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Find Your Fit
Wisdom Letter #5
A healthy body is the first step to a happy life.
That’s obvious, everybody knows it, that’s conventional wisdom.
But over the years the ‘conventional wisdom’ regarding how to build a healthy body has often been conflicting and many a times downright misleading.
That has led to a lot of confused well meaning individuals trying their best to stay fit but failing constantly.
Would you say 1 calorie from spinach is the same as 1 calorie from chocolate? Or a calorie from broccoli same as one from Ice-Cream?
Read the following piece from ‘the Economist’ as it meticulously explains the conflicts in the cult of such calorie counting, while also breaking down the historical reasons that led to it.
This is classic narrative non-fiction that the Economist is famous for. Worth every minute that you spend on it.
This short video accompanying the article is also worth a watch.
Why Calories are a Con
Exercise is hard work. Its tough on the body, it can, and often does cause grave injuries.
And they say no amount of exercise can undo bad eating habits.
While that may be true, there’s no denying the fact that exercise helps build a strong body, and in most cases a strong mind as well.
This piece from ‘The Cut’ brings in opinions of endurance athletes about the impact that their training has on their mind.
It also digs out research that suggests that we don’t have to be endurance athletes to reap the psychological benefits of exercise.
Lay people like us can also benefit a lot by having a work out routine that stretches our physical boundaries regularly.
Give it a read.
When we talk about fitness and health, we talk a lot about working out and eating right, but I don’t think we talk enough about sleep.
Whenever we want to build a new habit in our lifestyle, we often end up sacrificing our sleep for it.
And that perhaps is more detrimental to our health than we can imagine.
There’s a new movement taking form that wants to reclaim our lost sleep hours. And Arianna Huffington is leading that movement. Checkout her book- The Sleep Revolution
In this podcast with James Altucher she discusses her life as a an entrepreneur, her decline due to stress, and her new found passion for sleep.
My favorite quotes from the episode:
When you’re exhausted, you miss the moment because you are just living in some fog, either of the past or the future.
Any hour of your day when you feel tired is really an hour when you’re not living life to the fullest
Take a listen:
There’s a debate going on in the food industry.
Is Organic produce really healthy or is it just a scam?
Is it really as environment friendly as its purported to be?
Is all that extra money that we pay for it worth it?
Like all big societal debates, this one too is a lot more nuanced than we think it is. There’s a lot to dive into, there’s a lot to digest before we make up our minds about organic food.
‘Kurzgesagt’ does a brilliant job of explaining both sides of the debate in this wonderful video.
Is Organic Really Better? Healthy Food or Trendy Scam?
As we sign off for the week, here’s a quote worth pondering over.
Exercise is a celebration on what your body can do. Not a punishment for what you ate.
— someone on the internet
Think about this idea with your work-outs this week, reflect whether you treat them as celebrations or punishments.
I think our mindset matters a lot in pursuit of our fitness goals. Be it eating right, sleeping more or working out regularly. How we approach these goals is very important, do we look at them as chores, that we have to do, or are they opportunities of improvement, that we are lucky that we get to do.
Health is a very personal matter, there are no ‘thumb rules’ that work for everyone. Amidst all the noise we have to find our own process, our own fit.
Nobody follows me around 24x7 like my own mind. Every individual, when going to sleep ever night knows very well whether he has had a healthy day or not. I think he can use this knowledge to build on having one healthy day at a time. To take actions through the day that help him sleep soundly with the satisfaction of having had a healthy day.
Ultimately, a healthy life is just a series of many such healthy days strung together.
Think about it.
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Aditi & Ayush
This was Wisdom Letter #5, in case you missed last week’s letter, check it out here- #4 , its called “Stay Still & Go Deep”.
And if you’re wondering why we are doing this project, what is the point of it? checkout the intro post, it might make some sense!