go to the gym three days a week. So obviously, exercise is a really important part of that. So those would be the three things that I would point to. First of all, when I start talking about health, because you mentioned health in terms of wellness, but also happiness.

[00:21:22.410] – Michael

And I couldn't have gotten to that place of happiness if I, number one, hadn't learned to meditate. Number two, hadn't dealt with some emotional baggage that was keeping me held down.

[00:21:31.950] – Allan

Yeah, and I think that's kind of the crux of all this, the way I phrase it is this I want to be able to wipe my own butt when I'm 105. So buried in that is, yes, I do want to live past 100, but then I don't want my body to not be there for me. I want to be independent. I want to be able to take care of myself. I want to be able to do the basic things that I need to be able to do to be a functioning 105 year old. I'm obviously not going to be doing tough mudders and all that kind of crazy stuff then, but I want to make sure that I'm doing as much as I can to enjoy the life that I have, and that's going to require physical fitness, health, and all these other things. And I guess one of the things that drove me there and I want to talk about this, this is a whole chapter in your book, so we could probably talk for hours on this, I think, yes, the books might even just be about this. But one of the topics in your book, and one I think that's really overlooked in the way that most of us approach our lives and a lot of times, yes, even when we're in our 50s, is we don't embrace joy, passion, and purpose.

[00:22:46.630] – Allan

And I think as a result, just to me, as I start thinking about it, it's like, well, what else is there? But, but, you know, at the same time, but back up. And I said, well, okay, that's I I didn't I never thought about things this way before. I kind of had my moment of what I'd say, okay, I woke up and I figured out that I was not going in the direction I needed to be going, and I had to fix something. And that's, again, part of why I define things the way I do is because I understand I could be completely healthy and pass the test. You do the blood test, I'm like, oh, your model of health. I was in college, I had a similar story to you. I was leg pressing, and I had these, like, crazy swimmers going on in my eyes. I almost passed out doing leg press, not advisable. And I went to the doctor, and he's like, oh, you're healthy as a horse, was the words he said. You're as healthy as they come. And I'm like, no, my body's telling me something. My body is telling me.

[00:24:01.290] – Allan

And what it was is kind of the same thing. I was going to college, I was working, I was lifting, I was just doing too much and didn't realize and wasn't listening to my body. I wasn't listening to myself. And I think when you talk about embracing joy, passion, and purpose, that's what I've come to understand is why I'm here, why we're here. Can you talk a little bit about that? And how does one go about embracing joy, passion and purpose?

[00:24:30.230] – Michael

Well, let me back up just a little bit. So when I was 23, I was living the American dream. I had the house, the wife, the 2.5 kids and all that. And by society standards, I was successful within about a six and a half year time frame. That dream turned into a nightmare that went through divorce, bankruptcy, foreclosure, a deep state of depression. I was actually homeless for two years, living out of my car, and during the darkest period of my life, I received a miracle. I was sitting up late one night because I was too depressed to sleep. And I was sitting at the edge of my bed looking across the room at my bookshelf, when I happened to notice that every book on my bookshelf had something to do with getting rich or making money. And as I looked at those books, this question just popped in my head. Michael, what if he took all the energy and effort you've used in trying to get rich and simply figure out how to be happy? Now, as simplistic as that question may sound, it literally changed and saved my life in an instant. Something in me shifted, and all of a sudden my depression lifted.

[00:25:41.970] – Michael

And I had this amazing clarity that I was going to be able to rebuild my life, and it was going to become extraordinary. And what I realized after that conversation was all my life I had been chasing money and stuff, and so I had gained all the money and the stuff that I thought would make me happy, but I was miserable. So then what happened was I stopped reading books on getting rich and making money. I started reading books on psychology and philosophy and spirituality and metaphysics. I went on this amazing what I'll call my journey of transformation. And it was through that journey that I gained the courage to go to therapy and began unpacking some of the baggage that I talked about. And so for most of us, or shall I say a lot of us, especially as men, we have been conditioned to believe that we really have three primary responsibilities, what I call the three P's procreate, provide and protect. What society didn't teach us as men is how to connect. And in order to connect, we have to be in touch with our emotions, who we are as human beings, and the feeling, the feeling, that's the critical piece.

[00:27:01.420] – Michael

Because for a lot of men, the feeling is the F word. We don't want to talk about feelings because feelings are for women. But what I've come to understand is in unpacking all of my emotional baggage, I have to be willing to get in touch with and tap into my feelings and what that meant. And so when you start talking about joy, passion and purpose, if we aren't willing to unpack our emotional baggage, it's difficult, if not impossible, for us to fully feel and experience authentic joy because we've got it covered up with all this other stuff. We've got it covered up with competition. We've got it tied into trying to look good. We wear these masks as men. We hide behind these walls of invulnerability. We as men, we've got all these defense mechanisms against joy because we're trying to do the things society says we're supposed to do as men with the stuff. And so I had to be willing to unpack all of that. And in doing so, what I discovered, first of all, was this intense, deeply deep, deep feeling of joy that everyone has access to if we're willing to go deeply enough.

[00:28:26.050] – Michael

But again, it's a journey that few people are willing to take. But when we do, we get to a point where we realize we don't have to have anything outside of ourselves to be happy. We don't have to have the wife, we don't have to have the sex. We just have to have who we are. And there's joy in that. And so this has been a 30 year process, a 30 year journey that I'm still on. But what I can say, Allan, as I speak to you today, I am happier now than I've ever been in my life. My life is filled with joy. My passion, which is writing and speaking, I get to do that as a living, which is amazing. And last but not least, I'm fulfilling my divine purpose, because I think every human being has a unique purpose, and it is our responsibility to figure out what that is. And the only way we'll ever do that is to be willing to do our inner work, take that inner journey to wake up to and discover who we really are.

[00:29:35.190] – Allan

Yeah, I was the corporate guy. I was the guy who worked his way up, vice president before I was 39, this kind of thing. And I was miserable, just completely miserable. I had all this stuff. I had all this stuff, and I had all the money, and I felt great. I mean, you say, okay, I made more money. I got a raise, my bonus comes, all this stuff is great. But I was just miserable because I wasn't being authentic to myself. I wasn't being who I needed to be, and I could be great at a job, but that's all that defined me at that point in my life. And there was no passion to it anymore. There was no anything. It was just a point where I was like, okay, this is who I am, and this is what I do. And I can be really good at it, and I can feel good when people acknowledge that I'm good at it. But it just really didn't bring me together until I realized that knowing just one thing that helped me and being willing to share that one thing with someone else in an authentic, open way, where

[00:30:46.210] – Allan

I can say I was flawed. I was broken. I was miserable. While my path won't necessarily be your path, this is where I went. And what I'm doing now is every time I'm faced with a Pivot, if you will, something has to change. I got laid off from a corporate job, and I went home, and I told my wife, getting laid off from this job, I'm not going back. I don't like those people. I don't like who they make me. I don't like what they make me do. I don't like laying people off. I don't like the job that I had. What I like is helping someone else change their health and fitness. What I like is reading a book like yours and having this conversation, knowing that someone else is going to hear your message, and it's going to help them. I think too often we're like, well, yeah, but I've got the kids. Yeah. I'm like, fine, figure that out. But in the end, until you're really focused on who would be the best you, you could be right now, and what can you do, you talked about reading books on happiness and joy and psychology and those types of things.

[00:32:04.600] – Allan

You didn't immediately go to, wow, my depression is over, and I'm there. It was a journey. It was a journey that you took, and I really appreciate that you shared that in this book, because it's just kind of one of those things to say, no, happiness is not an overnight success thing. Joy is not an overnight success thing. It's built. It's built through experience, and it's built through authenticity, and it's built from, as you acknowledge in your book, diving deep and actually turning out some of the muck that you've buried back there that we're not supposed to talk about. We're supposed to just suck it up and keep moving forward because we're men, and that's what we do. My new thing, I'm good at carrying things because that's around the bed and breakfast, that's sort of my thing. I carry luggage upstairs and downstairs. I carry water bottles upstairs and downstairs because I'm the best equipped to do that. But that's not my passion. Yes, we need water upstairs. I don't mind taking water upstairs, but it's just knowing that, okay, within the realms of what I have control over, these are the best decisions for me and the people that I love.

[00:33:21.950] – Allan

And you had a Venn diagram, so if anyone's struggling with this, you actually have the diagram in the book where you can go through and say, okay, what do I enjoy? What are people going to value? What are they going to pay me for? What would I enjoy? What am I good at? What would other people pay me for? And what would benefit the world? And when you find that intersection, which is not something you just find today, but when you find that intersection and you're working in that space, it's pretty awesome.

[00:33:55.050] – Michael

Yeah. Because your purpose will be found at the intersection of that which you love to do and that which other people need. So when you take what you love to do, for example, you love inspiring people with your message and doing the radio show, right? And people need to hear what's possible. People need to hear examples of the challenges and the things that we go through so that they can know that, okay, if I'm going through some stuff, he got through it, so maybe I can get through. So in essence, what you're doing is you're being in service to humanity. And it is in being in service to humanity that we have a feeling of fulfillment. You can't get that feeling of fulfillment because you get a fat check, right? Okay,

[00:34:46.910] – Allan

nothing wrong with it. There's nothing wrong with a big fat.

[00:34:49.680] – Michael

Check, but nothing wrong with getting a big fat check. And it feels great to have money in your checking account. So please don't hear me say that money is bad in any way. But I can assure you, after having all the money and losing it all and now regaining it, thank God. But the feeling of knowing that I've impacted somebody's life in a positive way, for example, somebody sends me an email saying how I literally changed their life with my book. You can't put a price on that. The feeling of connectedness. And so I think for men, because actually, 80% of my books are targeted specifically to men. Because I believe the greatest challenge we have in our society today is to redefine manhood and masculinity. And for men, that's a really difficult thing to do because we're trapped in this antiquated paradigm of masculinity that men are really holding on to even though it's no longer sustainable. But now men are starting to wake up and they're going, you know what? Maybe there's a different way. And so they listen to a show like this, or they read one of my books, or they do something that goes, oh, damn, I've been doing the man thing all wrong.

[00:36:11.530] – Michael

Because here's the key. I think this is the key that most men will balk at. Vulnerability is a superpower. When we can be honest and authentic and vulnerable with ourselves and with others. It's a superpower. It's what allows us to connect. See, because you can't be relational if you're unwilling to be emotional. And emotions, the expression of emotions, is a vulnerable place, which men really struggle with. But I can assure you, when we get comfortable there, there's magic that happens. I wish I could have put it into words for men who go, There he goes, talking about those feelings again. No, but there's a magic that happens when you connect with who you really are. And then you create a space to allow others to do the same. Because our hearts connect. And there's a part of us that connects to each other. And then it's a beautiful thing to see men get past all the toughness, the alpha male kind of macho attitude and go, you know what? Maybe I'm a little scared right now, or maybe I'm a little sad right now and I just need to share and there's so much healing in that process.

[00:37:43.750] – Michael

But again, men are really struggling with it. But the good news is, again, I started writing back in 95, and back in 95, there were very few men talking about this new paradigm of masculinity that I'm talking about. But now there's unlimited coaches and programs and men are waking up, I believe. So just being on your show gives me another reason for optimism that you're even having this conversation with me today. And again, it just fills me with hope.

[00:38:12.690] – Allan

Well, you can't fix what you're not willing to admit is broken.

[00:38:19.550] – Michael


[00:38:20.530] – Allan

You can sit there and say, yeah, someone gets in your car and, hey, dude, what's what's that ping? I keep I keep hearing a ping. No, you don't hear nothing. You don't hear nothing. Everything's fine. Car is fine. Well, you're never going to fix that car because you're not willing to admit there's just something wrong. And your internal dialogue, you're telling yourself about that ping every day, but you're just trying to ignore it. And until you open up and go to that voice and say, okay, let's talk about this ping. What's going on here? And sometimes you need help with that and sometimes you can do that conversation on your own. But you get into your head and you're like, why am I the way I am? Why are things the way they are? And most of us, I think, will point to something we did really well. When I had my problems, I'm like, why do I suck so much at this? I'm so good at everything else or all these other things. Why is this thing because it was my health, it was my fitness, it was my relationships. I'm like, why is it that I can be the best at this corporate job?

[00:39:28.920] – Allan

I'm like, literally, it's almost like it just happens for me now. I don't even feel like I'm working at it. It just happens. And why am I so good at that? Why? But I've been able to do the hard, hard things that other people can't do or they know there's very hard, and I was able to do those. And then it came down to a basic word in my head, and it was commitment and it was me waking myself up and saying, Allan, you just haven't committed yourself to change. And until you do, you're going to keep being this. And until I told myself, well, no, this isn't good enough for me. I deserve better. And then again, I think I was fortunate. It took me eight years to have that conversation, but I think I was fortunate in that I recognized that being flawed was not what was holding me back. The flaw was the ping in the car that could be fixed, but I had to be willing to accept the ping to get fixed, if that makes sense to you.

[00:40:42.000] – Michael

Sure. And here's the thing. And we'll use the metaphor that the human body is like a vehicle, because if we're driving a vehicle and the check engine light comes on, it's letting us know.

[00:40:58.930] – Allan

One time my wife is like, well, yeah, it'll go off. Just keep driving.

[00:41:04.210] – Michael

And that's what we do. Right. We just ignore it. Right?

[00:41:08.200] – Allan


[00:41:08.470] – Michael

Well, see, the human body is always sending us signals that something needs to be looked at. For example, high blood pressure is a signal. What am I thinking of? Cholesterol. High cholesterol. These are all signals that the body is saying something's wrong, so you need to take care of it. And so the key is, number one, identify that something's wrong. Make a commitment that you're going to at least investigate what might be wrong. And this is where men fall short. I've heard so many men say, for example, prostate cancer. Prostate cancer, unfortunately, is very prevalent with black males. Right. And so I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who happened to be black about having a prostate exam. Man, I ain't going to have no prostate exam. Why not? No, what he didn't want to say is he was homophobic and he didn't want a guy sticking finger up his butt. And I'm making fun of it. But the truth is, imagine how many lives could be saved if we could get men to understand that this simple procedure can save your life. That simple procedure could say, I mean, literally thousands of men die because they're afraid or embarrassed to get that simple test.

[00:42:45.350] – Michael

And so again, that's why we have to change that conversation. As men, we've got to get comfortable being uncomfortable. And one way to do that is by having conversations like this.

[00:42:56.970] – Allan

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

[00:43:09.840] – Michael

I'm a huge proponent of unpacking your emotional baggage. That's the piece that men deny. If we're willing to unpack our emotional baggage, I can assure you a lot of the other issues that we're dealing with will kind of take care of themselves. For example, a lot of people overeat because of something emotional. So if you unpack that emotional baggage first, then it sets you up to live a happier, healthier life. Second thing, huge proponent of meditation. Meditation, to me, it's high priority. And so a lot of people have this misconception about meditation, as though you're attempting to make your mind go blank. That's not meditation. Meditation is simply a practice, and mindfulness is the result of that practice. So when I learn to meditate, I simply learn how to be aware and mindful what I'm thinking, how I'm feeling, what I believe. So meditation to me, is high priority. And last but not least is exercise. The body is designed to move, so you got to do something. Even if it's just walking, it's designed to move. So make sure that you're utilizing this amazing thing called the human body by exercising it. Make sure you're eating right, taking care of it physically, and you're on your way.

[00:44:34.790] – Allan

Great. Michael, if someone wanted to learn more about you and your book and your other books, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:44:43.550] – Michael

Just send them to coachmichaeltaylor.com, nice and simple. And that's Michael. Michael. coachmichaeltaylor.com.

[00:44:52.750] – Allan

You can go to 40plusfitness.com 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/582. And I'll be sure to have a link there. Michael, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:45:04.150] – Michael

Well, thank you so much for what you're doing, because again, it takes collaboration. It takes us coming together, especially as men, sharing this information to help men live healthier lives.

Post Show/Recap

[00:45:14.710] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:45:16.350] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. I love his title. I'm not okay with Gray. I do love that because I'm not okay with my gray hair quite yet. But.

[00:45:27.750] – Allan

The interesting thing is, I think he may have said it on the podcast, or we may have said it when we were talking offline, I'm not sure, because he and I kept having a conversation afterwards. I do that every once in a while. But he really didn't mean gray from the hair perspective so much as what just people look at aging, and I think you can say, okay, well, I don't know. When I was in my teens and someone was over 30, man, they were way old. And the people that were over 50, oh, my God, they might just die any minute. My great grandmother, I remember she was in her 80s, and I was like, Holy crap, she's older than dirt.

[00:46:10.480] – Rachel


[00:46:10.790] – Allan

I think the phrase they used back then was, she's older than dirt. And it's cool because you have these stories, but I think things are just very different now in that we are aware that there's this aging curve, and we're aware that we can actually do something about it, and so this generation, the baby boomers, and then coming into X generation, we started looking at this very differently. The baby boomers started living longer because of modern medicine and everything else. And the next generation, we're kind of coming in and saying, well, I don't want to just live to a certain age. I want to thrive. I still want to have great relationships. I still want to enjoy myself. I still want to go out there and do sometimes kind of crazy things. And that's part of the living experience. And so I think that's what he really meant by the title was he didn't want to just fade out and disappear like a lot of people seem to seem to do and have done, and they probably still will do, but some people just don't live the last 20 30 years of their life. They just exist.

[00:47:30.750] – Allan

And that wasn't good enough for him. So he wanted more out of life. He wants a great career, he wants a great relationship with his wife, and he wants a great relationship with his friends. And so it's just a conversation point of saying, what are you doing today? To not just fade out.

[00:47:52.280] – Rachel

Right. Well, it's an interesting concept, too, that when we're young, we think we have all the time in the world to take all these elaborate vacations and do all these things, but by the time we get to our retirement age, what kind of shape are we going to be in to do all these things? So it's an interesting concept on aging in that, just like you said, when I was young, I thought my grandparents were super old, but now that I'm hitting 50, I'll be 52 this year. I'm like, hey, I got all this energy. I've got all this ability to go hiking and take all these fun vacations and see all these things. I want to be active and busy. I just don't want to sit around and watching TV all day.

[00:48:40.950] – Allan

That's what they did. You're not going to miss an episode of Jeopardy. And reality is, Jeopardy would probably still be on.

[00:48:50.190] – Rachel

Oh, gosh, yeah.

[00:48:51.040] – Allan

When we're in our 70s and 80s, sure, it'll be a different host, but it's just kind of one of those conversations of, okay, take a deep, deep look at yourself. Okay? And for men, sometimes this is just really hard, is to just say, okay, am I doing the things that I as a man, need to do? To not just provide, but to have the right relationships and to be taking care of myself and recognize that I'm not invincible?

[00:49:32.960] – Rachel


[00:49:33.480] – Allan

I can be broken. I'm a pretty darn durable person. I can get bumped around and beat up, It's just kind of odd. I remember my grandparents when they were my age, when they were my age, the conversations that older people would have is, well, how's your bursitis? And how's this? How's your varicose veins? Which stay tuned to next week. We'll be talking about that. What was that last week we talked about a couple of weeks ago? Yeah, but it's like, those are the conversations. What's your medical element of the week? And I don't really have a lot of those. I don't wake up sore. I don't wake up hurt. I don't have a joint. Yeah, I've torn a rotator cuff, but I tore that like I would have if I was in college. It just popped, it's done. And I was happened to be military pressing, fairly heavy dumbbells at the time. Not smart, but it was what it was. But I think that's kind of the point is you can turn your brain off to that stuff and think you're invincible, but you're not, right? It's hard for a guy, because, like I said, I don't have a lot of those ailments.

[00:50:50.260] – Allan

I don't have a lot of those problems. I don't have to worry about my A1C. I don't have to worry about a lot of different things. So I don't take any medications at all, and I'm generally healthy. And so the thing is, I know at some point I'm going to need help. I'm going to need something's going to happen. I'm going to get sick at some level, I'm going to get old at some level, and I am going to have to ask for help someday. Yeah. And so it's just the question of having the relationships and having the self awareness and the self dignity to know when that is and to not be stubborn about it and say, okay, I guess I'm just not eating pickles anymore because I can't open a pickle jar by myself. No, I'm going to find someone to help me open that pickle jar because I like pickles, and I'm not going to be ashamed of it at any stretch. If I can't open the pickle jar, I can't open the pickle jar. It's just that acceptance of we are going through an aging curve. Even if we're fighting it tooth and nail and we're doing all the right things, it's still happening, we just can do it on our terms.

[00:51:58.310] – Rachel

Well, that's the question. How long can you put that off? Like, how long can you be as active as you can be so that you're not struggling to open a pickle jar when you're 60, 70 or 80 years old? I mean, foreseeably, as long as you manage your health and like you do Alan, you move a lot, you eat well, you could put that limitation off for quite some time, as long as you position your life to do so.

[00:52:25.120] – Allan

But it's still, at some point, probably going to come. Actually, I'm working right now on getting a woman on. She's 102 years old, or at least she was when the book was written. And so I don't know how old she's going to be when I interview her, but I'm like, yeah, I can sit there and joke about being over 100, but just recognizing that, yeah, things are probably going to be a little different when I'm 100. And I might not be able to open a pickle jar and I'm going to be able to wipe my own ass. I can tell you.

[00:52:58.570] – Rachel

Priorities. Yes, priorities.

[00:53:03.610] – Allan

And so I think that's really, this book is just about understanding yourself, particularly as a man, because it was written by a man, and it was predominantly written for men because women tend to open up a little bit easier to their friends about how they're feeling and what's going on in their world. They're much more likely to ask for help than a man is, and they're much more likely to have people around them as as a social caring network than men are. And we men, we can fix that. We can we can make some decisions for ourselves and say, okay, you know, I'm going to start building deeper relationships. I'm going to start sharing things with my wife and with my friends that before wouldn't have shared or wouldn't have said. And so I started this probably around 15 years ago. So I tell people I was the fat bastard, and the bastard part was a big part of it. It wasn't just the fat part. I was that, too. But I decided that I would tell my friends every time I see them that I love them, okay. And for a man to tell, I love you, man, and not just that I'm drunk hugging you, I love you, man kind of thing, but just to really let them know that I care deeply about you as a person.

[00:54:26.310] – Allan

It's kind of one of those things where when you start doing that, it just has this reverberation, this resonance to your life that is significant. And so I just want to encourage you to be thinking about the relationships that you have and be thinking about how the things around you that are good how can we make more of those how can we have more of those experiences and the things that are not serving you? How can we move very far away from those things and just not have them in our lives? Or if we have to have them in our lives, how can we just make them mean less how can we make them have less of an impact on us? And so this is a really good book for that. If you're just thinking, okay, I don't want to fade out. I want to actually have a really exciting second half of my life. And if that's in your head, then this is a good book for you.

[00:55:21.750] – Rachel

That sounds great. Sounds like a great book and a really neat guy. Michael sounds like a neat person.

[00:55:27.210] – Allan

Yeah, he is.

[00:55:29.210] – Rachel


[00:55:30.120] – Allan

I guess I'll talk to you next week. Okay

[00:55:32.060] – Rachel

great, take care.

[00:55:33.160] – Allan

You too.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Melissa Ball
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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


March 14, 2023

Improve your vein health now with Dr. Mason Mandy

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On episode 581 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, Dr. Mason Mandy and I discuss vein health and what you can do to improve it for better overall health.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:33.080] – Allan

Hey, Ras.

[00:02:36.260] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:38.100] – Allan

I'm doing all right. Good weather, busy season at Lula's. Daughters getting married soon. So we're starting to book that trip. Tammy and I are talking about it because we want to see family. When you have family that's in their upper 70s and 80s and you start saying, Okay, I got to get got to make the point because you can't just say, I'll do it next year. So we're going to stay a little bit longer in May than we thought we would just to get all that in. But we've been talking through how to do that. And I'm a weirdo, but you already knew that. I just prefer to arrive in one location and get a rental car and just hook it on in the car. You can throw your bags in there once and you just go. And it just makes things so much easier, in my opinion. Now, yeah, you do spend more time because you got to drive. But if you think about flying to a location, getting a rental car for a day or two, and then going back to an airport and flying again, actually got to turn in that car and fly again, pick up another car, yeah, it's faster, but there's so many moving parts.

[00:03:55.470] – Allan

So a late plane and I missed this. And now you're not getting into your hotel when you planned on it. And then you got to try to get that done. So there are still a lot of moving parts because I have to get my CPR. The last one I got was online because COVID. I need to get it done in person this time. That would be nice. They might let me get away with another year of online, but I don't live in the state, so I don't have them here. I have to get them when I'm in the state. So this year, going into the states, mine is going to… I think it actually is going to be close to expiring about the time I get there. So I want people to dillydally or get in there and get it done. And so I'm trying to slide that in there. Oh, and there's the wedding.

[00:04:43.700] – Rachel

Yes, the whole reason you're coming up here.

[00:04:45.380] – Allan

I was like, Hey, I could do this on Saturday. What time is that wedding? I was like, You are not. No.

[00:04:53.700] – Rachel

Oh, my goodness. What a trip.

[00:04:56.440] – Allan

Yeah. So yeah, we're probably going to be flying into Miami, spend some time with family there, drive up to North Carolina, spend some time with family there, go to the wedding, and then drive on over, I think, to Kentucky, spend some time with family there, and then head back out. Awesome. Yeah, but it'll be a lot of driving, not as much driving as we usually do, and not for nearly as long as we usually would, and not normally when we would. But all those things all considered, we'll make the best of the trip we can and get it all done. But how are things up there?

[00:05:27.980] – Rachel

Good. Today's a good day. We have blue skies today. We're in the thought.

[00:05:33.560] – Allan

The numbers I was seeing about power outages and stuff like that.

[00:05:38.300] – Rachel

Yeah, it was brutal. In fact, there's still a lot of people out of power. We lost it briefly just for a few hours. Thank goodness. But one of my cousins was out for four and a half days. Yeah, it was just brutal. And there's still people that are out and we are expecting another pretty serious weather event happening to be determined whether it's going to be more ice or more snow, but yeah, we're still recouping from that last storm.

[00:06:05.440] – Allan

Do you guys have a generator?

[00:06:07.020] – Rachel

We do. This house has a generator that will run our furnace and we have a well, so it'll run water for us. So it does, it works just fine. It's really funny. We lived in Florida for seven years, Allan, and the first thing we did when we moved there was we bought a generator because it's hurricanes down there. Never once needed to use it in Florida. And up here, we've used the generator, I think, in every house that we've been in since we moved back and several times per year. So yeah, I'm glad we have it.

[00:06:40.560] – Allan

Lula's had a generator, but it's this old little beater, and I don't even know if it worked. I haven't tried to start it. And then I brought one down. I had a Honda that I used for tailgating, but we put it away. I haven't pulled it out. And so the power goes out regularly. Oh, no. At least once a month, we have an unplanned power outage. And then probably about once a month, we have a planned power outage. But I haven't pulled them out. And it's just one of those things you have a whole list of things you really should do. And then you just don't do them because there's other things you'd rather do like watch Netflix or go for a walk or anything else.

[00:07:22.780] – Allan

So yeah, I should really get that generator out and get it serviced.

[00:07:26.390] – Rachel

It could be handy. But if you've never needed it, though.

[00:07:29.380] – Allan

But you do. No, because when the power goes out, we don't have water. We have a pump that pumps the water through our house and without that pressure, there's no water. So we tell people, if we know the power is going to go out, it's like you got one flush and done, so make it matter. But if we don't know the power is going out, that's when it can get a little bit dicey.

[00:07:50.440] – Rachel

Yeah, that could be helpful to have. Yeah, it's good to have one here because same thing in the middle of winter, it's not fun to lose power for an extended period of time. In the summer, we can manage, but it's a little harder in the winter.

[00:08:04.950] – Allan

Yeah. All right. Are you ready to talk about vein health?

[00:08:08.500] – Rachel



[00:08:56.920] – Allan

Dr. Mandy, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:09:00.690] – Dr. Mandy

Thank you. Thank you for having me on.

[00:09:04.160] – Allan

When I was working corporate, I traveled a lot and I spent a lot of time on airplanes. In fact, I did one time did the Newark to Singapore flight, which was over 18 hours. So I spent a lot of time. And so at that point, you're reading a lot about get up and move around, wear these compression socks, do these things because you really don't want this deep vein trombosis. And so I would do the basic stuff when I was on a plane that long, moving around, doing what I needed to. But I guess I never really wrapped my mind around the fact that all of this from the spider veins and Varicose veins that I remember ladies at the lunch line had with all their compression socks to this is really just a continuum, if you will, of the same issue of vein disease.

[00:10:01.440] – Dr. Mandy

That's exactly right. That's the perfect way to put it. It's all a continuum of the same disease. And flying is such a big risk because it's a microcosm of all the risk factors for blood clots, like you mentioned, DVT, as well as vein disease in general. So anytime you're sitting in one place or standing in one place and your blood is not really pumping and moving like it should, it just sits there in the veins and isn't really circulating the way it should be. And so that can lead to blood clots in the deep veins. And it can also lead to a lot of pressure on the veins underneath the skin. And that pressure causes those veins to overstretch and allows blood to actually flow backwards. Normally, blood should only be flowing up in the veins in your legs. But due to a variety of things, being in one position for a long time, having genetic predisposition, having multiple pregnancies, variety of things like that, those veins can be overstretched and that causes blood to flow backwards, which can lead to all the things you discussed earlier, the bulging vericose veins, the pain and symptoms and swelling, and in some cases, severe cases, blood clots as well.

[00:11:14.240] – Allan

Okay, so let's walk through a few of these just so folks know what we're talking about here. So spider veins are what exactly?

[00:11:23.700] – Dr. Mandy

So spider veins are the small… They can be a purple color, light pink color. They're those little tiny, wispy veins right on the surface of your skin. They're usually very small and they usually don't bulge out. So meaning they're just flat underneath the skin, so you can't feel them. And that's the most minor form of vein disease or most minor sign of vein disease.

[00:11:45.040] – Allan

Okay. So those are just a discoloration that you see because the blood is not flowing through those little veins the way it needs to.

[00:11:51.840] – Dr. Mandy

Exactly right. Normally, those veins are so tiny, you'd never be able to see them with the naked eye. But because they've been under a lot of pressure, they're several times bigger than they should be. Even though when we look at them, they appear very small, they actually should be much, much smaller than they are. And so it's all, again, like you said, it's all part of the same process. So those veins overstretch and becoming bigger than they should be.

[00:12:13.040] – Allan

Now, Varicose veins, they actually are a little bit worse because they're bigger and a lot of people suffer from pain from these. Can you talk a little bit about what Varicose veins are? Exactly.

[00:12:23.570] – Dr. Mandy

So Varicose veins, typically are those big bulging veins that you see some people have. Maybe you mentioned your grandparents. So you could see them bulging out. They could be very large like that. They don't necessarily have to be that dramatic, though. Any vein that bulges out from the surface of the skin is a Varicose vein. So sometimes they're actually quite small, and they're those giant ropey looking veins. But if they bulge out and you can feel the vein when you rub your hands over the surface of the skin, that's a Varicose vein. And those can be more dangerous because those can lead to bleeding. Sometimes the bleeding spontaneously, or in worst case scenario, they'll actually clot and those can lead to TBTs and other problems associated with that.

[00:13:09.050] – Allan

Okay. Now, chronic venous insufficiency is the next stage along this continuum. Can you get a little bit into what that is? Right.

[00:13:17.290] – Dr. Mandy

So chronic venous insufficiency is where the big, we call the trunkle veins underneath the skin, have become too large and the little valves that pump the blood up the leg against gravity have become broken. And so instead of keeping the blood moving up, a lot of it is going backwards. And that ultimately is what causes Varicose veins in many of the spider veins you see. The root is really those bigger veins deeper inside the skin that you can't see that are allowing blood to back up into those Varicose veins and spider veins. So one way to think of an analogy I tell a lot of the patients that we see is the big veins that are deeper are like the trunk of the tree. We literally call them trunk of veins because they're like the trunk of the tree. And then those bulging varicose veins are like big branches on the tree. And then the little spider veins are like little leaves on the tree. And so the trunk is where the problem is. So when the trunk goes bad, blood just backs up into the branches and the leaves. And that's what causes all the visible veins and those big varicose veins that you can see.

[00:14:20.120] – Allan

Okay. And then, like I said, when I was on an airplane, you can get into this pretty quickly versus over a series of years, but you could still get there. Deep vein thrombosis is actually now we're starting to get into some really dangerous stuff here. Exactly right.

[00:14:36.320] – Dr. Mandy

Yeah. So like you said, that can happen for a variety of reasons. It can be, in your case, your example of being on an airplane, that's where you can get a little dehydrated on a plane, the blood just sits in those veins. And anytime the blood sits and doesn't move, it can clot. What keeps the blood from just clotting throughout your body? Part of it is the motion of the blood constantly moving. And so if it's sitting in one place, there's a much bigger risk of it clotting. So an 18 hour flight from Newark to Singapore, where you're not doing a lot of moving, you're just sitting in one place, that blood is not really moving effectively. And that's why people can get clots on airplanes.

[00:15:14.040] – Allan

And it's not really… I mean, it is the clot in the leg, but it's the clot that moves that's the dangerous one. And that causes a thing called pulmonary embolism. Can you talk about what's going on there?

[00:15:25.780] – Dr. Mandy

That's exactly right. So blood clots in the legs themselves can be painful and can cause swelling and all those things. But the really feared complication of that is an emboli, which is where part of that blood clot or embolism, which is where part of that blood clot breaks off from the leg and travels up the veins in your body to your heart and ultimately your lungs. That can cause anything from shortness of breath. Sometimes people don't even notice them. Worst case scenario, they can be life threatening and be a true surgical emergency. So those are extreme cases. That doesn't happen with most people, but it can. And it can and does happen occasionally.

[00:16:02.200] – Allan

Now, we talked a little bit about being on an airplane in the period of time that you're sitting still, and you talked a little bit about dehydration, but what are some things that we might be doing to ourselves that are causing a higher risk of these complications happening to us?

[00:16:18.680] – Dr. Mandy

Yeah. So any sedentary lifestyle, especially over a period of years. So any prolonged sitting, especially obesity, certainly smoking, those are all major risk factors for BVT. And the reason is they all injure the lining of the veins, and that can lead to clot formation and things like that. So being active, getting up and walking, moving, and being able to prevents clots. Obviously, maintaining a healthy lifestyle in terms of diet and being physical and not being overweight, all that helps prevent blood clots as well. And certainly avoiding smoking. So there are some things that are just genetic and can't be really prevented, but those are some major risk factors that can be prevented.

[00:17:05.760] – Allan

So for a lot of us, if we start seeing more of that little outward signs like the spider veins or the Varicose veins, that could very much be an indicator that we want to go get checked out and make sure this isn't something worse.

[00:17:20.150] – Dr. Mandy

Absolutely. Yeah. Especially Varicose veins, but spider veins as well can be a sign of wors vein disease, especially if they're around the feet. If you see a sudden increase in the number of small veins around the feet and the ankle, that can be a sign of pretty significant vein disease.

[00:17:37.010] – Allan

Okay. So if we notice some of that, we're going to come in to one of your clinics, the Metro Vein centers. What's going to happen and what are some of the treatments that would potentially be available to us, given where we are in this continuum?

[00:17:50.500] – Dr. Mandy

Yeah. So the first thing we do is I talk to everybody who comes in, we go through their symptoms and the problems that they're having, and we do a thorough look at what could be causing these. And then the objective test that we do is an ultrasound of the legs. So an ultrasound is very similar to when pregnant women have an ultrasound of their abdomen to look at the fetus and the growing baby. We do the same thing just on the legs. And what we look for when we look at the veins is the size of the veins as well as the direction of the blood flow. So the veins should be fairly small, only one, two, maybe three millimeters at the largest, and the blood should only be flowing up. But in the disease veins, the veins can be many times bigger than that, and the direction of the flow is actually backwards. And when those two things are there, the veins being too large and the blood flowing backwards, we know there's a disease and that needs to be treated.

[00:18:44.480] – Allan

What are some of the treatments that we could go through to make sure that just to fix it? Obviously, I'm always going to be a proponent of lifestyle, but sometimes our lifestyle can't reverse this. So what are some of the treatment options that would be available?

[00:18:55.760] – Dr. Mandy

Well, thankfully. The treatment is usually very easy. So it used to be in the past, there was a major surgery to treat these veins called vein stripping and some similar type procedures. And those oftentimes while staying in the hospital, major cuts on the leg can be very painful, high blood loss. And now we treat them in the office, usually takes 10 minutes or less to treat one vein. There's no cutting, no stitches, no surgery. People usually walk in and out on their own, go back to work a lot of times. And there are different types of treatments we can do based on where the vein is, how big it is, what the patient's goals are. And one of those is injecting a medicine into the vein, which causes the vein to shrink. Another one is called radio frequency ablation, where we use radio frequency, not radiation, but radio frequency to shrink the vein. And another one is where we inject a medicine that seals the vein called VenaSeal. And the goal of that is to prevent the blood from flowing backwards. But they're all very quick, easy procedures that insurance pays for.

[00:20:01.440] – Allan

And you want to basically, as soon as you start noticing some of the outward signs of this, you want to get in as quickly as you can, right?

[00:20:08.180] – Dr. Mandy

Exactly right. Unfortunately, veins only get worse over time. So once they go bad, there's nothing you can really do in terms of lifestyle or behavioral changes or medication that's going to reverse that. So all you can do is treat the veins to prevent that backflow of blood. And that's what we do in our office. So it's good to maintain a healthy lifestyle and do all those things. But once the veins go bad, they only get worse over time.

[00:20:33.270] – Allan

Still going to encourage you to quit smoking if you're doing that. And I'm going to encourage you to move around because that's still good for you to do. But then yeah, get in and see a specialist on this. Now, your clinics are located in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Michigan. Last time I checked, you're still in those places, right?

[00:20:52.900] – Dr. Mandy

We're still in those places and we're continuing to look for new locations as well. So hopefully in the future, we'll be expanding beyond that.

[00:21:00.980] – Allan

Yeah, we're down here in Panama if you're looking for a satellite office.

[00:21:05.390] – Dr. Mandy

Sounds good to me. Yeah. Looking out my window in 25 degree weather, Panama sounds really nice.

[00:21:11.690] – Allan

It was 25 today Celsius.

[00:21:18.170] – Allan

Dr. Mandy, if someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the Metro vein centers and all that you do there, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:21:27.100] – Dr. Mandy

Well, they can visit our website at metroveincenters.com, and we have a wealth of information on there. It gives the locations of our offices how to contact us, but also just a lot of good information on vein disease. We try to make it as user friendly as possible. And I think people would get a lot of valuable information from that. You can also follow us on social media or on Instagram and TikTok and all those things. So we try to provide information on things on that as well.

[00:21:55.120] – Allan

I learned quite a bit reading your blog, so I do appreciate the information and the time you took to put that out there because it is very clear and easy to follow and understand what these are and how they relate to our health and fitness. And again, it can seem like it's just an unsightly thing, but when it gives you an idea that it's a bigger thing than that, you've got to take a moment and figure it out. And I'm glad you guys are out there helping provide this information and the treatments.

[00:22:25.360] – Dr. Mandy

Thank you. Yeah, it affects a lot of people. Some people estimate 20 to 30% of people in the United States. And it's one of those things, even when I went to medical school, a lot of my professors would say, it's just people get older, they get veins. And like glue it off is not a really important problem. But it is an important problem and it can cause significant lifestyle disabilities in terms of being able to exercise and enjoy normal walks in the park, even because of the heaviness and discomfort. And so thankfully, we can help treat that now very easily. And so that's not something you just have to live with. Just because you see some big veins, we can take care of all those things.

[00:23:04.620] – Allan

Well, Dr. Mandy, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:23:08.840] – Dr. Mandy

Thank you very much for having me. I really appreciate it.

Post Show/Recap

[00:23:21.420] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:23:22.660] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. It's been a really long time since I even gave any thought to vein health, Varicose veins, or any of those things. I remember my grandparents used to have problems. I said, I think it was the Varicose veins that were very painful for them, and so they would go to the doctor and have them treated. But yeah, it's just something that hadn't been on my radar for a long time. But it's pretty important.

[00:23:48.140] – Allan

Yeah. And growing up, there's the different types of jobs I had. I worked in a library, so a lot of the librarians would have them. And I worked in a pharmacy. And so the pharmacists and clerks that work that were on their feet all day, every day, they would have them. And then, of course, then I got into travel and I'm on an airplane for up to 18 hours or more. And you just know you've got to do some things to take care of yourself. So I have the compression socks. I made a point of getting them. I was trying to stay hydrated, all those different things. But if you start to notice that you have problems, this is the one thing I didn't know before I got into this, this is progressive. If you start noticing a problem, it could be indicative of something worse happening later. So it's worth going in and getting it looked at just to make sure there's no long term problems. You can get it treated. You can start making some lifestyle changes, and that's definitely going to help.

[00:24:48.740] – Rachel

Yeah, my goodness. I didn't realize the extent of how dangerous it could be to have the veins and to pay attention when they do show up, those little tiny ones before they get into the bigger vericose or the deep vein thrombosis. That's pretty serious stuff.

[00:25:06.110] – Allan

Yeah. It doesn't happen that often. So it's not like people are just all over the place. But just something to be aware of, if you have Varicose veins or you have the spider veins and you're going to go on a long trip, do the self care. If you can talk to a doctor first just to make sure I've got these condition, how am I going to do with this trip? Because we don't take international travel on just a whim. You usually have some time and that you know it's going to happen. So it's worth it. You can go in and see a doctor, see if you can get it treated or at least know what preventative care. I still own my compression socks. I don't know that I'll ever need them to go because I think the longest flight we even take out of here is four hours. So I don't know that I'll need them again like I did when I was traveling all the time. But I had them. And so it's like, just take precautions if you think you're going to put yourself at risk because it can be pretty serious.

[00:26:05.570] – Rachel

Yeah. Interesting. It was really interesting to hear that and to be reminded. Good interview.

[00:26:10.970] – Allan

It is something I haven't talked about. And I just thought, I know this was a health problem that I knew older people got. And Tammy's mother has some leg vein problems. So it is something that you just… It's out there. It's just not super common. But enough so that if you start noticing you have a problem, go get it fixed.

[00:26:34.160] – Rachel

Yeah, that sounds good.

[00:26:36.320] – Allan

All right, talk to you next week.

[00:26:37.780] – Rachel

Take care, Allan.

[00:26:39.040] – Allan

You too. Bye.

[00:26:40.050] – Rachel

Thanks. Bye.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


March 7, 2023

How to live longer and better with Dr. Rand McClain

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

In his book, Cheating Death, Dr. Rand McClain tells us how to live longer and better.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:36.260] – Allan

Hey, Ras.

[00:02:39.600] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:41.520] – Allan

I'm doing all right. Sort of all right. We have a dog. We have two dogs. You guys probably heard me talk about Buster and Angel before. But Angel took a spill this morning. She's having issues with her hips, and as a result, she loses her balance. And if she gets on uneven pavement, she loses it a little bit. So she ended up falling into a ditch, and it's really slowed down her ability to… She really can't stand up hardly with her back leg. So I pulled out this wheelchair I bought her. She hasn't been in it yet, but I got her all hooked up in it, and she took to it pretty well as far as she knows. She can walk, she'll learn some other things. She's got to be mindful of where the wheels are because she got herself stuck and frustrated with that. But so, yeah, it's a trying day because I feel bad now that I have to put her in the wheelchair for her to be able to be mobile and get out. And it's just going to mean probably something we're going to have to make a decision on in the next few months rather than maybe the next couple of years about her quality of life and where she is.

[00:03:40.530] – Allan

And so that's a tough one. But I've got the wheelchair for her now, and I'm going to start teaching her how to get out and move around and use that and hopefully start going to the bathroom while she's standing up because she won't normally do that. So there's a little bit of that. But I got the wheelchair together. It was actually a puzzle. Oh, wow. It was an interesting little puzzle. Well, one, Tammy had started putting it together and had gotten it halfway put together wrong, but partially together. And so then I had to go in there and try to disassemble and reassemble and figure out how it works and stuff. I think I've got it sized now a little bit better and fit in on her. So I'll probably be trying to get her out again, maybe this evening and just walk around a little in it just to get comfortable now and feel like she's still out there walking and being with us dogs.

[00:04:29.640] – Rachel

Oh, my goodness. I'm glad you had that kit handy and glad you had the forethought to get that.

[00:04:36.140] – Allan

Yeah. Well, she had fallen the other day a couple of weeks ago. And so I was like, okay, she keeps falling like this. And then every time she falls, it hurts her. And then she loses a little bit more of it. And so I knew I needed to have it on hand because I didn't want to have to wait for it to come in after she's doing it. But she's 75 pound dog. So I have to be able to pick up the 75 pound dog and set her in there and then set her out because it's not just a walk in thing or sit down on thing. The dog has to be placed into it. I got to pick her up and do all these things, but I'm able to. And that's part of what we're going to be talking about today is being able to do those things. But how are things up there?

[00:05:15.580] – Rachel

Good. We had a break in our bitter cold winter to collect some sap from our maple trees, and we did our first maple syrup boil over the weekend. So we had about 65 ish gallons of sap, and we produced about one ish, one and a half ish gallons of syrup. So it was a long weekend of love, but it was a lot of fun and we had decent weather. So that's what's helpful. But now we got the cold again. It's going to get bitter cold. So we'll probably do another maple syrup and sap collection in another week or two and maybe do another boil. So it's been fun and tasty.

[00:05:58.960] – Allan

Yeah. Bless you. Not this guy. I'll buy my maple syrup from somebody.

[00:06:09.700] – Rachel

Yeah, it's a labor of love. I'll tell you that. It took probably, I would say, 36ish hours of boiling time, maybe a little more to get it done. It's a lot of time.

[00:06:20.840] – Allan

And that's not something you just set and forget. You got to be in it, don't you?

[00:06:24.200] – Rachel

Yeah, we got to keep feeding the fire. It's outside. It's a lot of wood burning. It's a big process. You got to keep an eye on it because the worst part would be not keep an eye on it and have it burn. Nothing like going through all the time and hassle and then having your maple syrup burn. So got to keep an eye on it.

[00:06:42.910] – Allan

All right. Well, are you ready to have a conversation with Dr. McClain?

[00:06:47.220] – Rachel


[00:06:47.640] – Allan

All right.


[00:07:35.240] – Allan

Dr. McClain, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:07:38.720] – Dr. McClain

Thank you. Thanks for having me on board.

[00:07:40.860] – Allan

Now, your book is called Cheating Death: The New Science of Living Longer and Better. And I actually love that. I love how you approach the book, your first view into this topic of we're going to end someday. And we want to do it on our own terms, really. I mean, we all want to live forever, somewhat. But then we also don't because like this was the queen song, who wants to live forever. I forget that. Maybe that's not the title of it. But it was the first time I thought about, well, no, I don't want to live the last 20 years of my life, invalid, dependent, not able to take care of myself and just miserable. And so in the book, you share so many ways that we can make sure that our health span is a better portion of our lifespan. And I really appreciate that about this book.

[00:08:30.060] – Dr. McClain

Well, thank you. Yeah, the idea, and I didn't coin the term, behind health span is the combination of both longevity and good health. And they used to call it squirming the curve, they being the so called antiaging group. The idea that you continue, okay, you might not be hitting your personal best like you did when you were 20, but you're close in your 70s. And I mean that sincerely. I mean, if you look at some of the statistics at this point in time, meaning with the data we've collected, say as of 15 years ago, the difference between your personal best at 20 and your personal best at 70 isn't that big until it's truly after 70, then it hockey sticks the difference. But I think my point is that's old data. I think now we might find that occurs at age 85. But the point is that we want to continue at least being close to what we've always been, if possible. And then one day we just don't wake up. That's the ideal that you're going great until the end comes. And as far as the book, cheating death, believe it or not, the name came up as a suggestion from a group that was helping me put the book together.

[00:09:35.210] – Dr. McClain

And I vetoed it immediately. I was like, come on, that's so kitschy. I can't. But then they convinced me, hey, at least we'll get somebody's attention and you want them to read the book. And I think you find in the book, I say, hey, we're obviously not going to beat it. As you say, we're all going to come to that end. But certainly to improve our time while on the planet, to make it the best we can be is an achievable goal and a worthy one. I've never met anybody, and I used to be a CPA before as a doctor. So I can say, presumably I'm honest conservative, never met anybody who came into my office or otherwise and said, Hey, if you can give me another 20 on the back end, it doesn't matter. I'll sacrifice my health for it. No, it's the other way around.

[00:10:17.060] – Allan

And there's two ways to look at it. You got the younger crowd that wants to go out like the rebel, blazing and going. And then, of course, we get past 40, we start saying, Okay, well, I'm not doing the blazing and going out really quick, but I also don't want to have a long, slow fizzle. I want to do something about this. And so many of us were not in the shape we want to be in. And so we're actually looking at, Okay, how do we actually now not only just live out, but how do we improve our health, improve the quality of our life, and then go forward with that. And a lot of the things we're going to talk about today are going to get into those things, things we can do today to start improving our health and our health span. I literally wish I could just sit down and talk to you for hours because the book was so deep. There was so much in there. It's just a great opportunity. If you want to improve your health overall, it does that, too. And again, the health span. We're going to dive into some of the things we just, on this show, haven't talked about before.

[00:11:11.470] – Allan

One of them is called NAD Plus, which I always screw up the scientific names because I didn't go to medical school and I didn't learn the language. So it's nicotinamide, adidine, and dinucleotide. Did I do okay?

[00:11:27.360] – Dr. McClain

That's the reason why we abbreviated it, right? Just NAD or NADH.

[00:11:32.520] – Allan

So what exactly is that? Why is that important? And if we need to, how do we improve our levels?

[00:11:40.660] – Dr. McClain

So it's simply a mechanism by which we can transfer energy, specifically electrons. When we convert food into usable energy, the transfer that we call redox, reaction, reduction and oxidation. I'll avoid going into the weeds like we talked about it. But roughly, for people who remember their high school physiology, what my generation used to call the Krebs cycle is part of that. I think they call it now the Citric acid cycle. But again, the bottom line is it's converting food into usable energy. This is part of the process. Nad is used in the cell, in the cytosol, as well as people may remember it more as part of the mitochondrial transfer of energy, this electron. When NADH is converted to NAD, that transfer occurs. Anyway, enough of the details. But the effect is to do a lot of different things besides transfer energy. One of the most popularized items on the list of things that NAD does is to activate the sirtu in genes, specifically one of them, there are several. But the idea being that when you activate s rt2 in genes, you initiate this process of autophagy. And autophagy is not in the sense that you might be talking to your clients about repairing muscle tissue, but really this is repairing cellular function from everything from making sure the DNA or the recipe, the recipe is plural for all the processes is intact.

[00:13:09.380] – Dr. McClain

You don't have spaghetti sauce. I use the example of the cell being like a kitchen. You're producing these proteins and things that help the cell, the body in general, from a cell therapist's perspective, do what it's supposed to do, including messaging between cells. If the recipe's got tomato sauce spilled on it or whatever, and the dishes aren't clean, well, eventually the process of producing the right food just goes awry. So you need the time to clean up the kitchen, clean up the recipe book itself. Again, in this analogy, fix in the DNA, which can get disrupted, mutated. And again, there's garbage that's produced. Again, going back to your high school chemistry, the lysozomes are what most people recognize as the garbage cans of the cell. But there's some misfolded proteins that have to be addressed, etc. Again, avoid the weeds, but this process of autophagy puts everything back in order so that we operate properly. And another analogy would be if we don't do that, the cell looking at the cell, each individual cell like a car, if we haven't fine tuned the car, not only does the car itself not operate, but it's poisoning all the surrounding cells.

[00:14:12.020] – Dr. McClain

The exhaust isn't what it's supposed to be, and it can poison the surrounding cells. So sorry for some of the bad analogies, but for those who aren't interested in the really detailed aspects, that gets the general idea across, I hope.

[00:14:23.710] – Allan

No, this is basically getting rid of the clunker cells and replacing them with new cells. And so autophagy is basically just getting rid of the almost dead cells that are not functioning the way they need to. So when we give our body what it needs, and we're going to talk a little bit more about sleep in a minute because that's another one. But when we start giving our body what it needs, then it's able to get rid of those clunkers and build new, better cells. And as a result, our health improves.

[00:14:50.960] – Dr. McClain

Yeah. And the process is twofold in the sense that initially we'll try and repair it, clean up the kitchen or fine tuned car, whichever analogy you want to use. And if that's not possible, possible. The term used is the senescent cells, the ones that have gotten too old to function properly, they're too broken, then yeah, they can actually be destroyed as part of this autophagy. And that's a good thing. And we can recycle a lot of the materials from that cell to make new and better cells. Now, you asked me, what is our best way to generate NAD? And you'll love this, I hope. One of the best ways is exercise. I say one of the best, it is the best. Why? Because we're again using food for usable energy. Well, what are you doing in your exercise? You're using some energy and you create a lot of NAD, more so than you would if you were to take supplements. Hands down, I just want to make the point, exercise is your best source of creating NAD. Now, there are other ways of doing it. If you're not an exercise buff, fasting, which is a big issue these days, I don't want to call it a fad because it's been around forever.

[00:15:55.980] – Dr. McClain

But a lot of attention fairly recently has been given to fasting. That's another great way. There isn't any to further the kitchen analogy, there isn't any food to be made to be prepped. Somebody says, Okay, well, we might as well clean up the mess while we're not working here. And so that initiates it topic. And of course, yeah, to address some of the other ways, you can take oral forms of NAD, you can take intravenous forms of NAD. But there's a lot of controversy still about how much of that is used. Particularly with oral forms, you're going to absorb a lot of it. It's going to, I don't want to say stopped, but it's going to hit the liver first and maybe not go much further. Now with IV NAD, you're pretty much overwhelming the system. And I would argue that it's going to get well beyond the liver, and that might be a more effective approach, depending upon what you're using it for. Yeah.

[00:16:45.560] – Allan

So let's dive into sleep because I think everybody knows sleep is generally important for us to feel good. But there's a lot more going on when we're asleep than just resting. Can you talk about why sleep is important for health span?

[00:17:02.300] – Dr. McClain

Sleep is probably, I would argue, second most important to health span of all. And yet I'm sure you would agree, and probably most listeners would say, yeah, I pretty much take that for granted. A lot of us go through life, particularly in our 20s and 30s as we're making our way, so to speak. And of course, in my generation, back in the 70s and 80s, people that were doing that actually boasted about what little sleep they got. Do you remember those days? You're maybe not old enough.

[00:17:35.260] – Allan

No, I actually am because I was also a CPA. And I can tell you, when I was in college and studying for the exam and doing my thing, it was like, okay, I need to study, I don't need to sleep. And I even played… To tell you how crazy I was on this passing CPA exam, I literally had cassette and I would have the cassette playing by my bed when I went to bed. And if I woke up in the middle of the night and the cassette had finished, I'd turn it over. Yeah, it's like four hours of sleep was plenty. I was working, I was going to school, I was getting things done. I was still exercising. I was still doing a lot of things to try to keep that mid 20s body alive and moving. But yeah, you're right. Sleep was not a priority. And the whole concept was I'll sleep when I die mindset. And that actually is closer to the truth than we actually want to admit at this point in our life.

[00:18:25.780] – Dr. McClain

Well, and you could get away with it back then. And not to get off of the topic of sleep, but you hit on the one that I think is, and I'm not alone, the most important would be, we'll call it exercise because that's how you're referred to it. I call that the great equalizer. But movement, which encompasses exercise or however you want to look at it, I'd say is even more important. Of course, this ties into some of the things we were talking about earlier, and I think we'll get to today live here. But yeah, with sleep, there are so many things that occur when you sleep that are actually, even for those of us in the business, so to speak, mind blowing. One of my favorite books is Why We Sleep by Dr. Matthew Walker. He's a PhD out of the UK. We stole him. He's over at Berkeley now. If you want to read something that will be mind blowing, in the case of, say, and I call it the great equalizer, someone who's getting less than the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep and five nights in a row, this is just a fun fact taken from the book, but I think it applies to a lot of maybe your clients, it's possible to reduce your insulin sensitivity, your ability to use as little as possible insulin to get sugar out of your blood and put it where it's supposed to be in the muscles, preferably or anything that needs energy to operate properly.

[00:19:43.080] – Dr. McClain

You can reduce insulin sensitivity by 50 %. That's the difference between fantastic health and being possibly even a big BLOB. When insulin sensitivity goes awry, arguably, this metabolic dysfunction is the lunchpin for top five causes of morbidity, diseases, and death in the United States and other industrialized countries. So that's just one thing out of, I would say, hundreds at a minimum that occurred during sleep. Prevention of that, I guess I would say. But interestingly, again, not to harp on this point, but exercise helps reverse that. And then you get into a conundrum of, like, maybe you were, well, look, it's working. I'm getting four hours a night and I'm getting my exercise in still. And look, my laboratory assays look great. I feel great. But then arguably, what happens is you reach this point in, we'll call it midlife, and you find out the hard way that to use a song quote again, better to burn out than fade away. No, that doesn't work. But we can reverse it. But you're digging into your reserves, essentially your adrenal glands. And they've been picking up the slack. And then I referred to it as when Kong, as in King Kong, jumped on my back one point in my midlife and said, This ain't happening anymore.

[00:20:58.780] – Dr. McClain

You're going to start paying the piper. And that's something if we can avoid, we don't run into it. But certainly understandable at the earlier age that you keep getting away with it, just like any kid would do. You figure, Well, I can. I'll keep doing it. But sleep, there are so many important things that occur during sleep to keep us in the game and keep us healthy. And I just pointed it out and it was long winded about it, I realized, just one aspect of hundreds that occur while we're sleeping, without it, I would argue 100 %, unless you're one with a very rare gene mutation. There's a couple of them actually that allows you to get away with five. And by the way, again, stop me if I'm getting too far into the weeds. All stages of sleep are important, but the most restorative sleep for the body anyway, the organs, whatever, is the deep sleep, the non rim, where you're really operating in slow brain waves, for example, is so important. Without that, you're not going to optimize your health and you will not get the most out of healthspan, hands down.

[00:21:59.240] – Allan

Well, like we were talking about NAD, this is the big clean up. This is when your brain cleans up. This is when your body says, Okay, we're shut down for the week. In the sense of the shop, the restaurant, it's like, We can do a deep clean. We can pull all this stuff out. We can do all of this extra work and make this place pristine again. So when we reopen, we're that much better off. But if you don't have that full time because you're opening back up tomorrow, you're getting your four or five hours of sleep, then you didn't give your staff time to do the deep clean. And over time, the restaurant starts looking dingy and it's not operating as well.

[00:22:34.600] – Dr. McClain

And speaking of that, and not to necessarily tie it into the food aspect of a restaurant, but we'll go with it anyway. But the GI, for example, I find this with my patients and personally, if you start shorting yourself in sleep. And I don't have any scientific proof, but having worked as a doctor of Chinese medicine for a while, I can say the Chinese several thousand years ago recognized that there's actually a timing that goes on. And so the first part of the night, you might be working on cleaning up the work and we'll use the kitchen example, you're cleaning up the area of the dishes, the cooking, and then you move to the cutting block area. If you skip that last part of sleep, you're missing that part of the kitchen, so to speak. And again, I don't have any scientific proof behind this part. I just go with what I've seen in patients and what I've read and studied through Chinese medicine. Those that suffer from constipation and other digestive upset, it's that last part I find in the whether it's 7 to 9 hours, whether it's an hour or two, the last part if you're shaving that off, that the GI doesn't get swept out, cleaned up.

[00:23:38.860] – Dr. McClain

And that's one of the first signs I find is IBS, we call it, and the typical symptoms are just your GI system is in a state of wreck. You've got gas and sometimes pain and what we call borborygmus, tenesmus, whether it's constipation or diarrhea, or alterating, incomplete evacuation, etc. I find that's one of the first things to start going on you if you don't get your full amount of sleep. But also, again, when it comes to certainly motivating patients who want to have great body composition, stay fit, it's not just a cleaning up situation. A lot of athletes don't realize this, and I'm sure you can attest to that in what you do, you write the prescription for muscle improvement, whether it's gaining muscle, gaining strength, improving body composition, coordination, whatever it is you want to talk about during the workout. And then, of course, eating properly during the day is part of writing the prescription. But you fill that prescription at night. And now we're talking about athletic sense of repair, not the cleanup part, but actually repairing the muscle, we say, building it back up, better for the next workout. And if you skip that, it's not going to happen.

[00:24:46.630] – Dr. McClain

I can't tell you how many times I've seen in practice where somebody will come in, an athlete with his gallon jug of water, he's got over his shoulder his meals for the day. He's got that part nailed. But he's working, where I come from, we say working like a Jamaican, three jobs, working hard and getting four hours of sleep. And by the way, one of those jobs is like a UPS worker. So he's consistently staying active. It's not like he's resting. And when you're wondering why you're not getting anywhere. And I have to have that conversation like we're having now. Hey, you got to get your sleep, otherwise you're wasting your time.

[00:25:22.040] – Allan

So yeah, in that vein, because again, you're right. As a trainer, I see it all the time. And it's a constant conversation I have with my clients. We can look at how you're recovering, and that's going to give us clues to how you're doing overall with all of it. And so the three key pieces, and I guess I could call them four, but two of them line. The first is we got to have the stimulus, and that's the work we do either in the gym or at home or whatever we're training. When we're doing our training, we have the stimulus. And then the nutrition is now we're providing the fuel. So we're refueling the glycogen tanks and we're providing protein for muscle synthesis. And then we get to the recovery part. And like you said, if it's someone who's go, go, go, go, go, they're not hitting a recovery level. And then if they're not sleeping, they're definitely not going to recover. And so they find their workout starts to suffer. They're not putting on muscle. They're probably even putting on fat because the whole go, go, go, go, go is now firing up their adrenals more often than it should.

[00:26:21.200] – Allan

So the workouts are actually now a stress on top of a stress on top of a stress. And so, again, that's why I get to the sleep and the recovery being as important as the stimulus, the work. And when you can align the work, the nutrition, and now, again, the recovery and sleep, particularly the sleep, you set yourself up for that opportunity to take that spiral that may have been going down and turn it up.

[00:26:46.160] – Dr. McClain

Well, since you teed me up with a little bit of additional information there about the adrenals, let me just add to that. Yeah, in reference to chronic cortisol release, one of the signs you'll see with clients and patients is they will lose subdermal fat, subcutaneous fat in the extremities, and yet start to collect it around the abdominal area. And you go, Wait a minute, how could I be losing fat on my arms and my legs, but it just won't go away in my abs? That's because the cortisol that should not be released, you don't need the extra release of energy that cortisol stimulates. It's for fight or flight. And so it's saying, Here's the energy, got to run. Well, we're not running anywhere. And so all you're doing is redistributing the fat. And it's very simple. I mean, if you look at patients that have Cushing's disorder, where they've got an overabundance of cortisol being produced because of a pathology, that's a telltale sign. The fat is being deposited centrally on the back of the neck, but certainly around the midsection. And yet they have nothing on the extremities. And this is what is being self induced by the stress that's incurred by not getting enough rest.

[00:27:57.950] – Dr. McClain

And of course, you wake up in fight or flight mode because you're not what you were the day before because you haven't given yourself the chance to rest and you worked out hard so you put yourself down in that hole even more. And it's a downward spiral from there. So you can imagine. And they're easy to spot, right? You can see them when they come to you. I don't know why.

[00:28:16.960] – Allan

It was me. I'm working, I'm a corporate job, I'm doing well. I'm like, but I still have this pudge. And I'm like, well, I know why I have this pudge. Not because I wasn't sleeping, because I was actually going to sleep early and I was sleeping without an alarm for a number of years. But I was like, I just have this really stressful job. And my cortisol level from the time I get in my truck to drive to work until I get out of my truck the next night. And even then, it didn't end because I had my cell phone with me. My cortisol level was off the charts all the time. And I even had it tested a few times. And yeah, the doctor was like, Your stress is pretty high. Was it? The C reactive protein is high. And I'm like, Yeah. So I quit the corporate life. I know everybody can't do that, but I can tell you that sleep was a game changer for me. Was I optimal? No, but it was tremendously different than before I really got my sleep dialed in.

[00:29:11.650] – Dr. McClain

One way to look at that is, imagine if you hadn't been getting sufficient quantity of sleep. And of course, that brings up the point that there's a difference between quantity and quality, too. Again, not to put too far off field, but you might be getting what appears to be eight hours of sleep during the night. But if you've got sleep apnea, for example, which is far more prevalent than the HMO anyway will recognize, okay? And I'll leave it at that. But it's under diagnosed. Then the quality isn't there, especially if it's severe sleep apnea we're dealing with, you're almost better off not getting eight hours sitting there doing basically your cardio while you're sleeping. And no, it's not the same as getting it during the day. So no, if you're listening and you think, well, I'll just cut out cardio during the day and getting it at night. No, it's not the same thing. Not even close. clothes, but you are stressing your body in certain similar ways and you're making it even worse. So you got to be careful when, for example, you're looking at your oura ring or anything that measures your sleep or you're thinking or just looking at the clock and say, oh, wow, that's great.

[00:30:14.690] – Dr. McClain

I got eight hours. That's half the battle. The other half is, is it quality sleep? Am I waking up thinking about work the next day? Am I lightly sleeping rather than getting my deep sleep and my proper amount of rem sleep? Am I getting up six times a night to urinate because something else might go on. Anyway, my point being quality and quantity are important.

[00:30:34.310] – Allan

Now, let's dive into exercise and health span a little bit. In the book, you got into aerobic versus anaerobic, and you talked a little bit about flexibility. Why are those important? Where should we be spending our time if health span is really the direction we want to go?

[00:30:52.140] – Dr. McClain

Well, the word movement is included in the very definition of life. So you could argue just from that standpoint, we got to realize up front it's important. But what we're finding now is that there are two types of movement, and we could use all kinds of semantics here. There's exercise, what we would consider formal exercise plans, like what probably you put a lot of or all of your people through, versus just, let's say gardening or going for a walk. And to put it in terms of aerobic and anaerobic might be helpful or maybe in terms of the heart anyway, zones. Zone 1 through zone 5 is probably the most popular breakdown of the various zones, which really reflects more intensity, but also whether we're using oxygen as part of the process of getting energy from food that's usable or not. We often define the two very separately. But in practice, really, it's not digital, it's analog. So you're never like aerobic only and anaerobic only. There's different degrees of which you are one or the other. And it's not necessarily linear either. And that's why we talk about these tipping points and threshold, aerobic or anaerobic thresholds where all of a sudden it gets worse pretty quickly.

[00:32:06.660] – Dr. McClain

If you're, for example, going from aerobic to anaerobic, you hit that point at which you could stay just under that. You could probably do it a lot longer than if you go just a little bit, really, like to use a bicycleing term, you go a few more Watts above what you could normally hold and stay aerobic and all of a sudden, bingo, the lactic acid builds up fairly quickly and you go anaerobic. But anyway, exercise, as I said earlier, is the great equalizer. So many things occur while we're exercising. And then you can extrapolate from there a few, as it were, the most recent research shows that there is a definite correlation between muscle strength as well as muscle mass. I believe that when you parse it out a little bit more precisely, there's more to muscle strength than there is to muscle mass. But of course, they come relatively hand in hand to a certain degree. And then also VO2 max. And the reason I bring this up is because these are considered more or less opposite ends of the spectrum where you're building muscle mass by doing the high intensity stuff, which tended to be anaerobic, and you're building V02 max up by doing the aerobically demanding exercise.

[00:33:19.100] – Dr. McClain

And one more differentiation I want to throw out there, too, is there's a difference between exercise for, let's say, body position goals or running a marathon or something like that. And what we sometimes refer to exercise, and the reason I'm rambling on like this is because we are talking about semantics. I'm just trying to give more definition to the distinctions. Again, I go back to that zone two or under type of exercise, whether you call it gardening or doing some carpentry at home or something like that, which is a different speed, affects the mind as it were differently, obviously, one versus the other. And then lastly, you can overdo it with this, like everything else in life. The concept of Hormesis, if you will, comes into play. I'll never forget, I won't name a name, and forgive me if it's too easy to guess, but I remember meeting someone when I was much younger who was a very accomplished athlete, one of the first to run the Ironman and to be very successful and held many records. And I remember looking at him and going, Oh, my goodness, he's 36, I believe it was. He looks like he's 63.

[00:34:24.200] – Dr. McClain

And I don't mean that in any way, pejoratively, but I just remember thinking, Wow, that's not what I expected because this guy is so accomplished, you would expect, like we all expect, exercise is fantastic for you and you're doing all the right things, presumably, to be able to be that good at it. But no, you can overdo it. And literally, too much oxidation can weather you. And there's a limit as to how much you can do. And there's that sweet spot, I guess, I want to say, that you're looking for.

[00:34:54.220] – Allan

And so Hormesis, if you're not familiar with that, is basically a term we're applying a stress to our body. So the workout itself is a stress. And as we do that workout, that stress, we'll call it a positive stress or use stress, as they say, it's a positive stress on the body. And basically something that is the term, if it doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger. That's true for some things, but not everything. But the principle is, if we do something that stresses ourselves a little bit, our body has the opportunity through hormones to get stronger. And so we do weight lifting where we're lifting weights that are just right at the threshold of what we can lift, our muscle works. The communication of the body is, hey, we need this muscle to be a little bit stronger next time so that we build more muscle. Again, if we're getting the stimulus, the nutrition and the sleep, that's how this whole model works. And to go into your aerobic and anaerobic understanding, it's more like this. If you can move around and have a conversation like Dr. McClain and I are having right now, we're sitting still, so we're in a lower threshold, probably closer to zero than one.

[00:35:59.800] – Allan

But we're having this conversation and we can have a great conversation in long sentences and just keep going. But if we were getting close to the threshold where we started moving anaerobic, we wouldn't be able to have a conversation. We would start to get to the point where it was difficult to talk because we're not able to bring in enough oxygen, so our body has to switch over to not using oxygen for energy. So if we were both going for a good, fast run and he wants to beat me and I want to beat him and we're running hard, we're not going to be able to have a conversation. We're going to be focused on running. So if you start feeling like you're getting winded when you're doing something, you're approaching your anaerobic threshold.

[00:36:34.780] – Dr. McClain

And maybe one corollary to the idea of hormesis is the poisons in the dose, right? 

[00:36:40.780] – Allan

So let's dive in because I think a lot of people will say, I want to lose some body fat. My doctor keeps telling me to exercise more and eat less. And so I want to lose some of this body fat because my doctor keeps telling me I'm fat, or that I'm overweight, or that I just need to lose a little bit. And I step on the scale every time I go to visit this guy. So yeah, it's going to happen again if I don't do something. So I want to lose some body fat. What is the better way to do this? Aerobic or anaerobic? Because most of us are going to hit the cardio machines and be cardio bunnies to try to lose this weight because it's burning calories, right?

[00:37:17.600] – Dr. McClain

Right. And of course, people will say that in that zone 2 or below exercise where it's aerobic, we find that you are burning fat for fuel, preferentially over muscle glycogen. By definition of, certainly when we go anaerobic, right? You, Hart, done earlier, we're going for muscle glycogen, and this is where the great debate starts. And I would argue, though, it finishes back to high school physiology, right? Aerobically, and I ask the question to people all the time, and you already know the answer, so it's not fair to ask you the question. But you ask people, if you're trying to lose fat, or let's keep it more broad, if you're just simply trying to get rid of energy, do you want to be inefficient or efficient with your calories? And people almost invariably say, Oh, I want to be efficient. And no, it's the reverse. You want to go broke. So you want to pay high prices for your goods and services. You don't want to be efficient. You want to be inefficient. What's the most inefficient way to burn calories? The anaerobic method that your body uses is by far the most inefficient. As we have studied it still today, if you're into the anaerobic cycle, you are getting two to four units of energy, ATP per calorie.

[00:38:37.570] – Dr. McClain

We don't need to go into the weeds of two to four and what's happening, but it has to do with the fact that it's not a pure system and there's different things happening in the cell. But anyway, aerobically, you're getting 36 to 38 ATP units of energy per calorie. Well, obviously, aerobics is way more efficient. You're getting a lot of energy for each calorie. So yeah, you see a lot of guys in the gym and girls, obviously, when I say guys, I'm a Southerner, so I mean guys and girls by just saying guys doing their cardio, the LSD I call it long, slow distance, which yes, while you're on the treadmill in that zone two or below, yes, it's true, you are burning more fat. But over a 24 hours period, you're definitely burning through calories more, which is part of the equation, literally and figuratively, by putting on muscle mass in your workout, you're also literally burning calories more so at sleep or at rest than you would be otherwise. So I use the old parable about the… Or it's not even a parable, but what did they say? If you want to help out a man, you can catch fish for them each day, or you can teach him how to fish.

[00:39:48.300] – Dr. McClain

By developing increased muscle mass, which is what is, I would say, synonymous with your metabolism in many ways. It's the reason why we have to eat so much food. I joke with patients all the time, you don't hear people saying, Oh, geez, Jane Doe, you really blew it last night. We went to the library and we studied Einstein for a couple hours and burned 2,000 calories. No, it's always, Oh, you missed it. We did this activity where we were moving our muscles and we burnt a lot of calories. That said, just as a note of a no, they've done research, believe it or not, I like this research where they showed if you were to sit in the library all day and study hard, you might burn an extra 300 calories doing that. But you're working at it. How about if you put on, let's just make up numbers here, 10 pounds of muscle, then you're burning, if you're the average person, another, let's say, 78 % of calories. Again, not just when you're sleeping at night, which sounds great, but when you're active, it costs more now to do the same things you were doing before because you're carrying that extra muscle to do it.

[00:40:56.850] – Dr. McClain

That's why we don't see marathoners at 250 pounds solid muscle. Line backers are not running the marathons.

[00:41:04.870] – Allan

They're not professional anyway. Yeah.

[00:41:10.060] – Dr. McClain

Exactly, not professional. I know I've danced around different ways of looking at it, but is that fairly clear at this point or is it still mud?

[00:41:19.880] – Allan

Yeah, no, it is because the basis is this. A lot of people will talk about how as we get older, our metabolism goes down, which is not untrue, but it's basically typically true because we've lost muscle mass. So you can look back at the amount of muscle mass you had when you were 30 and you could get away with a lot of stuff. And now you're not 30, you're in your 40s or 50s and you're like, I can't eat what I was eating before. And you also know your activity level isn't as high. So even if you try to bump up your activity level, you still don't have the muscle mass you had back then. So even a little bit of extra muscle mass is that compounding effect of a penny. Would you rather me give you $10,000 right now, or a penny and double it every day for 30 days? And you start doing the math and realize, oh, I want the penny. So you put that little penny in the bank and that compound interest over time of burning just a little extra calories every day. And each time you're able to put an extra penny in that bank, that compound interest is just going to get bigger.

[00:42:20.330] – Allan

So it is harder being over 40 to put on a little bit more muscle mass. But it's doable if, again, as we went back, the stimulus of the training, the nutrition, and then the sleep. There's a math here of how you can make yourself healthier and increase your metabolism effectively or rebuild your metabolism because we didn't really lose anything other than muscle mass and activity level. And so it's not a matter of running yourself out of your body fat. Very few people can do that without increasing their appetite. But the reality of it is, yeah, you need the anaerobic, you need the strength. I actually saw a study that compared grip strength to longevity. The stronger your grip strength, the longer you lift, which you lived, which was effectively just basically saying that if you have grip strength, that's because you're lifting things. No one's just sitting there training their grip to do it. But maybe some are now that they saw that study. But it's a proxy of strength. And so if you're building strength and you're adding a little bit of muscle mass, you're setting yourself up to be healthier.

[00:43:19.950] – Dr. McClain

Agreed. Yeah. And the company of interest is directly 100 % analogous, but it's pretty doggone close in the sense, again, that it's not linear. You're just putting on X amount of muscle mass, which requires X amount of commensurant calories to maintain. Remember, you're going through what we refer to in medicine as the activities daily living, which includes to and from the grocery store as well as planned exercise. And so that is leveraged considerably. Maybe you could even say logarithmicly, maybe that might be a little extreme, but certainly that compounding effect is there because of that. Again, the example being that when you used to burn, let's say you go in the treadmill for an hour and you do your LSD and you burn 500 calories. Well, now that you're 10 pounds heavier, you do that exact same workout for an hour, but now you're burning 650 calories. That's a compounding effect. Agreed?

[00:44:16.180] – Allan

Yeah, it is. And the point being is what I found is if you're doing the right things for your body, you have more energy. As a result, you're moving more just in daily life. So that they call non exercise, thermogenic, neat activity. It's basically just the other stuff you're doing during the day. So you won't have a problem. You won't want to feel like you need to park at the closest parking space to where you're walking. You just park and then you walk. And so you just feel like that's not a problem for you. You get up and get down a lot more often, you're moving more. You're basically the things that aren't exercised, you're basically the things that aren't exercise. You're just doing more of them and as a result, burning more calories.

[00:44:55.260] – Dr. McClain

Well, this is just an example of how it's not as easy as we learned back in high school physiology, the basic equation, calories in versus calories out. And we could probably have, we could speak about this for hours, but just to throw that out there that there are so many other factors involved in the so called basics and you're touching on one of them. The other one I like to mention, too, is with weight lifting, typically or anything high intensity, I shouldn't just limit it to weight lifting, but the hit, we call it. There's a concept called the afterburn. A lot of people refer to it as where not only are you not producing as much cortisol, which we've agreed is on a chronic basis is bad for you. But as you would say when you're doing endurance work, particularly anything zone 3 to zone 5, but you can only stay in zone 5 for so long. So I don't want to make that sound like it might be an endurance work, but you can bounce in and out of zone 5 and do endurance work. I'm just trying to be technically correct. But the last material I thought, what was going to say about that?

[00:45:55.690] – Allan

Well, the cortisol drops after that intense workout.

[00:45:57.880] – Dr. McClain

I was talking about the after burn, though. And that's been proven in that, particularly when you perform your exercise in the morning. You were talking about the thermogenesis that occurs, right? That's part and parcel of your hit during the day as opposed to doing your hour or two on the road on your bicycle, very different. And again, another reason for doing stuff, not exclusively, but definitely including it. And we're going back to that age old thing about, oh, if my doctor wants me to lose some fat, I better do my cardio. No, that's part of it. Don't forget about the other part and the reasons behind it. I'm just adding there are a lot of reasons that aren't necessarily public and pushed, but there's a lot of nuance to it that we don't always talk about.

[00:46:41.110] – Allan

Right. And because I love where I live and I have this walk that I like to take, and the beaches just get prettier and prettier as I walk. So I'll go for long walks. It's just because I enjoy doing it and I want to be able to keep doing it. So yeah, having that long, slow cardio and having that stamina and capacity to do that, that's important to me. Being strong and able to lift the things I need to be able to lift, that's important to me. Being able to get down on the floor and get back up, that's important to me. And so let's talk just a little bit about flexibility before we move on.

[00:47:11.860] – Dr. McClain

Sure. And just to leave that last section behind with one added note, we've been focusing on the body composition aspect and the strength relating to longevity, health span, etc. But the other factor, and I got to give credit, I think I want to say it was Dr. Gupton. He's pretty famous, right?

[00:47:28.860] – Allan


[00:47:29.220] – Dr. McClain

In his most recent book, he makes a good point about, what about mental health, too? It's more than just physical health. We want the mental health. And there are plenty of studies to support that long walk you were just referring to, being good for mental health, not just what we refer to as the mind, but the brain, the physiologic mechanism that we attached to the mind, good brain health, whether it's the production of BD&F or just reducing inflammation in the brain altogether, those walks are essential. He actually, I think, believes, or he states that it's a nonnegotiable part of his day. There's more to it than just calorie burning, these zone two or below efforts in the long walks you were talking about. Anyway, in terms of flexibility, that is one that I've been asked before, and I tell myself often enough, if I had to do it all over again, if I could go back and talk to my 21 year old self or even my 12 year old self would be even better. Rand, focus on flexibility. Do not let that one go. A lot of us are guilty of this, particularly those maybe a little bit more type A and intense and maybe even hypomanic like myself, where I always thought I literally would say it to some of my coaches, are you kidding me?

[00:48:45.200] – Dr. McClain

We've got 15 minutes left of practice. Let's do some more X, whatever the sport was, heavy duty, high intensity stuff. I don't want to waste time stretching. Come on, man. And fortunately, to some degree, when you're younger, the fascia doesn't get as inflamed and scarred up. It's like so many things, time passes and the barnacles, no matter how much the ship is either in port or moving around, it's going to get barnacles, right? And who knew? That's how I look back and I go, gee whiz, if only I had known better. But to your point, there's another doctor who I love listening to, Peter Atia. I don't know if you've ever heard of him, but he has something I think he calls centenarian Olympics, where he's got these different exercises that are linked to longevity or health span that if you can do them great, you should do better than if you can't. And a lot of it has to do with functional movement. And without the flexibility, you are going to be dysfunctional to different degrees. You could be the best Kung fu artist. Really strong legs, hips, and you can throw your leg out at the bag or the person or whatever.

[00:49:53.840] – Dr. McClain

But if you can only raise it as far as the knee, well, you're limited to how well you can throw that kick. So maybe that's a terrible example, but my point, flexibility is absolutely essential. And there's more and more study coming out. I read a study recently about the importance of fascia, which you will be keeping supple and flexible with your exercises of flexibility. And this fascia is very important. Without it, we'd just be this sack of muscle hanging on bone. This fascia keeps everything in place and allows, for example, that covering, allows the lymph system to work more efficiently and the lymph is activated when we do any movement or get a massage if we're lucky enough. So flexibility is one of those things that gets overlooked. Often, I don't want to say it's ever too late, but it's not the sexy thing that we look for when we think of somebody who's doing his Olympic lifts and throwing 200 kilos overhead in a snatch, you go, Well, that was all about power, not flexibility. Well, that's actually a great example, a sport where it looks like it's all about strength, but no, man, is it about flexibility?

[00:50:59.510] – Dr. McClain

Because it's about moving your body properly and efficiently to get the most out of your muscles. Hope I'm not getting too esoteric here, but you really just want to get the most out of it, where flexibility is so important, and yet we don't think of it that way until we really get into the nitty gritty.

[00:51:13.650] – Allan

Right. So you're sitting on the toilet and you drop the toilet paper and it rolls out a few feet from your foot. Can you reach down and grab it? Or are you standing up and trying to bend over to pick up that toilet paper? This is a real life thing.

[00:51:29.120] – Dr. McClain

I love. It. love it. Yeah.

[00:51:30.560] – Allan

So again, it's just one of those things of how well do you move? Because we're going to always need to move. And so mobility and flexibility are allowing you to move through the full range of motion the way your body was intended to move. And unfortunately, I had an office job for decades. And so tight hips, tight calves, those types of things, I need a mobility practice. One of my mobility practices, which is going to come off as weird, but I have two dogs. And so I'll get up in the morning, I'll start my coffee and then I'll go sit down on the floor. It's a tile floor and I don't have to have a plan to get up. So I don't ask that question. I do. I get up, but I can just sit down there and sitting on a tile floor is not the most comfortable thing in the world. So I shift around a good bit. But I'm shifting through and stretching while I'm petting my dogs. They love it because they're getting direct attention at their level. I love it because I'm just able to start my day with a very relaxing, wonderful moment with my dogs.

[00:52:26.700] – Allan

Plus I'm stretching. I'm on the floor just moving around. If you've ever tried to just sit still on a tile floor, it's actually not that comfortable. So you just naturally squirm around. You naturally move. And so I'll do that regularly. Almost every day, I'm sitting down having that time with my dogs while I'm waiting for the coffee, and that's a part of my stretching. So it's not like I took an extra 15 minutes out of my day to go do stretching. This is five minutes while I'm waiting for coffee to brew that I'm just sitting down on the floor, moving around, getting just good movement in my legs. I've been asleep, so just not too fast, not too aggressive, just moving around and letting my legs and my whole hips and everything just get moving. And so it is a function of your life. And the more you can be more mobile, be more flexible, I think that's a big part of all of this.

[00:53:15.160] – Dr. McClain

Would add to that, too, and I can't take credit for it. An ice skater that I met many, many years ago told me about this, and it's actually to a different end. She was talking about how she developed her glute muscles. She and her mom, who's also a skater, would get up during every commercial break when they were watching TV. Let's not get into whether TV watching or not has value. But anyway, the advertisements, I would argue, have zero value. Well, they made use of it. This was back in the day, 40 years ago, when television spots were even longer, I think. At any rate, like you say, instead of sitting there because you do want to watch the football game, let's say, television is worthwhile, I would argue in that example. But get up and stretch and make that time useful and sitting there like a bump on a log. So just another example where you can throw it in there and then it's not wasted by any stretch of the imagination.

[00:54:01.620] – Allan

Absolutely. Let's take just a couple of minutes and talk about stem cell therapy and particularly these muse cells, because I wasn't familiar with those before I read your book. And I think this therapy actually has a huge amount of promise, particularly for people who have injuries or illnesses and they're trying to repair their body. Can you talk a little bit about those?

[00:54:22.880] – Dr. McClain

Sure. New cells are a relatively new discovery. The first person to discover it was a female doctor in Japan, Dr. Dazawa. The story is an interesting one, but in short, it was really by accident that she discovered them. There are people that suggest that no, these are not a different type of cell, that mus cells or really stem cells. I argue it's a matter of semantics, no matter how you slice it. You can say, well, is it tadpola frog? Is it a Caterpillar or a Butterfly? You follow my drift there. Who cares? We know that when stem cells that have been collected are stressed, then we find these mus cells. We believe, most of us, I would argue, believe that mus cells are a separate entity. They're much fewer of them, but they're found surrounding most organs, and they're activated in extreme cases. And again, that's why when these collections, where you're doing, for example, collection of the perivascular fat, you find them because they're present. And if you collect the stem cells, they come with the stem cells. And then in the case of, for example, the American hero at UCLA, Gorgio, I mentioned him in my book, too, he found it by accident as well.

[00:55:39.780] – Dr. McClain

The centrifuge broke at UCLA. He was using it. He said, I'll deal with it tomorrow. Went home, came back the next day and found these new cells were present. But mus cells are different from stem cells in the sense that while they're both regenerative, stem cells, first of all, as far as we know, still to this day, they will not cross the blood brain barrier, which is important if you want to treat the brain, obviously. They don't cross, so they're not viable, although the exosome contents can, presumably a lot of the contents can. But we want to be able to not have to… If we want to, for example, treat Parkinson's, for example, we want to get to the substantial nitro, where that's the area of the brain that's going to control dopamine release. If we wanted to regenerate those cells, the only way we could do it, presumably to date, would be to drill a hole and get there the hard way, so to speak, rather than just infusing it. Well, new cells differently than stem cells can cross the blood brain barrier. And while with stem cell use, there's a very small chance of cancer growth occurring.

[00:56:42.060] – Dr. McClain

Now, if you have extent cancer, and there's an argument both ways that, well, stem cells could activate the immune system to further get rid of the cancer, or the stem cells could actually contribute to the cancer itself. They're both referred to as generally undifferentiated cells. So there's an argument back and forth. But we do know, for example, we tried to treat neurological injuries, spinal cord injuries with stem cells directly. And last time I checked, we were still rowful in their effect, certainly based upon the ratio of how many we have versus what they can do. So the potency seems to be better, but they seem to be more efficient. They seem to be Mother Nature's last effort. And so it's our best effort. And while we really haven't advanced the medicine here, it's simply because I would argue, most of the research, and you can look it up online, at least when I did in writing the book, was written in Japanese. There were probably about 100 articles when I started looking into this. Robert Harding, kudos for… He was the one that told me about this. And then I'd say of those 100 articles, probably 90 % or 90 or more were which doesn't do us much good.

[00:58:25.460] – Dr. McClain

And if you go online today, you won't find much of the way to use cells. But I think they are the future. They're fairly easily obtained. And in the same way stem cells can be used, they don't have to be a toll of it in other words. You don't have to have your own because they essentially don't have, I will call them fingerprints. And therefore, the enterogens, where your body would look at it as something different and attack it, perhaps. Mus cells have no potential there. So we could use Mus cells from one individual for anybody else. And that's a pretty big advantage, too. Yeah.

[00:58:57.210] – Allan

And so I think this is just as you start thinking about upcoming things. This is just a part of science that really, I guess, what they call it the better life through science. This is maybe one of the big opportunities that's setting in front of us. It's hard because there's some ethical considerations, but they are doing some work on it. So it's something to be aware of and know that it's going to probably be coming. There are, as you said, clinical trials that are going on throughout the United States and around the world. So if you're dealing with something, you can do a little bit of research on it, try to find, you call it clinical trials.org or something like that, that was a website people can look up and say, Okay, where are they doing clinical trials for the thing I'm dealing with with regards to stem cells or mus cells, and see if you can get into one of those, if that's something you want to pursue.

[00:59:44.550] – Dr. McClain

Well, and just because you bring up the word ethical, I'm sure you're referring to a very different subset of ethics than what most people think of when they think of stem cells. Initially, we were talking about embryonic stem cells and the collection of said cells from fetuses. That is not the case. This is a sore spot for me and many in this field because there's been a lot lost in translation since then. From whatever groups you want to point to, there was a backlash initially because of the ethics behind harvesting these from aborted fetuses and whatnot. But what we're talking about now, certainly when we refer to stem cells or mus cells for that matter, this is not from another being's aborted life or anything close to that. These are cells that can be obtained, I mentioned earlier, for example, from the fat of a living adult human. The mesotheliis that are sitting there in the parabasculate or the fat. So a very, very different animal. And I just want to make sure that's clear to our audience. I think you're referring to the other ethics of maybe it's affordability to some versus others. And so they get the chance to not have to get a shoulder replacement, or they fix their liver disease or whatever.

[01:00:59.860] – Dr. McClain

I mean, there's all kinds of other ethics to come into play here, but it's not about taking one life for another anymore.

[01:01:04.890] – Allan

Right. But I'm just saying as you go through this process, just recognize you need to go through that and understand what's happening here so that you can make the right decision and understand that, yes, then you're going to get some blowback potentially.

[01:01:17.920] – Allan

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

[01:01:27.120] – Dr. McClain

Well, I would imagine it'd be fairly anti climactic at this point when I tell you what my three most important ones are, what I would argue are the obvious. They're not sexy, but they are the basics, and you can't change that. At least we don't have something Star Trek, and at this point that could do that. It's the basics. It's getting the proper nutrition, getting the proper amount of exercise, and getting the proper amount of sleep. It doesn't get any better than that. Beyond that, we are fine tuning. Without the basics, we are not fine tuning, or I would argue, you're fine tuning 70 to 72% rather than 98 to 100%. If you're not getting the proper amount of sleep, forget about being optimized. Ditto for nutrition and ditto for exercise. And fortunately, we talked about all three of those, so we're not leaving anybody hanging. And I do mean to use the term appropriate amount. And that amount, by the way, not to start up a new conversation, but it's different for everybody. If anybody tells you, for example, there's one way to eat, there's only a certain nutritional program that you should be on, you know this, run away.

[01:02:38.840] – Dr. McClain

I mean, come on. Everybody's different starting from the way they chose their parents to the way they lived their life, their age, where they live in the United States, etc. That's where a lot of work is involved. You can start with any one of these diets. And if I had to pick one, not to be contradictory, but I think there are some good starts for most people. But that would be the Mediterranean diet. But to further my point, I use the example, most people, if you gave them amphetamine speed, they would be up. If you gave them a big enough dose, they might be up for a couple of nights in a row, rearranging the garage and then doing that again. But there are some people with ADHD, for example, that are normally high strong. You give them enough of amphetamine, and they actually fall asleep. So my point being to apply that to diet, there are still good ways to start it out. But I would argue that the furthest thing from a Mediterranean diet might be a Ketogenic diet. And yet there are people that are eating only fat, the Ketogenic diet, or mainly fat, and they're staying in Ketosis, where they are way better off than if they were doing a Mediterranean diet.

[01:03:45.880] – Dr. McClain

And of course, one thing I didn't mention is, aside from the way you chose your parents, where you live, how old you are, what are your goals? Some people want to run 5 and 10Ks every weekend. Some people want to be very strong. Some people just want to be able to get in the garden every day. So just one other aspect of deciding what's the best is for you. Now, sleep, it's a little bit more concrete, cut and dry, as we said earlier. Matthew Walker points this out, but it's not his opinion. He's called the research, 7 to 9 hours, unless you're one of these very rare individuals, is where your sweet spot is. It might be 7.5 for you. It might be 8.5 for me. And that might change depending upon the season and how much we train, etc. But that's our window. That one's pretty easy. And of course, we emphasize quality early in the discussion. And then exercise, we got into this in detail, too. Not only is it about your goals, but it's not just about physical goals, it's about mental goals. But that's one that is very different, I would argue, also, much like diet, depending upon your age, where you are in life, etc.

[01:04:53.900] – Dr. McClain

Again, the fun part of all this is, well, I would say it is simple, but it's complicated. You're not going to get bored trying to figure this out. But also, once you do, because it took you a year to do it, well, you're a year older and you might have to change it just because you've been on the planet longer. So I would look at it as fun as you can make it as one additional side note to all this. We have things like the Oura ring I'm wearing here, my iWatch, or whatever they call it. We have a lot of tools that can collect data. There's a lot of apps that can help you with nutrition, for example. And while that is not an exact science, it's not precise enough to be accurate. Arguably, the calibrometer only gives you close to what we're looking for data. But it helps make it more fun for a lot of us. I would argue you and I as CPAs would love my fitness pad because it gets in the nitty gritty of every little thing that passes your mouth and you can have a plan. And while it may not be as accurate as we'd like, it's precise enough to head us in the right direction.

[01:05:59.340] – Dr. McClain

And I would argue that's what makes it that much easier because it is that much more fun and viable that way.

[01:06:06.420] – Allan

Yes. Dr. McClain, if someone wanted to learn more about you and learn more about your book, Cheating Death, where would you like for me to send them?

[01:06:14.420] – Dr. McClain

Well, Cheating Death is available, they call it pre sales, I guess, on Amazon right now. The book is officially released March 7th.

[01:06:22.040] – Allan

Yeah, that's today.

[01:06:24.770] – Dr. McClain

Please, and I would appreciate anyone's feedback, good or bad, about the book. Anyone who's ever written a book will tell you the same thing. It was a lot of work. A lot of what I put in the book was chopped out. They call it killing your babies, what an horrible term. But it was also what I would say, I don't want to say dumbed down because that's not fair, but I had a lot of intricate processes that I illuminated in the book and had fun doing. And they said, Nope, nobody wants to… Or I would say nobody. Most people don't want to hear that rant. And then I got excluded and I spent a lot of time with it. But I hope it's informative for both the so called late person as well as the professional. We'll see the feedback like I said.

[01:07:05.930] – Allan

It is. Absolutely.

[01:07:08.720] – Dr. McClain

Psr, Papa Sierra Romeo Med. Com is our website, and hopefully that's got some good info on there. And then, of course, I've come into the 21st century and I have an Instagram account and a LinkedIn and a Facebook that we try and provide updates on and make fun too, little tips that might be helpful.

[01:07:27.800] – Allan

Great. Well, Dr. McClain, thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[01:07:32.780] – Dr. McClain

Thank you. It was a pleasure joining you and talking with you. Thanks.

Post Show/Recap

[01:07:46.540] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[01:07:48.200] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. There's a lot of really interesting information in your conversation with Dr. McClain. Cheating Death is a great title for a book, but it really does get me thinking, how old do you think you will live to, plan to, or would want to live to? What age do you expect to live to?

[01:08:08.480] – Allan

Well, most of us that are already in our 50s, like you and I are, in all probability, we're going to live till we're 100 unless something silly happens, which it does. This stuff happens. But the vast majority of people have the capacity to live well past 100. Everything I've ever read about the human body says that it is built to endure at least 120 years before it should really be wearing out. And obviously, if you do repetitive motions or did certain things that were foolish when you were younger, you might have injuries and things that would cause that to be a little different. But the science and what they're doing is getting better and better. Stem cells, mus cells.

[01:08:50.670] – Allan

Hip replacements, knee replacements, shoulder replacements, they can basically rebuild you and make you stronger and do all those things. But we're all making these decisions today, how you're going to be at 105, how you're going to maybe be at 120. You're making the decision today.

[01:09:09.930] – Rachel

Yeah. Well, that's a great point. I have longevity. I've mentioned in the past, I've got a couple of great grandparents who had lived to 103, 104. So I've had role models. I've had people in my life who I've seen surpass the age of 100, and they lived on their own in their own home until they were in their 90s. Again, this is a living example in my life. Now that I've hit 50, I'll be 52 this year, I'm looking, so what do I need to do in the next 50 years to position myself to live a high quality of life? I want to be able to walk and move and do things like my great grandparents did. So what do I need to do to get to that point?

[01:09:53.260] – Allan

Well, the independence part is going to come from your training, from your resting and that type of thing. So resistance training, maintaining grip strength, working on balance, because strength is a big part of that as well. Just the basic stamina, a little bit of speed, those basic things. So that the joke goes, I want to be able to wipe my own butt when I'm 105. And a lot of people don't think that far ahead. They're thinking health today. They're thinking fitness today. It's like, okay, I want to lose a gene size or a dress size, or I want to be able to run a little bit faster in my 5K tomorrow. And that's great. But also be thinking about what does this do for your overall fitness later?

[01:10:39.960] – Allan

And that should also be something that's in there. And it doesn't have to be what you're completely focused on now, but just realizing that your overall programming and things you're doing for yourself today are going to impact who you are 10, 15, 20, 60 years from now. And so you're making those decisions every day.

[01:11:04.380] – Rachel

Yeah. Well, you and I talk a lot about making fitness a part of our lifestyle, taking the time to go on the walks, runs, hit the gym, and do all these things. And even you and Dr. McClain talked about doing hit activities and other cardio things, but also gardening and being outside and being active. And over the weekend feeding a fire for my maple syrup oil. I was on my feet all weekend long, so was Mike. I don't know, I like movement so much. It's very easy for me to incorporate that into my daily activity and how important that is. But that's not the only thing. You guys also talked about having good nutrition and sleep. You spent quite a bit of time talking about the importance of sleep.

[01:11:45.780] – Allan

Yeah, it's come up a few times when I've talked to different people, Joey and then also Dave, we talked about that, sleep is a big part of how they also see maintaining your health and fitness. And if you're not getting adequate recovery, the work doesn't really matter is the premise. And in fact, if you're not getting the recovery, I'd go as far as to say the work could actually be detrimental because you're adding the stress on top of a stressed system. And so that's why it's so important is balancing the hormones, getting your body primed to do all the things you needed to do, cleaning the brain, cleaning your muscles, getting everything ready for you to be awesome the next day. It's important. And if we're not doing that, then we're setting ourselves up for problems. And some statistics that have come out of podcasts not too long ago. In 30 years, people who are 85 years old, half of them are going to have Alzheimer's.

[01:12:50.770] – Rachel

Gosh, that's a huge %.

[01:12:52.560] – Allan

And so if you're over 50, I'm 57, is if you start looking at it and think, Okay, well, that's not that long from now. Basically 30 years and I'll be 87, there's a 50% chance that I'd have Alzheimer's, and that's going to be my nutrition. That's going to be me making sure that I'm managing my brain health through sleep predominantly. And if you're not doing that, then you're basically just saying, I want to age faster than I have to. And by doing that, then you start to fall behind on the aging curve, and it controls how fast you descend. And you could spend a long, long time in a bad place and just not die. And so to me, the book title is great because it gets your attention, cheating death. But I would go even further and say, the way you cheat death is you stay healthy, you stay fit. And so I would say embrace life, not sickness, because you could spend a long time sick and unhealthy and not doing the things you enjoy and not able to wipe your own butt. And those things I know in my heart of hearts that the first time I have to ask somebody to open a jar of pickles,

[01:14:22.260] – Allan

I'm doing something different because I'm like, that won't happen again. I'm going to be able to open my own pickles. I'm going to be able to wipe my own butt. And like your grandparents did, I want to be completely and wholly independent and not just at 97. If I'm still alive at 107, then I want to do that. If I'm 117, whatever the number, wherever it is, you don't know, you guess you can have some say in it. But in a general sense, it happens when it happens. And if you live a good, healthy life today, you're setting yourself up to be having a good, healthy life then. There's an interplay there. The faster you go down the curve now, the further down the curve you'll be then, and the worse that's going to be. Or the better you are to yourself today, the better you're going to be then, and the better your life is going to be then. And so it's just a function of making choices and you don't have to be perfect. That's what's so cool about all this is when saying you have to live this perfect life and do all these things just all the time.

[01:15:25.040] – Allan

But the more consistent you are and the better you treat yourself, it's no different than a car or any other piece of equipment or anything. If you rat it out, you rat it out. It starts making noises that you didn't want it to make and starts creaking when you don't want it to creak. And then warning lights come on all over the place when you don't want them to come on. But you take good care of your car, it will last you for a long, long time. You just got to take care of it and do the maintenance, get the stuff done, put good fuel in it, change the oil when it needs it. And just pay attention to what it's doing. It's no different with our bodies. It's really almost the same thing. If you take care of yourself, you're going to live longer and better.

[01:16:12.060] – Rachel

That's perfect right there. Just taking care of yourself. And you can expect a higher quality of life. Don't we all just want to have a better quality of life as we age?

[01:16:21.600] – Allan

I would hope so, but I don't know. I don't know. I see it every day and I'm like, for the love of God, why are people still doing that?

[01:16:36.060] – Rachel

I have a lot of great role models in my life. Mike's dad, my father in law, he ran a half marathon in his year of turning 70. He was 70 and he ran a half marathon. I love that. I love running, but I would love the opportunity to be able to run a half marathon when I'm 70 or 80. I don't know, about 90. Maybe I'll hang up my.

[01:16:57.680] – Allan

And then not just kill over. But that's what I'm saying.

[01:17:02.840] – Allan

The breadth of what you see is you can sit there and look at two 70 year olds, and one of them is vibrant and alive and doing things they love and taking on new challenges. And the other is not. It's a challenge to get out of bed. It's a challenge to change your clothes. It's a challenge to go to the bathroom. And as a result, you don't leave your house and you don't live a life. And so it was great when we were teenagers to skip out on school and sit home all day and watch the price is right. But when you're 70 and that's all you get to do, price is right and jeopardy, and that's your day, the two shows you're looking forward to and that's all you get.

[01:17:51.690] – Allan

Yeah. It's not.

[01:17:53.820] – Rachel

not what I want either. And it's good. We all need to think about where we want to be at age 70 or 80 or 90 or 100. Where do we expect to be and take the action to get to that point?

[01:18:06.180] – Allan

I'm just to the mindset, act like you're still going to be alive, and then what would you do? What would you want that person, who you are then to think about now and say, Okay, well, I'm so glad I turned things around. I'm so glad that I did all those extra little things to get stronger and stay stronger. And I'm so glad that I got sunshine and I reduced stress and I slept as good as I could and all those different things, and they all add up. And so it's not that you have to sit there and be perfect today, but all those little investments, all those little things pay off. They're like putting money in the 401k every paycheck, every day, just a little bit more, a little bit more, a little bit more. And all that little trickle, trickle, trickle just puts you in so much better place 10, 15, 20, 50 years from now.

[01:19:02.630] – Rachel


[01:19:03.560] – Allan

All right. Well, Rachel, I will talk to you next week.

[01:19:06.840] – Rachel

Take care, Allan.

[01:19:08.100] – Allan

You too.

Music by Dave Gerhart


The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Melissa Ball
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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


February 28, 2023

How to work smarter not harder with Dave Asprey

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Dave Asprey is the father of biohacking. He's made a career out of finding the easiest way to get healthy and fit. On episode 579 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss his book, Smarter Not Harder.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:45.300] – Allan

Hey, Ras. How are you?

[00:02:48.610] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:50.780] – Allan

Well, we're right into the prime season for Bocas. Our season's kicking up, and so we got a lot of people coming in for that. And then we're going into a part of the year called Carnival. Many people in the United States will think of it as Mardi Gras. So you'll hear Mardi Gras on the fat Tuesday. It's a big, big, big holiday here in Panama. So it's massive. And I think this year is going to be another big one because we slowed it down with COVID. They basically canceled everything here for two years for COVID, and last year they had it. And this year, I think it's blown up a little bit because they're just pent up thing. So we're going to have carnival is rolling up in the middle of February. So this episode will probably already be live by the time that happens. But we're in a really busy season and being on a hospitality industry with Lula's is kicking. We're full most nights and training out and different guests. And so we've had some really good times, really good guests. And then, of course, I'm planning the retreat. So I'm going through that process of getting that all organized and be hosted at Lula's.

[00:03:59.600] – Allan

So if you're interested, go to 40plusfitness.com/retreat. And if there are any slots left, then you can go check it out. Got six slots for the VIP and the VIPs get to stay at Lula's. And then I have 24 slots open for the general attendees. And it's a real good opportunity. It's a fitness retreat. So the purpose of this is for you to do a little bit of movement and enjoy some of what is available here in Bocas. But beyond that is basically for you to build a plan that's specific for you, where you want to go with your fitness, what does it look like? And we're going to do all of that thought exercise. And then literally, you'll leave here with a program. You say, this is what my gym looks like. This is what I have available to me. This is what I'm willing to do. And so when you leave here, you basically have the next six months of your plan completely mapped out to take your fitness to the next level. And that's what the objective is for this is if you're tired of where you are right now and you're struggling with your fitness, this is going to be your opportunity to figure it out and have a plan and literally leave here and know that by the end of 2023, you're going to be as fit as you can possibly be.

[00:05:17.190] – Rachel

Awesome. That sounds great.

[00:05:19.020] – Allan

So how are things up there?

[00:05:20.630] – Rachel

Good, really good. I just went for my annual physical this week. Donated some blood today to have the insides checked out. So my doctor says I'm doing well and healthy. So now we'll see what the blood work says when it comes back. Good.

[00:05:34.610] – Allan

I'm about to go through that myself. I've got a little bit done. It's a funny thing. You're trying to set an appointment. And February and March, of course, with February just having 28 days, it creates this dynamic of looking at dates and getting them wrong. We had a guest that actually did that. We were looking to check him in yesterday, and we messaged him. He finally gets on the email and finds it and says, Oh, this was supposed to be in March. Oops, I made a mistake. And so you're like, oh. But my physician did the same. Their office did the same thing. I set up the appointment. And I had originally said I want it the first week of March. They came back and said, We can do the 13th. I'm like, okay, cool. And I said, Just let me know what time. And then they sent me the message and had a lot of words and it's all in Spanish. And so I read it, but I didn't read it. Read it. And so I just saw, okay, 13th, Monday, 1 PM. I'm like, Cool. And I got to get up now. I'm more focused on I got to get some blood test done before I go because they want the results before I meet with the doctor.

[00:06:36.840] – Allan

And so they gave me some numbers. I'm looking for ways I can get that done. And then again, for us yesterday, the 13th, they send me the message and say, Okay, your appointment is this afternoon. I'm like, no. Then I go back and look at it and realize I didn't read their message clearly enough. And obviously they didn't read my message clearly enough when I said I needed it in March. Oh, my gosh. Yeah, we're going to try to get that all sorted out. They were like, Okay, no problem. Reset your appointment and we'll go forward. They didn't want to send it early. I don't know. It's weird. But they said, Wait, make sure it's more than five days. But sometime… So I'm just wait a week or two and book my appointment for March.

[00:07:18.890] – Rachel

Well, good. I'm glad you're going. Annual physicals are so important. And it's good to get this annual blood work, watch that baseline. And I'm glad you're going.

[00:07:27.260] – Allan

And the screening is important. I think that's one thing is if you're waiting for the symptoms, then you're waiting for illness. And so by doing the screenings, getting yourself out there, you're going to learn earlier, know better, and be in a better place. Appreciate that you went and get your checkup. I'm going to get some of mine done. In fact, I got to get out here in a minute and look for the type of doctor that does the poop shoot.

[00:07:53.090] – Rachel


[00:07:55.800] – Allan

Yeah, I'm going to go ahead and get that done. Only because, again, I'm traveling to David and I want to make the trip worth it because it's a boat and a bus and then hotel and all that. So it's like, okay, if I'm going to go there on the third, hopefully, I guess the 13th. And it's like, okay, then the next day go in and get this other one done.

[00:08:15.980] – Rachel

Perfect. Yeah.

[00:08:16.310] – Allan

So it's the whole, was my insurance covered? Although I've got this high level high deductible program here, I was like, does it cover it or not? And then, okay, what does that mean? Because I'm not going to hit the deductible with these tests. But yeah. So I'm going to be paying for it. I'm going to be paying for it. But at the same time, it's like go against the deductible. So if something happens and it's there. But at any rate, yeah, I'm in that mode too.

[00:08:42.370] – Rachel

Good. Glad to hear it.

[00:08:45.260] – Allan

All right. Are you ready to have this conversation with Dave Asprey?

[00:08:49.150] – Rachel



[00:09:46.930] – Allan

Dave, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:09:49.580] – Dave

I am so happy to be here for you, Allan.

[00:09:52.700] – Allan

Now, your book is called Smarter Not Harder: The Biohacker's Guide to Getting the Body and Mind You Want. And I got two things to say. First off is you under promise and over delivered because I think a lot of the things that are in this book are, yes, they're going to improve your body. And there are a lot of things in this book that are going to improve your mind. But there is so much in this book that if you take it serious and you pay attention, it's going to change your life.

[00:10:22.260] – Dave

It's not worth the time and it takes to write a book if it doesn't have that level of value. It's thousands of hours of work to put together a book like this and lots of late nights. And it's not a profitable thing to do to write a book like this. I'm CEO of multiple companies. I built a hundred million dollar company. And so I read these books and I'm like, man, if I write this, my crystallized knowledge from this is going to be so good for me. And when someone reads it, they're going to get at least 100 hours of time back. Then it's worth it. Otherwise, I have other stuff to do and I'm lazy. I don't want to do more work than is necessary.

[00:10:59.800] – Allan

And we all are. And we'll get into that in a minute. I think the other thing is, and I've said this before on this podcast, I've been doing this for seven years is I've had a little bit of a problem with the term biohacker. And it's only going back from the beginning of when I was trying to figure this stuff out, and people are just throwing these things out there, seeing if they stick. And so it was like, okay, consistency matters and understanding your body and how it responds to stimulus matters and recovery matters and sleep matters. And so there are things you can do, little things that can make that better. And so I've always understood, yes, we're going to have the tricks and tips that work for us, and then some that we just have to discard because they're not right for us. In the beginning, when I first started trying to figure this stuff out, though, there seemed to be more hacks in the biohacker space than there were the people who actually took the time to read the science, fundamentally understand it, and then apply it in a reasonable, measured way to make sure that the results were what they were.

[00:12:09.440] – Allan

And that's one of the things I can say that I appreciate about you is that you didn't just throw things against the wall and see if they stick. You figured out why something was working or not working for yourself, I think, at one point. And then this is probably so old, you're like, oh, that's not even a big number anymore. But you'd spent 300… I remember you saying on your podcast, I've spent over $300,000 figuring out what works for me.

[00:12:34.760] – Dave

That was just the very beginning when I started. That's what it took me to get back to baseline. Since then, it's probably around two million dollars I've spent on upgrading my biology and all the different ways I do it.

[00:12:44.640] – Allan

And that's what I'm saying.

[00:12:46.140] – Dave

I don't regret that.

[00:12:47.520] – Allan

You make these investments, but you don't just sit there and say, Well, I'm going to try this stem cell thing, or I'm going to try this CRISPR thing. And you literally do the research and say, Okay, what's the likelihood? What's this going to do? How's this going to work? And I think, again, that just changes. It changed me. It changed the way I think about biohacking. And I would say, from the perspective of reading this, particularly this book, I wouldn't even call this so much biohacking. It's a new thing, and it's scientific application of a principle. And so I think the backing of all this is that as I read this book, I'm like, These are more than biohacks in many cases. These are just really sensible, real things that you can do to improve your life. And some of them are not mainstream right now, but they will be.

[00:13:38.970] – Dave

They will be.

[00:13:40.080] – Allan

And things that weren't mainstream 15 years ago are. And there's not many people out there that haven't at least heard the term bulletproof coffee and the whole thing of putting fat in your coffee and how Keto can help power your brain better.

[00:13:55.310] – Allan

So the things that were they were cutting edge then, they're now mainstream. Things that are in this book. Some of them are on that edge, but they're going to be mainstream because you've done your homework. And that's one of the things I appreciate about this book.

[00:14:09.480] – Dave

Beautiful. Thank you. I do have a track record of in my books writing about stuff that when you know how stuff works with a good model, you can predict how things ought to work. And then you can say, I'm going to try what ought to work. And if it does work, then you can propose the theory, you can show the hack and say this ought to work for you, but there's no guarantee. Give it a try because the risk is low and the reward is high. And that's how I structure my books. And I say, well, let's assume this is real. What's an example you could do at home? What's an example that you could do that you'll spend a little bit of money on? And what's an example that a crazy billionaires is doing right now that takes advantage of this new idea in the world? And there were two new big ideas that made smarter, not harder, worth writing about, or I guess maybe it's even three. But one of the most important is what I call slope of the curve biology, which is not a sexy name. As a marketing guy, I probably could have done better.

[00:15:05.950] – Dave

I was going to call it the spike, but they didn't like that.

[00:15:10.260] – Dave

So what it is is the idea that your body is an automated part. I call it the meat operating system in the book. The thing that's running your body when you're not looking, all the little stuff you wouldn't pay attention to anyway. Well, it doesn't respond to the volume of work you do. It responds to the rate that you increase the work and very importantly, the rate that you return back to baseline. So if you wanted to make your body change quickly, you would do something that takes it right to the edge almost instantly and then meditate right away and have a sudden spike. And when that happens, the body gets a signal that's something like this. A tiger almost caught me, but now I'm safe. Since I have enough nutrients, I have enough energy, and I'm not stressed right now, let me just upgrade my capabilities in case that happens again. But because we believe without any evidence that doing a bigger volume of work is going to make us somehow stronger, we do the sprint and then we run at half of our capacity for 30 minutes. And the stupid body goes, Oh, man, the tiger almost caught me. got us, but it's still hunting us because we keep running.

[00:16:18.470] – Dave

Therefore, why would I ever adapt? I need to put all my resources into making sure that I run some more. And we think, What doesn't kill me makes me stronger. The reality is that sending a brief signal into your body and then allowing the body to respond by adapting makes you stronger. And it's a lot less work than the what doesn't kill me, makes me stronger vibe.

[00:16:41.060] – Allan

Yeah. And that's, I think, one of the cores that runs this book, the curve, yes. And I was a physics major at one point, so definitely understand the curve being the way we think about most things in science.

[00:16:53.250] – Dave

It's the derivative, not the integral of the math people of us.

[00:16:57.050] – Allan

Yeah. But you have this thing in the book and it's called the laziness principle. And I think when I started reading it, I'm like, Okay, well, yeah, but this is not a mental laziness where you're just saying, I really just don't want to work out. The reality is your body doesn't want to work out. Your body doesn't want to expend energy. Your body just basically wants you to do everything to get by just enough because that makes it very easy for it to hold, Homostasious and survive. And it's kept us alive all the times that we've been humans and even before is this principle of maintaining a lazy attitude towards everything.

[00:17:40.160] – Dave

In fact, if you look at that, a famine could come at any time, so why burn one more calorie than necessary? And that's why the body makes the couch look sexy and the gym look horrible. And everyone who says, Oh, I thought about being lazy. No, you didn't. Your body felt lazy and you made up a thought to match the feeling. You actually aren't lazy. Your meat is lazy. Your cognitive part of you, the conscious rational part of you, the human part of you, wants to work it out. In fact, it wants to want to work out. And then you feel guilt and shame because you don't automatically want to work out. How could I have this feeling that I don't want to work out? It's because your body is smart and it doesn't want you to start to death and it's trying to keep you alive. So you can use willpower to overcome the body's natural impulse, or you could use another trick, and that's what's behind the laziness principle. It's actually a motivational trick. And what it is is to understand what marketing companies have known for years. It's that your body cares more about saving than spending.

[00:18:39.180] – Dave

And that's why if you've ever had someone come back from a shopping trip and say, I saved $100 on a pair of shoes, honey. And they say, Yeah, but how much were they? Well, they were $200. Okay, so you spent $200. No, I saved $100. Why did the $100 feel more important than the $200? We know it wasn't, but we feel it is. That's why coupons work so effectively on people because savings feels bigger than spending. So what I teach you to do throughout Smart or Not Harders, hey, pick one of the five big goals people have in their health and then use one of the techniques based on slope of the curve biology that are in the book. And when you do that, here's how much time you're going to save. Instead of motivating yourself, I'm going to do five minutes of cardio, you go, I'm going to save 40 minutes of cardio. I will go out of my way to save 40 minutes of sweating with someone and spend excelling at me. But I won't go out of my way to spend five minutes doing cardio. Even though it's a lot less work, it's still work.

[00:19:35.790] – Dave

And I'm just not attracted to work. I'm just attracted to results with no cost. And so are you. And that's okay. In fact, that is the sacred part of being human. Do you think we ever would have invented airplanes if we weren't lazy? It was a lot of work to walk there. So first we figured out, let's ride a horse and let's make a train. Let's make a car. It's still not fast enough and we're still too lazy. Let's build airplanes. And pretty soon we'll probably teleport because we're lazy. That's how we work.

[00:20:02.390] – Allan

Yeah. One of the ways I like to think of it is you can wrap your mind around fear of missing out and just how that… What am I going to miss? And so you're more focused on that than the thing that's in front of you of what you could have. And so we'll drift back to that laziness to save the energy. But when it comes to missing something, we're going to turn on a little bit. And like you said, take the time off. This is why when we hear that hit training is valuable and it sounds cool, but we still have to do a little bit of work. We got to get up, like you said, we got to get up to that line. And it's a high line, so there's a lot of effort, but it's a short period of time. And so I think that's where the juxtaposition is, is to understand how this is going to be energy saving so that your body and you are in job. Because like you said, the cerebral part of my brain tells me, I okay, I should probably be working out longer than seven minutes.

[00:21:04.980] – Dave

It's funny because if you're doing standard high intensity interval training, I was a very early voice in that movement about 10 years ago. And it's just better than doing long cardio. But it still sucks. You got to get on the travel and go to the park and kick your ass for a whole minute. And then you're really hurting and then you slow down and then you do it again and it works better. But it takes 15, 20 minutes and you're cooked when you're done. It's not that pleasant. So imagine my surprise when the idea of Re Hit came out. And this is one of the things that says, oh, there's unique signals you can send it into your operating system in your body that cause it to adapt rapidly. They're literally what a computer hacker like me by training would do. Oh, look, there's an opening in the system. We can exploit that vulnerability. And what it turns out for the body is that even better performing in high intensity interval training is a five minute protocol that takes 20 seconds of hard work. And it works better than a 10 minute protocol with 40 seconds.

[00:22:11.040] – Dave

You actually get worse results if you do it longer. What the heck? And that's because it's getting exactly the right signal in and then having the peace and freedom and energy to make the change versus it's selling beyond the clothes. You ever have someone do that? Okay, I'll buy it. And they keep telling you how good it is until you finally just walk away because you're just had enough and you don't even buy it. Well, when we do high intensive interval training or even worse, we just hop on a cardio bike and do valleys, what we're doing is the body is like, I got the signal and you're like, you will listen again. And you just do it over and over and over. And finally the body is like, I'm too tired to change. Screw off, and then it won't do it. But I'm a good person. I sweat it all over myself. I can wring my shirt out. I worked hard. I should be rewarded for working hard. No, you get rewarded for getting a signal in and then making the body change. That's the smarter side. The harder side is just what you think works better.

[00:23:05.090] – Dave

The harder side is masochism, and it's guilt and shame taught by a culture of people shaming each other for naturally being lazy. Screw that noise. I am lazier than you, and that is why I have ideally five New York Times bestsellers and a giant podcast and all these companies because I didn't want to do any work. Each of these companies solves a problem for me and many other people. And the problems are all derived from I don't want to do that. It's too hard. Let's make it easier. It does not build soft humans. It builds very powerful humans when you solve problems. It also can build soft humans because if everything is easy and you never have to work hard on anything, you don't adapt and improve. My understanding of reality is that when humans have all their electricity working, they will choose to do hard things or painful things because it's worth it. And it's totally true. You can have a soft world. The invention and the things that I'm creating and that many people create, they make life easier so you can grow and evolve. It's also false to have an easy life so you never do anything. Those are different things.

[00:24:10.520] – Allan

Yeah. So our body wants us to be lazy, and that's about conserving energy. So again, we can survive during the famines and this and that. Now, you in the book share, like, this is this overriding line of how the whole book is structured, is the six steps of energy success. Could you walk through that a little bit to help us understand these stages? Because I looked at them as stages of do this first, because if you don't do this, you skip forward, your results aren't going to be quite as good as they would otherwise be. But can you walk us through some of those? Because I think that's really important.

[00:24:47.520] – Dave

You're going to have to give me a second. I don't have the book.

[00:24:52.160] – Allan

That's cool. I'll walk you through that. Okay. The first one is…

[00:24:54.440] – Dave

If you walk me through them, it's funny because there's a structure of the book that I have memorized, and that's a tool for educating about one of them, but that's not something I typically run through. So walk me through them and I'll explain each one for you. That's really helpful.

[00:25:05.440] – Allan

So the first one is about removing friction.

[00:25:08.160] – Dave

I thought that was going to be it. Yeah. All right. If you believe that suffering and struggling makes you stronger, you should drive around with the brakes and the accelerator on all the time because it's harder. And we're actually doing that all the time. So the easiest way to do things smarter, not harder is to say, What are the things I'm doing that are creating friction in my life and stop doing those? It's just a lot easier to do that than it is to give your car more horsepower to overcome the fact your brakes are on. And we don't think of it this way. Most people, especially performance oriented in a type A people like I've been, well, I'm just going to work out more. I'm going to do the hard thing. But that's not smart. But what's smart is look at for where you're causing slowness. And it could be you didn't put the right raw materials in there, or it could be that there are areas where you're leaking energy or using it in ways that don't make sense. And that's when you stop those. And magically, you can double your performance just from doing that.

[00:26:10.210] – Allan

Yeah. The second one was about loading up on raw materials. And I want to dive into this one because I think in my mind, this is where we get a lot of bad advice. But can you talk a little bit about raw materials?

[00:26:22.440] – Dave

I've written a best selling diet book that's helped people lose two million pounds. And I've written an antiaging book with some food in it. I've written a fasting book. So I feel like I always write something different about food, but I've written enough about food. So this isn't about food per se. It's about making sure that you have a couple of nutrients that are missing from the world of biohacking and that are affecting everyone. So what I'm looking for is what is the smallest thing you could do that affects the most systems in the body? And there's only two supplements that are the focus for this part of the book. They're foundational and they're not even sexy. One of them is minerals. Right now, the food we eat doesn't have minerals in it because we've been destroying our soil with glyphosate and with industrial agriculture. So the minerals just aren't there or they're not available for plants. And then you eat the plants, the plants themselves lock up their minerals. So even though the minerals are in the plant, you can't get the minerals. And that's actually one of the sources of friction in the book.

[00:27:22.240] – Dave

So if you can believe that you're eating foods that pull minerals out of your body and you're not getting minerals from the food, if you restore minerals in the body, you can make electricity better, you can fold proteins better, and every bio hack, every exercise, every thought works better when you have the raw materials there. So you need your macrominerals, a mineral supplement, and then you need trace minerals. And that's why my newest coffee brand, which is called Danger Coffee and dangercoffee.com, it's actually full of trace minerals that we add back in. So when you drink the coffee, you get trace minerals and electrolytes to bring minerals back into your cells. On top of that, most people by now who've listened to my content or yours or many others have heard that vitamin D3 is good for you. And it is. In fact, during the last three years of government insanity where they never once talked about the fact that it reduces your chances of getting respiratory infections from any source by 20%.

[00:28:17.930] – Dave

I guess they overlooked the 100 plus papers that said that, but they were pretty scared and doing other things. So anyway, we know it's good for us. But a lot of people don't know that it's good for us because it helps to drive calcium into cells. It does many other things as well. But it's partners, vitamin K2, which keeps the calcium in the cells so that you don't get calcified arteries, and vitamin A that escorts other minerals into the cells, and vitamin E that also even affects iodine levels. If you were you take your vitamin DAKE, which is what I call it in the book, DAKE, and your trace minerals in danger coffee, and your macrominerals from many of the available mineral supplements, that combination, it's not sexy, it's not a new tropic, it's not a sex enhancement formula, it's not a sleep formula, but it makes everything else you do work better. So this is the lowest common denominator missing from everybody two recommendations in the book. And I talk you through why that matters. And it matters because if your body isn't getting the raw materials it needs, it will feel anxious.

[00:29:21.500] – Dave

And when your meat operating system feels anxious, you feel anxious. So you have this sense of dread and impending doom. You're just like, Something's not right. I don't know what it is. It's probably my wife. No, it's not your wife. It's the fact that you have a hardware problem right now and it's trying to send a signal to you and it doesn't even know what it is because your body is incredibly stupid. It's just really fast. You are very smart. You're just very slow compared to your body.

[00:29:47.380] – Allan

Now, another area you went into here was to pick your target areas. We talked a little bit about that at the beginning and to track it. How does someone know what would be the low hanging fruit, maybe the first target areas they should should be considering someone over 40 who is overweight, maybe starting to really get interested in taking better care of themselves, how would they know the target area that would matter most for them?

[00:30:12.000] – Dave

Well, there are five big target areas. And the reason I know about the target areas is because I opened an upgrade labs, which is the first biohacking center on the planet. I created this idea that what if you came somewhere where all the tools that the crazy billionaires are using were available for you to use it? It's not a gym. But if you go there, you might not need to go to the gym and does a bunch of other stuff you can't do anywhere else. So after eight years of running this, it's now a franchise. You can go to ownandupgradelabs.com and you can open one in your city. So there's more than a dozen in the process of opening right now and more people are buying them every day all over North America. So I want this to be accessible. But in the meantime, if you go to daveasprey.com, I'm putting a quiz up. By the time the book launches, it'll be up there that will help you do this, or you read smarter, not harder, and I'll tell you how to intuit this, but it's better to use a quiz.

[00:31:03.600] – Dave

And what's going to happen is you're going to choose your number one and number two. And here's the list. You might want more muscle mass. This is really important. You lose muscle mass, you'll lose metabolism, and you're more likely to die. And in general, you need muscle mass. So that might be your top goal. Your next one might be cardiovascular function. You know what? I get winded going up the stairs. I don't like that. I can't play with my kids. That might be more important than putting on muscle. That means you can do both. You got to pick the order and pick the priority. And those two actually don't go well together. You're not going to run in a marathon and get swallowed at the same time. It's not how biology works. The third thing is you might say, I want my brain to work again. For me, that was my most important thing. I just want my brain to work. I'm so tired. I'm in my 20s. I weigh 300 pounds. I have chronic fatigue syndrome, my career is taking off and I feel as dumb as a post. And there were reasons for it.

[00:31:52.370] – Dave

So maybe your brain is a big thing. You don't normally go to the gym for your brain, but that might be your biggest goal. And if you go to upgrade labs, we'll do neurofeedback, we'll fix your brain if it's something that can be done that way. The next thing is you might say, I want my energy back, so I'm tired all the time, which is exactly the same as saying, I want to lose weight. It's actually the same techniques. If you're putting your electricity into storing fat, then you're not putting it into having energy. And then after that, some people are now saying, I want the ability to manage my stress better than I do. In fact, for the first time ever in history, in surveys, people are asking for the ability to manage anxiety more than to lose weight. For 35 years, the number one goal has been I want to lose weight, I want to lose weight, I want to lose weight. And now they're saying, I want to not feel all this stress. I want to not feel all this stress. And we know whose fault that is, Pfizer's. But there's all sorts of things that go into stress, lack of human connection, all that.

[00:32:49.570] – Dave

People don't know what it is, but they want resilience. And each of those five things, did you want your brain to work better or did you want to manage stress better? Which matters more? And people say, oh, well, I think it may be stress management matters better. Okay, how does that compare to muscle mass? Well, it turns out that a lot of people don't necessarily know what would be better, muscle mass versus stress resilience versus something else. So we use a statistical model with the quiz and then Upgrade Labs to help you figure out what's really at the top. And once you know you're number one and number two, you can choose the techniques that give you the most of what you want for both of those categories. And you'll get side benefits in all the other ones anyway. Anytime you improve one thing, you improve everything. But it's really amazing when you say, Wow, I'm going to consciously choose a biohacking technique that meets my number one and number two goal the most. And then when you do a five or a 10 minute thing that might be mildly difficult and it pays dividends in two different areas you care the most about, you'll just sit down and go, That was worth it.

[00:33:54.580] – Dave

And your operating system, your meat will not resist things that are worth it. It'll just resist things that aren't worth it. And right now, the spin class is not worth it. You go because you trick yourself with habit. You go because there's loud music and then there's someone shaming you into peddling faster and probably because you have some friends there. So you're getting a little bit of community but generally your body doesn't want to do that. And eventually you can get yourself hooked on endorphins from doing it. It's just not a way to get super healthy, but it might be really fun. If it's fun, you should keep doing it. If you're like me, and then it's your idea of suffering without a lot of results, I'll show you how to get six times better results in five minutes, three times a week than you're going to get from going every day to a cardio class. So let's stop doing cardio classes. Let's take all the time we were going to spend there and use it to meditate. Oh, except meditation is a waste of time because there's five ways, and it's harder to get the results of meditation in less time.

[00:34:51.120] – Dave

So you might as well, when you're doing that hour of meditation, instead of doing a meditation that's mildly effective, do a meditation that's strongly effective for your brain and combine it with breath work, which in studies works better. Who would have thought? I'm just saying your life and your time and your energy, they're so precious that because we've been programmed by society to believe that struggling and suffering is good, we do stuff that barely works and is really hard, and then we reward ourselves for that, and then we feel shame for doing stuff that works better but isn't hard. I'm done with that. I'm not ashamed to be lazy. I am lazy, and it's made me profoundly powerful, and it's let me change the world. And I don't want to spend one more ounce of energy on anything than it takes. And every time I waste energy on something I don't want to do, it's a crime against myself. That's how much I embrace laziness.

[00:35:46.200] – Allan

And what you just said there really wrapped around, really, the last few of these was you're sending signals to your body, whether you know it or not. And so that extra work you're doing is it's telling your body something's just not right versus doing it the way that your body would respond to and understand and then know. And if you're pushing yourself that hard, you're probably not recovering the way that your body needs you to. So you're not recovering like a boss because you just keep beating yourself up thinking that's how I'm going to get that nail in there. And so I'm the hammer. Everything is a nail. And then the final bit of this was to evaluate, personalize, and repeat. And I think if you go through this book and you do some of these things, particularly in the areas that matter most to you, you're going to move the needle. And as soon as you start moving that needle and you see it, it should encourage you to double down on that to figure out what's working, what's not, and really get to the value of your time and your energy and make the most of it.

[00:36:51.460] – Dave

You said it, and what I've learned from my own path in biohacking where I started out just by fixing my brain and fixing my body and then upgrading them is that when you do one thing successfully, it generates another slice of free energy. And if you invest that free energy back into yourself, any personal development, you can very quickly develop super powers. What a lot of us get stuck on, including me, when I went to the gym for 702 hours, 90 minutes a day, six days a week for 18 months, that was wasted time. And I did not lose any weight during that time. I got strong, but I still had a 46 inch waist. And if I'd have known what was in this book in that 702 hours, I could not only have lost the weight, got my energy back, fixed my brain, I probably could have learned massive amounts of meditation and trauma resolution and probably been a lot less of a jerk in my 20s. I could have done a lot. Instead, I struggled and I suffered and I lifted the heavy stuff and I sweated. But it wasn't the best path.

[00:38:00.740] – Dave

It was just the path that I found. And a lot of us are on a path that doesn't give us extra energy. That extra energy goes back into being you, and it goes back into improving you. When you do it, especially all of my works I read, and if I'd have just known this when I was 20, do you know what a monster you would be when you're 30 if you got into this when you were 20? And you just took the same amount of time you're spending now, but you applied it in a targeted way towards what you cared about. By the time you're 30, I have whatever career I want, I have whatever degrees I want because I have so much energy, I could pay attention all day long. I have the friendships I want because I had energy all the time. So much energy that I could actually notice when I was acting like a jerk and change my behavior. I have the relationships I want. All these things could happen. Or you could just do the hard stuff and barely make any progress. But that's okay. Have beer at the end of the day.

[00:38:51.380] – Dave

You get to pick. If I'd have just known, oh, my God, the time I wasted. I want it back.

[00:38:57.220] – Allan

Well, we can't actually get it back. But what we can do is make the most of what's in front of us. And that's what here. Now, there is one thing that is something that was behind us that I really think is coming to light for me a lot more. I think before I pooh poohed this as, okay, yeah, we all have hard times, we all have struggles. And someone bopped us in the head at some point in our life when we were younger. And it's been in the last few years, and it's probably got a lot to do with COVID and some of the things that happened there that I'm getting a better understanding of what trauma is doing to us and what we need to do for ourselves if we're really going to be… I think one of your books was actually called Superhuman. But if we're going to improve ourselves, this is something that we have to explore. Can you talk a little bit about trauma and how that can derail all of us?

[00:39:58.400] – Dave

Yeah. If you accept the part of the book that there's a third of a second gap between when something happens in reality and when our brain gets the first electrical signal that something's happening. It means someone else is in charge for a third of a second. What trauma does is it programs your operating system to be responsive and reactive to feelings or to things in the environment, even if they're not something that's a threat. What that means is when someone who looks like Little Johnny who beat you up in fifth grade, when they walk into the boardroom, you're going to feel a wave of unease and maybe even a fight or flight response that makes no rational sense unless you realize that your operating system is doing this to you because it thinks there's a threat before you could see the threat. You don't even see it for a third of a second, it's already identified a pattern and it's already put you in distress mode. That's the equivalent on your phone of having an alert pop up. Imagine if you didn't turn off all those annoying alerts and you pick up your phone and literally 500 alerts are going off where you're just trying to compose an email, you can get anything done.

[00:41:05.540] – Dave

Your operating system is full of useless, meaningless alerts set up by old traumas. Every time you process the trauma and release it fully, the alert stops and you're no longer triggered by that. And then that frees up a huge amount of additional energy. I had to do a lot of work on this, and that's the core process that I teach in the final chapter or second to last chapter in smarter, not harder, where I talk about spiritual hacking. And there is a structured process called the reset mode that is a part of my neuroscience facility. This is a facility where you go in to spend five days, really intense, hard days just to be super transparent. And that replaces at least 20 years of daily meditation practice. Your brain can do things that only very advanced meditators can do because we're using computers to show it to you. And what you're doing for part of that process is this reset mode that goes in, lets you selectively turn off reactive patterns that don't serve you because every reactive pattern sucks energy, actual electricity away, and it pulls you out of being present and focused in the way you want to focus on, and it makes you react to something.

[00:42:17.580] – Dave

Marketers are good at pushing these buttons and governments are exceptionally good at pushing these buttons. My desire, what I'm working on with all of the companies that I'm either owning or running or advising or investing in is that I'm working to make humans very dangerous because the most dangerous human is unprogrammable. They actually have the power. They have so much energy and so much awareness. They are going to do the right thing, and who knows what they might do? But they're free to do it. I believe from my studies of biology and psychology, we're actually wired to be nice to each other. A person who is at full power and aware of themselves will help the little old lady across the street and will stand up to injustice and will not be programmed by mass psychosis to force other people to do things they don't want to do because it's unkind to force people to do things. Whatever it is, if they don't want to do it, they don't have to do it. That's how the world works. Because if you can force someone else to do something, then they have the right to force you to do something, and none of us wants to live in that world.

[00:43:20.580] – Dave

So we all got programmed, at least most of us over the last couple of years, using these manipulative tactics. If we all had the amount of energy that we are capable of having, we all would have laughed and continued on with life. And I don't want that to happen again. I don't want to go through all the suffering that I went through because I was programmed by companies who told me that if I just worked out enough and ate a low fat, low calorie diet. Dude, I spent 702 hours struggling and suffering. I did not get the results. It took me that long to realize that I was chasing a fool's errand. I want people to be free. And the kind of peace that we can have on the planet, it's when everyone could do whatever they want. And everyone is dangerous because who knows what you might do. But that danger, when you choose to be peaceful, that's awesome. The peace that happens because you're so depleted of minerals, you're so tired, you're so programmed, you're so distracted, you just can't get up off the couch because you got nothing left. That's peace, but it's also hell.

[00:44:19.550] – Dave

So there are forces for whatever economic reasons or other reasons. They're trying to make that world where we all eat fake foods and really have no choice. I just don't think that world is going to happen. I'm not going to let it happen. And there's lots of people who are doing energetic practices to make our biology so powerful that you can't trick us. And you can't feed us garbage and tell us we feel good because we noticed when we don't feel good because we've actually felt good for once in our lives. I didn't have any of this before I was 30. It wasn't natural for me. So I'm working out as many people as possible, wake up and just say, you know what? You can believe that whatever thing works or whatever thing doesn't work. I don't care. I just want you to be in charge of you. And to do that, you have to have the power and the electricity. As soon as you're in charge of yourself, you're dangerous and I want to be your friend, whatever you believe.

[00:45:08.940] – Allan

And again, you finished out the book with this phrase or with this topic, you do you. And that's why I said when you under promised and over delivered with the title of this book, because, again, this is about you taking control of your life, you making decisions for yourself, making them in your own self best interest. But in your own words, could you go through a little bit about how you define you do you and what that means for you?

[00:45:38.900] – Dave

It's a lot of what I just talked about there. The reality is that we don't all have the same goals. If your goal is to be the fastest human on the planet, you're going to do something very different than someone whose goal is, you know what? I want to be an amazing provider for my family, and I want to come home with the end of every day, and I want to just be full of energy and calmness to play with my kids. By the way, that is a huge heroic act. It's really hard to do that. I'm a dad of two teenagers. The number of times that kids ask the same stupid question over and over, Chew with your mouth closed, Chew with your mouth closed, don't write your name on the wall. How many times can you say it before you just go crazy? Every parent has had that thought. I can tell just by the way you laughed, you've had kids, right? Okay, that's actually being in charge. That's you doing you. Because a lot of times you come home, you're just too tired and you're going to yell your kids. You're not glad you did it.

[00:46:31.420] – Dave

You didn't want to. You didn't choose to. But your operating system did because you didn't have the energy left. You do you means you get to pick your goals and you get to pick what's worth it for you. And the reality is that your decisions are about where am I in life right now, biologically and emotionally and spiritually and all that, and what's my goal? And you got to respect the fact that someone else might not be where you are and their goal may be somewhere over here. You do you, which means they can do them. And if you try to force someone else to do you, I hope that person is a really dangerous person and they stop you.

[00:47:05.700] – Allan

Well, I hope you're a really dangerous person and you don't even go there because you are focused on what's best for you. And you're listening to this podcast, so I'm pretty sure that you're more like that. And so this is your opportunity to go through, find some things that work, apply them in your life. Again, he's going to give you the tools to know where that is. And then just learn how your body is working and how the laziness principle and conserving energy and using energy where it's most valuable and not wasting it is really going to help you move the needle on this. So, Dave, I really appreciate this. I'm going to end this with one question I ask all my guests, and I actually got this from you because you were doing this with your podcast way back when. I don't know if you still do.

[00:47:56.470] – Allan

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

[00:48:07.980] – Dave

Three tactics or strategies to get and stay well. Number one, define what well means. You gave your definition. Use what's in smarter, not harder to figure out those five buckets. How much of each bucket is your recipe for wellness? If you don't know that, it's very hard to do the other part. After that, find a way to objectively measure wellness. And it can be something as simple as how good of a day was today? If you write that down every day and you plot it against what you eat, you might just thought, every day when I eat a fakeburger, it's actually not as good of a day. I wonder if they're correlated. Yeah, they are. But maybe you get heart rate variability on your sleep monitor. You can do all these different things, but pick something that you can track over time that doesn't take a lot of work to do. Maybe you get a continuous glucose monitor, and for a month you track what every meal does to spike or not spike your blood sugar. So then you realize, huh, I never knew that Oatmeal was actually junk food for peasants. Who would have thought?

[00:49:07.510] – Dave

And then you find that out and you stop eating it. Or before you eat it, you have a bunch of eggs. Fine. Those are things that matter, but you got to have the objective measure, understand your meat operating system, your body, it will lie to you. It will change your perception of reality to make it in charge. It will not let you see these things. But when you have measurement, it pokes a hole in that veil, and then you can see what's going on. And the third thing, if we're looking for wellness, I'm looking for a foundational behavior that's going to affect everything else. So I'm going to split that into two directions. One of them is take your trace minerals and your vitamin day because it affects everything. The other one would be learn how to sleep like a boss. And on that one, if you go to sleepwithdave.com, that is my free sleep training. It's also the best URL of my life. It's a free… I just teach you everything I know.

[00:50:01.060] – Allan

Does that really work for you? Does that?

[00:50:03.640] – Dave

Yeah. It's not my only page, that's different.

[00:50:08.750] – Dave

There you go. Those are the three.

[00:50:10.580] – Allan

Thank you for that. Dave, if someone wanted to learn more about you and learn more about Smarter Not Harder, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:50:19.700] – Dave

Go to daveasprey.com, and that has everything there. And get the form of smarter, not harder that works best for you. As an author, I'm always honored when someone wants to listen to my voice. I've read the whole book for you. Or absorb it however you want to absorb it. But orders now, right as it's launching, helped a lot of other people find the book. And I'd be grateful if people just say, no, I'm going to read it at some point. I'll pick it up now and do Dave a favor.

[00:50:45.230] – Allan

Great. Well, Dave, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:50:49.980] – Dave

Allan, it's been a pleasure. Thank you.

Post Show/Recap

[00:51:00.000] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:51:02.780] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. That was a fun conversation. I love a good biohack. I love working smarter, not harder, but there's a time and a place for these types of little shortcut, these little tricks.

[00:51:13.600] – Allan

Yeah. It's important in the context of what Dave went through. So Dave was a very successful young man in the tech industry making good money, but realizing that what he was doing and noticing it, realizing it a lot earlier than I did, that this was not a workable solution for him. He needed to do some things to improve his health. And in doing his own, going on his own journey, found things that he needed to resolve in his life to open himself up to be a healthier, better person. And we're all going through that at some stage or another, we realized, oh, okay, this is not where I belong. I'm in the wrong neighborhood of health and fitness, and I got to get myself to a better place. And so he did a lot of those things. And then he wanted more. He wanted to tweak that and bump that up a bit. And so that's been his mission for a long, long time because I've been listening to him online for a long time.

[00:52:16.090] – Rachel


[00:52:16.460] – Allan

And when you say the term biohack, I get a little cringe for a moment, only because some of these things are unproven, just whack. I don't mean that a bad way, but there was a phase there where all these guys were talking about Ayahuasca. Okay, it's basically this thing that you drink. It's toxic, it's terrible. It basically puts you in a hallucinetic state. So they'll go there to these hot cabins and they'll sit out there and they'll drink this stuff and they're puking their guts out and they're having all these hallucinations. And the principle is that it's supposed to help you resolve trauma and untold things that are going on in your head. So people who've done it again, they get into all this other stuff. They're people who swear by it. Yeah, go do this and it's going to enlighten you. But you go and make sure you do it with a good shaman that knows what they're doing. I'm like, okay, because you're going to apparently go to some scary places in your head. Sounds a little out there. Right. And that's the thing is that the thing is some of this stuff is out there and not meant for you.

[00:53:33.260] – Allan

And so I would say when you look holistically at where you are today, are you already really fit, really healthy, and then just want to move up 1 % where 1 % actually matters? Or are you someone who's really struggling with your weight, really struggling with your fitness, not sleeping well, dealing with stressful things and just really not in optimal, not in a good place, not even in a good place, then these hacks, while they sound great, Oh, you mean I can get fit just working out three minutes a day? And the short answer is you can get more fit. But there's other things to consider, and that is, okay, if you can't walk up a flight of stairs today without getting winded, okay, spending three minutes on a vibrating platform is probably not where you need to spend your time.

[00:54:36.660] – Rachel

No. And probably, hit training wouldn't be so good for you either.

[00:54:40.340] – Allan

And hit training might not be the best thing for you. But you go talk to a doctor and the doctor says, Okay, look, there's nothing fundamentally broken. You should be able to exercise. Then the reality of it is going up the stairs, get you a little winded, walk back down and walk back up.

[00:54:58.040] – Rachel

That's exercise.

[00:54:59.110] – Allan

Yes. And so instead of going up the flight of stairs once, go up twice. Yes, you're going to be winded. Yes, it's going to suck. And it's going to take you twice as long to go up the stairs as it would have to just walk up the flight of stairs. But if you do that regularly, then going up the flight of stairs once is not going to be a problem for you because you've built a level of fitness that allows you to do that. As you work on lowering your body fat and your overall body weight probably goes down, you'll find your carrying less weight up those stairs. And as a result, you're able to go up the stairs easier. So you can build fitness with an investment of time, with an investment of effort.

[00:55:43.310] – Allan

And sometimes an investment of money. But the slow route is the easiest route a lot of the times. And so where Dave is talking about hacking this, this is at a point where he's already reasonably fit. And because he likes to do other things besides work out. He just doesn't enjoy working out, which I can respect. Most people don't actually like the idea of working out. And that's why there's a lot of people that don't is he wants to find a way to get the same results or stay where he is without putting in a whole lot of extra time. So finding a more efficient way to do something makes a ton of sense for him.

[00:56:28.980] – Allan

But if you're not even close to the fitness level you want, these little hacks are not going to move the needle for you very far. And as a result, you're not going to get the results that are promised here or you think are there because that's not how you get there initially. You got to do a little bit of the work first, get yourself to a base, and then you can start looking at these other ways to improve from there to optimize, if you will. And so I think that's where a lot of the breakdown for me is. It's like, no, there are really no shortcut, but there are ways later on that you can be more efficient with this. But you're not going to stretch for 30 seconds and then your mobility is fine for the rest of your life. You've got to get out there and move. You've got to teach your body full range of motion and be strong in all of those ranges. And that's just time.

[00:57:23.910] – Rachel

For sure. Yeah. The other part of what you discussed with him was the you do you concept. And I love that phrase because we are all so different. And so how we choose to move, what we choose to eat, what diet we follow, it's just so individual. And the reason why I enjoy these conversations with you, Allan, is because we have had, the two of us have very different backgrounds. You spend a lot more time with weights in the gym. I spend a lot more time just running out on the road. But we achieve our own personal goals or health and fitness needs in different ways. But we're basically pretty healthy versions of ourselves. That's why the you do you phrase is so brilliant because we are so different and we can achieve the same ends with just different means.

[00:58:18.920] – Allan

And that's why you'll see these workout videos and this or that. And they're saying, okay, this is how you get six pack abs. Do this workout. This is the workout I use. And then you're like, Well, dude, you were an Olympic athlete in your 20s. And then you've never lost it. You've never been where we were or where we are. And so I'm not saying any of this is wrong. Dave does his research, and that's what I appreciate about him. Some other folks are just a little out there and a little wack, but Dave does do his homework, and he tries this stuff, and he invests his money in it and time. And so where he is and what he wants to do with his life, he's at a different place than you are. I'm at a different place than you are. And Rachel's at a different place than you are. And so as you're looking at your journey of what you need to do, you just need to be realistic with where you are. And if you live in a town where he has one of his labs or one of the franchises has opened up of his lab, go out and have fun.

[00:59:33.350] – Allan

Go out and check it out. You can go if there's cryotherapy labs that they can put you in and say, okay, this is going to do this. They can put you in a hyperbolic oxygen tank. There's all these different little things you can do. And if they make you feel good, great.

[00:59:48.690] – Allan

But don't expect to go into one of these things and come out like Superman or superwoman. But it's not going to happen. That's something science fiction, and it's just not. But there are ways to be more efficient with this stuff to go through it. And if you don't enjoy it, then there are ways to be a lot more efficient with it. You don't need three hours. You can get great workouts in a shorter period of time. And so it's just a function of putting it together in the right way for you. I had to figure it out myself. I tried to do the Insanity workout. They looked great in the video. I wanted to look like that. And I didn't, couldn't.

[01:00:35.680] – Rachel

It's tough. I've not done it myself, but that's tough.

[01:00:39.420] – Rachel

But it's always to have options.

[01:00:40.680] – Allan

It is. And so you try something and try something different and you go through the process. But I would just say is when you start this stuff, I think it's really important for you to think about where your head is.

[01:00:57.780] – Allan

Because if you say, I don't like working out, I don't like exercising, then I would say then you don't really want this. You're thinking about fitness, but you don't really want fitness because what you're doing in the gym or out on the road is training. It's not a workout. When you actually have the right mindset for this stuff and you actually wrap your head around it, it's like, Oh, I'm training to be that really cool grandpa. I want to be the grandpa that can go do what the kids are doing and be out there running around with them and rolling around on the grass and doing that stuff because I'm not worried about it. I won't even think about it then. Because it'll be play, it'll be fun. I don't have to worry, I don't have a plan to get back up. It's just role play, do the thing, and I want to be that grandpa. I see it as training. And then the word training has a very different connotation. If you think through your brain of the good things that you've accomplished in your life. There was typically a state called training at the front of it, or you could have called it studying, but there was training, and the training improves you in a designated way.

[01:02:20.560] – Allan

And so if you say I want to be faster, then you can train for speed. If you want to be able to run further, then you can train for distance. You want both, then you affect your training plan to give you some of both. You can be stronger and you can put your training plan that's going to do that. And then you put these all together and you might say, well, okay, if I add them all up, be able to run longer, run faster, and be stronger. Wow, that's eight or nine hours a week. That's a lot. It's not. But if you think it's a lot, then you can say, Okay, what are ways for me to be more efficient with this in a way that's going to let me accomplish all that? And that's where when he talks about, he talked about reaching the peak and then allowing recovery, what he's talking about is true hit training. So you can build speed, a lot of speed with hit training because that's what you're doing. You're running as freaking fast as you can. You're moving as fast as you can. That's speed. So you can be training for speed, but the way you're training for speed is not just normal sprint stuff.

[01:03:27.780] – Allan

You're actually packaging it in a way where you're reaching your max and then you're recovering. And then you're running for max and then you're recovering. And so you're building speed and you're building some of your stamina, your V02 max, which is going to help you for your longer runs. So instead of doing longer runs all the time, you just change up your training a little bit. And you use one of these hacks, if you will, that is scientifically based and makes sense. And for a lot of people to be like, Okay, that worked for me. That really worked. And then there's just going to be other people that are like, I don't like getting my heart rate up to 100 % like that. I don't like being in that space, that pain space. And so don't. But try it if you want to tweak it. But the whole point is, if you're thinking speed and distance, you're not at a baseline of fitness. You've worked up to a point where you're actually trying to accomplish something special, not just being able to go up a flight of stairs. So there's a point there. And that's what I'm saying.

[01:04:33.360] – Allan

So you don't necessarily want to be doing hit training when you're trying to work on going up a flight of stairs. Just go up the stairs more often, and that's going to help you be able to go up the stairs better. If you want to be a little bit stronger, just start picking up heavier stuff and you'll get stronger. But you could do all this reasonably. And if you just want to go at this with short cuts because you don't like something.

[01:04:56.640] – Allan

Then just realize those short cuts probably aren't going to get you the results that you really want. And so the more you use your brain, your mindset, and say, I'm going to embrace this as training.

[01:05:10.920] – Allan

Therefore, I don't have to necessarily like it because I didn't like sitting there with the blind studying for the CPA exam, just answering all of these accounting questions in a book, a multiple choice book, and then checking my answers. I didn't enjoy that, but the outcome was important to me. So I trained, I studied. And if you can get your brain wrapped around that idea that sometimes you're going to do things you don't enjoy, sometimes you're going to do things that take more time than you would want to put. But if the outcome is worth it…

[01:05:46.640] – Rachel

Yeah, then the training is worth it.

[01:05:48.440] – Allan

Then the training is worth it. And I think being a great grandfather.

[01:05:53.000] – Allan

And by that, I mean a great grandfather and then eventually a great grandfather is important. I just that's something that's important to me is to be that guy that I don't want to be a spectator. I want to be a participant. And so as you think about what health and fitness means for you, then you see these elements here we talked about during this episode with Dave, and look at them, look at them holistically, look at them deep and objectively and say, where am I and what can I do? And then it's the you do you. I'm not going to tell you to meditate or do yoga or travel to Tibet. Find something, try it, try it long enough to see if it's working or not working, and then chuck it if it's not. I've tried meditating good for about a good five minutes.

[01:06:45.920] – Allan

And then I'm building lists in my head. List of stuff I should be doing besides sitting there meditating. I'm building those lists in my head. And so it's like, okay, I know that 5 to 10 minutes is a sweet spot if I'm going to sit down and do it. The other thing I know is I can't be in an office space where I have access to a phone or computer. I literally need to be somewhere where there is no technology around me.

[01:07:14.530] – Rachel


[01:07:15.540] – Allan

Right. So I am in it and I don't have anywhere else to be. Those are the things. So for me, I have walking meditations that I do when I get by myself on some of the beach places I talk about here in Bocas. And so when I get to those spaces and I'm walking and there's no one else around, I'm able to do the walking meditation. And so I turn off everything, turn off the text, turn off the ebooks, turn off everything, and literally just exist for a period of time, breathing and feeling and listening and all the different things. I'm able to do it there. But sitting here right now in my office, if I said, okay, after this comment, I'm doing meditation, I won't make five minutes because I'm thinking, crap, I got to post that podcast today. I got to do this. I got to do that, and I got the client call at this time. So my brain won't shut off that way right now, and I know that. Again, hacks can be great, but they've got to be used at the right time in the right way. So where you are to do you?

[01:08:16.140] – Allan

Those are all great things. So Dave's book is worth it if you're interested in looking at ways that are out there looking at the technologies and the things because he does a really good job of breaking it down, explaining why this stuff either works the way it works or should work the way that it's supposed to work. And you can get into that. But I would say that can't be your primary mode of operation because that's not going to move the needle enough to really matter.

[01:08:45.000] – Rachel

It's good to have tools. It's good to have options. It's good to have different things that you can try and experiment with. But yeah, you got to do the big stuff first.

[01:08:54.140] – Allan

I agree.

[01:08:55.560] – Rachel

Yeah. Awesome. Great conversation.

[01:08:57.820] – Allan

All right. Well, Ras, I will talk to you next week.

[01:09:00.720] – Rachel

Great. Take care, Allan.

[01:09:02.100] – Allan

You too.

[01:09:02.860] – Rachel

Thank you.

[01:09:04.300] – Allan


[01:09:05.020] – Rachel


Music by Dave Gerhart


The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Melissa Ball
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Thank you!

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