My Top 5 Favorite Tools to Optimize WellnessMar 04, 2023
My Top 5 Tools For Wellness
Thought of the week:
"If it's not life-threatening, then it's ego-threatening. And our ego usually makes it seem life-threatening." - Peter Crone
In this week's dose, I share the 5 most impactful tools that have helped me during my wellness journey.
These are the tools that helped me sleep better, eat cleaner, get stronger, think more clearly, and turn the corner with depression.
(Not affiliated with any of these, just things I love)
My first wellness-related post 2 years ago was about the impact WHOOP made on my health.
Through wearing WHOOP and tracking my inputs religiously, I learned that even a small amount of alcohol affected me for 5-6 days.
I learned that late-night eating fucked up my ability to get deep sleep.
And I learned that afternoon meditation improved my recovery score and made my HRV shoot through the roof.
I've tried a handful of fitness trackers and put off trying WHOOP because of their monthly pricing model.
But after using it for a few months, I was kicking myself for why I hadn't made the switch earlier.
Their algorithm is unlike any other.
Each morning, their app asks you to add your inputs from the previous day.
These "journal entries" are insanely valuable to track how your inputs affect your outputs.
They have hundreds of options to choose from depending on your life and your goals.
Some inputs I tracked:
- Cold Plunge
- Late night eating
- Sleeping in same bed
By tracking these inputs over extended periods of time, I was able to gain insights into how these affect my sleep quality and recovery.
As someone who was trying to train jiu-jitsu every day and wanted to be focused as I built PER, this was GOLD for me.
Their band measures the same biometrics as other trackers, but that's not what makes it special.
It's their unique algorithm that acts like a coach as it gives you deep insights into which of your actions have the biggest effect on those biomarkers.
It has a built-in "sleep coach" that takes into account all your data like your previous night's sleep, how much physical strain you had during the day, and spits out a recommendation of how much sleep you need to reach optimal recovery.
It definitely can be info overload, but if you're a data nerd like me, it's incredible.
They just dropped their price, too from $28/mo to $17/mo.
It's not for everyone, but if you're serious (and a bit nerdy) about optimizing your health, I 100% recommend it.
2. Guided Meditation App
When I focused on making meditation a habit in 2020, I had no idea what I was doing.
I took some intro sessions from Headspace a few years prior, but other than that, I was a newb.
I started with guided meditations in the Peloton app - which I LOVED.
Then switched to Insight Timer's free version.
They have all sorts of guided meditations you can sort by duration, area of focus, male/female teacher, and tons more.
It taught me there's no right or wrong way to meditate.
The important part is just showing up regularly - ah, as goes everything with health.
For beginners, my tips would be...
Start with 5 minutes. Sit up straight.
Try different types of meditation.
Try different teachers.
And have fun with it.
Being able to sit with a clear mind and think of nothing for 20 minutes isn't how it works.
I heard once that that is actually the hardest way to do it.
At first, the purpose is to just build awareness of your thoughts.
See if you can notice whatever comes up with no judgment and no attempt to get them to go away.
3. Workout Programs (Fischer & Filly)
The best thing I did for my physical strength was buying a workout program to follow.
To see gains, we need structure + progressive overload.
Programs provide both.
Marcus Filly is my all-time favorite.
He's a former elite CrossFit athlete who's highly educated in exercise science & nutrition.
After burning out from CrossFit, he now focuses on creating programs to help people simply Look Good & Move Well.
Functional programs whether you have access to Olympic weightlifting equipment or are just able to do bodyweight exercises at home.
His monthly programs are INSANELY affordable for what you get. Only ~$40/mo.
Ryan Fischer has been another big resource for me.
He runs one of the biggest online platforms for workout programs (CHALK) in the WORLD.
Similar to Filly, he provides different workout programs depending on your experience level, equipment access, and needs.
Last time I used his app, access to all 5 of his different programs was only $19/mo.
They both have simple, HIGHLY successful nutrition programs to follow if you're looking to lean out, build mass, or do a combo of both.
4. Food Tracking App + Food Scale
As much as I was exercising and focusing on eating healthy, I had trouble leaning out to a point where I thought I could be with as much effort as I put in.
It wasn't until I started tracking everything I put in my body did I finally start to see results.
I weighed and tracked my food every day for 2 years (okay, only about 97% of the time).
I learned SO MUCH doing this and after a while, I could guess the weight of food down to the GRAM just by looking at it.
I gained so much knowledge about the macros & calories of every food.
As I said earlier, I'm a data nerd, so I actually enjoyed this process.
I would never recommend someone tracks for 2 years - that's insane.
But I believe everyone would benefit from 7 days of tracking everything you put in your body.
Using a food scale was key and a free app like MyFitnessPal (or FitBit) helped you a TON.
It's kind of like going through the pain of creating a financial budget.
You have no idea what you're really consuming until you finally track everything.
Until you really track everything that's going IN and out (calories), you'll have no clue what you need.
As big as meditation has been for my mental health, writing has been even bigger.
I have a shelf full of notebooks to track my workouts.
Next to notebooks full of thoughts.
I've learned that writing helps me gain immense clarity.
When we have negative feelings or experiences, the simple act of writing helps takes the sting out of those events.
It makes our thoughts not feel so ominous and life-threatening.
I think of our thoughts as an untethered shitstorm tornado in our mind.
Our mind makes it seem like they are complete ideas, backed by rock-solid rationale & evidence.
But forcing ourselves to write dissolves the tornado.
It shows us that the thoughts we believe are ominous, are actually not that big of a deal.
I believe the best thing you can do for your mental health - after HARD exercise - is write.
It can be free-form, guided, bullet points, gratitude, intention setting, affirmations, etc.
What matters is that your pen strokes paper.
That's my Top 5.
I'm curious to hear what you have on your list!
Hope you enjoyed this edition of Weekly Dose and as always, reply to this email with any thoughts, questions, or topics you'd love to hear more about.