This is a brief description of the 5 key components of The Lifetime Body, and how they can be emphasized to help you Make Your Body Last a Lifetime. This document is not meant to be an all-encompassing resource, but it provides a framework of how I utilize the five components as a foundation, along with a set of basic principles, to help my clients make sense of the science in health, fitness, and longevity. This approach is the key element in all of my writing, coaching, and consulting work. This page will provide some valuable insights that can help you to look, feel, and perform your best.
We look at food in many ways at TLB. It’s a power lever for health, and it’s also a rich source of celebration and ritual for humans. Here are some of the key points which we utilize with food:
- Before you even consider what to eat, you have to understand what not to eat. The avoidance of processed and refined carbohydrates (sugars), industrial seed (so-called vegetable oils including canola, corn, cottonseed, safflower, soy, and sunflower), and most grains (this is explained in depth in my writing and consulting) is probably the single most important thing you can do for your wellness. These products are obstacles to health and promote rampant inflammation, oxidation, weight gain, hyperinsulinemia, and most disease-related processes.
- We never forsake quality with food. Always source the absolute best food you can find and afford. Food is medicine and it is information to our genes. We take quality seriously and shoot for fresh, whole, natural, local, seasonal, organic, wild, cage-free, non-GMO, free-range, grass-fed/finished, and other indicators of nutritional quality.
- Context is another important consideration with food. How food is purchased, stored, prepared, and combined must be taken into account. How we dine, share, and nourish ourselves and each other matters. And food works in conjunction with our lives, activities, palate, etc.
- Instead of one size fits all, we help you to create your own ideal diet. We use a “Planet-Based” philosophy in that the diet must be good for you, have respect for plants, animals, and the land, and it must not have a negative impact upon the environment. Once that criteria is met, we explore the immense variability that exists with diet.
- Calories matter some, but not too much. The thermodynamic equation of energy balance (calories consumed versus calories burned) can have merit at extremely low or high levels of caloric intake, but we hold high respect for the endocrine effects of food, recognizing that high-quality foods providing optimal nutrition have powerful effects on hormonal regulation and ultimately, health.
- Macronutrients (fat, protein, carbohydrate) can have great significance with both general populations as well as specific individuals. We help you to find your ideal macro ratio, and apply this dynamically with respect to seasons, events, and training levels.
- A personalized diet can be finely tuned with many self-tests and experiments by eliminating and/or reintroducing foods in a controlled manner. You can use an inexpensive blood glucose monitor to assess specific carbohydrate tolerance, work with your healthcare provider on how your diet impacts your bloodwork, and even easily access genetic testing to make your diet fit your particular, unique genetic makeup.
- Food can be as clinical as you want to make it. But our focus is on fun and joy. Eating should one of our great positives in life and we use a variety of methods to maximize what food does for (not to) us.
We were born to move. Our genes require it. Let’s take a quick look at how we break it down:
- Humans evolved for over 2 million years as hunter-gatherers and we are designed to move a moderate amount, every day.
- At TLB, we view movement as an umbrella, under which exists general daily activity (GDA), and exercise. GDA is also called non-exercise activity-induced thermogenesis (NEAT) in the literature, and this includes casual walking, chores, and the like. It is strongly correlated with high levels of health and longevity. Exercise is the more specific form of movement we do as training to increase our fitness and functional capacity. Both are essential for Ultimate Wellness. We have a system that helps you to design your own movement program which makes sure you get what you need.
- Exercise includes low-intensity steady-state (LISS) or aerobic (O2), mobility-stability (MOSTA), resistance ®, high-intensity interval (HIIT), and sprint (S) training. Each has a contribution to health and fitness and we help you understand and apply the methods so that you can look, feel, and perform your best.
- At TLB, we embody the philosophy that everyone is an athlete, and we help you bring out your full potential, whether your goals are yard work and playing with grandkids or competitive sports. We focus on the joy of movement and help you to find and apply the amount of structure in your program that both gets the best results and fits your preferences.
- We teach you about your body type, muscle fiber physiology, and joint mobility, while we work with your health and injury history, goals, and schedule. Your program will help you to get results with highly efficient and effective interventions, avoid injury and breakdown, and HAVE FUN!
- It’s all about helping you to build and maintain a high physical self esteem and maximal fitness motivation. You get more out of life and have less limitations.
Sleep, or vitamin S if you will, is the change maker, and the force multiplier in wellness. Without ideal amounts and quality of sleep, diet and exercise just won’t “take,” and health suffers mightily. Here are some of the things we emphasize with sleep at TLB:
- Sleep is the strategic time each night when we reset, rebuild, and recover. Tissues are repaired, memory and motor programs are solidified, the brain is cleared of waste products, and cells are regenerated. Our metabolisms are regulated and we burn fat for fuel.
- Even one night of poor sleep results in deprivation which is well documented to impair cognitive ability, reaction time, energy, strength, speed, endurance, appetite, metabolism, and mood.
- Humans are diurnal mammals and our sleep patterns and circadian rhythms are integrally linked with the sun.
- Sleep occurs in multiple cycles lasting up to 90 minutes each, with most of us requiring 6 to seven cycles nightly for a total of 7.5-9.0 hours.
- Sleep has multiple stages including rapid eye movement (REM) and non-rapid eye movement (NREM – which is divided into stages, with stage III considered “deep sleep”).
- Good sleep habits, sometimes called sleep hygiene, are simple, easy, and highly effective. Some examples include sleeping in a cool (62-66 degrees), dark room and diminishing evening blue light exposure. At TLB, we use over a dozen sleep hygiene techniques to 10x your time between the sheets.
- We encourage the celebration of sleep and also the strategic use of napping for optimal wellness. Old adages such as “I’ll sleep when I’m dead (no, you’ll just be dead sooner)” and “I’ll burn the candle at both ends (and burn yourself out faster)” die hard in our society, but not at TLB.
Originally viewed as the study of work and its effects on our bodies and beings, the definition of ergonomics at TLB is expanded to represent the total optimization of our personal environments.
- It’s the setup of our workstations in both our jobs and our hobbies. Optimal design and fit of our offices and workshops to our bodies, and our minds, is critical. Avoid awkward positions and allow for efficient use of energy.
- Ergonomics also includes our posture. When the human skeleton is optimally aligned, it is extremely durable and tolerant of gravity and other daily forces.
- Our habits and behaviors are very important. The chunking of focused work, the use of frequent breaks and activity, and position changes (such as a sit-to-stand desk option) are helpful in making work more productive and comfortable.
- Light management is another component in ergonomics. Not only do we want well-lit areas for safety and the reduction of eyestrain, we also can use light, both natural and artificial, to boost energy while at work and to improve sleep and metabolism (yes, believe it).
- Electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure should be reduced or eliminated in as many cases as possible. Excessive, or even moderate amounts of EMF can contribute to fatigue, metabolic slowdown, and accelerated aging.
- Environmental toxins, whether they be heavy metals, air pollution, fragrances in personal care or cleaning products, or additives in food, don’t do us any wellness favors and we encourage reduction or elimination wherever possible.
- While we think of ergonomics as a primary component of workplace wellness (and it is), what we are really shooting for is to make the things we do in everyday life additive, not break-even, and certainly not detractive to our health. Make your jobs and hobbies work for your health, not against it.
A word that implies knowledge or perception of a situation or fact, awareness at TLB is the understanding of how many lifestyle factors affect our health, performance, productivity, and happiness. Here are a few of the categories we utilize in the pursuit of Ultimate Wellness:
- As I often say “Only the salmon should swim upstream,” and we humans do best in this modern world when we create a flow state. When our actions and interactions are less of a fight, we have less breakdown.
- Achieving stress balance, in which we have neither too much nor too little stress, can be a phenomenal impactor to our metabolisms, moods, sleep, and health.
- Practicing mindfulness and living in the moment has been proven to enhance productivity and contentment.
- Living a life of meaning, sharing with and supporting others, and contributing as much as you achieve, is paramount at TLB.
- Self-knowledge, in terms of personality, tendencies, preferences, habits, and even genetics can help us to set up our days for more of that flow state. And knowing some of those same things about those we live and work with creates an opportunity for greater harmony in our relationships. There are a number of quick, free tests we use to aid this process. And we use those things as tools and guides, not as labels or limiters.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
As you can so clearly see, those 5 components are interrelated and interdependent. They interact in a compounding fashion to naturally facilitate Ultimate Wellness. They are the basis of my work at TLB and in all my writing, presenting, coaching, and consulting. My goal in working with clients is to educate and empower them toward their best possible life, and to entertain them a little along the way as well. I hope this page has helped you get a glimpse of how the TLB system works. If you’d like to engage with me at your business or on a personal level to Make Your Body Last a Lifetime, just check out the Services page or contact me.