I asked my favorite bloggers and fitness specialists a simple question and they really came through. From all over world, here is the priceless wisdom and practical tips they sent me. Hope you find something inspirational in their generous words.
When you’re done, I would love to hear a your thoughts and opinions on this question in the comments!
So here it is, from some of today’s recognized experts in healthy living.
What is the key to optimum health?
1. “The key to health lies in rapport, rhythm and relationship. We look to improve our rapport with our bodies, our people, our work and our habitat. We seek an integrative approach that includes, not just mind, body and spirit, but also land and tribe. Seek a rhythmic oscillation of training and rest, in harmony with the circadian cycles of the natural world. Make your training both broad and deep, both focused and diverse.”
Frank Forencich, Exuberant Animal
2. “Plain and simple, the one thing I tell people to do is to “Eat Real Food”. Until you eat real, unprocessed foods, there’s no need to worry about low carb or low fat or any other set of rigid rules or labels. If you aren’t cooking real food for yourself at home, all of the labels you try to put on your eating are irrelevant.”
Scott Kustes, Naked Food Cooking
3. “In my opinion, the number one thing one can do is to take refined sugar (and food and drinks that contain them) out of one’s diet. Beyond that, a next good step would be to cut out vegetable & seed oils and the foods that contain them, followed by grains. That should get anyone at least 80% of the way there.”
Richard Nikoley, Free The Animal
4. “The answer is simple, spend more time in nature, whatever you do there. Whatever is your physical expression.”
Erwan LeCorre, MovNat
5. “There is no key. There is no secret. Decide what you want to be fit for, and practice the basics to achieve that goal.”
John Sifferman, Physical Living
6. “It is the subtle things that break people down. Eating well and being strong are key foundations. But, day and day out choices and actions take a subtle toll. The big events, black swans, set your future path if you are adaptive. But, the quotidian events, the drip drip drip of daily events, take a mounting toll—the wounds of a thousand arrows. Protect yourself from these daily wounds: get an education and practice life-long learning, avoid debt, don’t make speculative investments, avoid most news, love someone.”
Arthur De Vany, Evolutionary Fitness
7. “Letting yourself get hungry and performing activities “on empty” at least 1-2 times per week. I learned this when I was a kid and would spend all day on the beach skimboarding…going 7-9 hours without food. It is a natural detox, boosts HGH levels, uses fat for fuel, etc. I always feel and look my best when I implement this in my life. I can’t imagine having a never ending stream of food always in my system without giving it a break. It is almost gross to think about.”
Rusty Moore, Fitness Black Book
8. “The number one thing one can do to improve his or her overall health and fitness is to GIVE UP GRAINS. Why? They are a distinctly Neolithic food that the human animal has yet to adapt to consuming, they contain anti-nutrients (lectins, gluten, phytates) that are unhealthy and should be avoided, insoluble grain fiber (often touted as necessary for gastrointestinal tract health) is non-essential, there are better sources of vitamins and minerals (see meat, healthy fats and vegetables), and they are carb-dense. All-in-all they are completely and utterly pointless in the context of a healthy diet; nothing but a cheap source of calories.”
Mark Sisson, Mark’s Daily Apple
9. “Eat and move like your ancestors, heal your gut, manage stress and practice pleasure.”
Chris Kresser, The Healthy Skeptic
10. “The key to optimum health. A lifestyle that focuses on:
1. Quantity and adequate quality of sleep (i.e. deep REM sleep);
2. Brief periods of high intensity activity, with lots of walking and lots of play. Activity should be as varied and as non-specialised as possible to prevent injury, relieve boredom and to ensure maximum adaptability to life’s physical and mental challenges.
3. Minimising and managing on-going stress with adequate rest, recovery and relaxation aligned to your physical and mental activity levels.
4. Nutrition that supports our ancestral and biological makeup, a variety of nutrient dense real-foods, controlling insulin production, boosting our immune system and reducing inflammation.
5. Avoiding (and mitigating) against environmental, topical and ingested toxins.
A belly laugh once-a-day!”
Darryl Edwards, The Fitness Explorer
11. “The biggest aspect for health is, in my opinion, accountability. You have to become accountable to yourself if any change you implement toward improved health is going to last. So much of my initial foray into health and fitness was external: perform better, look better, get laid. While these are not bad initializers, the only way these things are sustained is coming to the conclusion that as human beings we are selfish and, past face value judgements, nobody is going to care about your health as much as you do when you actually care. The irony of this is that it takes very little in the way of self-control and proper habit formation to make lasting changes.”
Skyler Tanner, skylertanner.com
Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to this post. I Hope you found it as inspiring as I did :)
Decide to better yourself, your relationships, and the planet by making a positive shift in your life today.
To your health and happiness,