However, Andrew Huberman, professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology at the Stanford School of Medicine and host Huberman Laboratory, we suggest turning down the noise and getting back to the basics. Prioritizing five daily things is key to maintaining physical and mental health, he recently said—and it’s easier to implement than you might think.
The most important step to strong mental and physical health is when we realize that no single protocol, supplement, or Rx* is going to solve the problem on its own and instead we initiate a series of *daily actions toward lasting wellness*. These actions are (and always will be): 1)…
— Dr. Andrew D. Huberman (@hubermanlab) August 30, 2023
“The most important step toward strong mental and physical health is when we realize that no single protocol, supplement, or Rx* is going to fix the problem on its own and instead we initiate a series of *daily actions toward lasting wellness*,” wrote Huberman in a recent twitter.
To feel mentally and physically strong while simultaneously seeking the famous Fountain of Youth, Huberman says to intentionally increase the following in your day: sleep, sunlight, movement, nutrition and social connections.
As conventional wisdom has told us for centuries, take enough sleep it helps us to feel better mentally and physically. General guidelines recommend that adults get at least seven hours of sleep each night. It helps reduce stress, regulate internal body systems and improve mood (as we know, lethargy and grumpiness go hand in hand).
In the previous podcastHuberman says that sleep is the best tool for relieving stress, trauma, boosting immunity and an emotional stabilizer.
Establishing a relaxation routine 30 minutes to an hour before bed, going to bed and getting up at the same time, and sleeping in a dark, cool environment can also increase the amount and quality of your sleep.
Getting sunlight first thing in the morning signals to the body that it’s time to wake up; it also helps regulate the body’s circadian rhythm, which in turn will signal that it’s time to sleep later that night.
What’s more, sunlight is the best way to absorb vitamin D, or the sunshine vitamin – long advocated for improving bones and immune strength. Research suggests that vitamin D can also be improved brain function and memory.
Another pillar we are all too familiar with is the importance of exercise. Huberman advises incorporating resistance, mobility and cardio into your routine, though not all on the same day. National guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise (think brisk walking or cycling) or 70 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise (think running or cardio) each week, along with at least two days of strength training.
Exercise can help the brain stay strong, improve cardiovascular health and reduce stress. One CDC expert calls walking “the closest thing to a miracle cure.” As our muscles atrophy with age, consider increasing your strength and resistance training.
We hear that often the best way to maintain an exercise routine is choosing something you love and can follow.
Yes, eat healthy. However, Huberman points to the importance of the type of food, the amount of food and the timing of meals.
A diet rich in many types of whole foods, from fruits and vegetables to nuts, seeds and vegetables (note 30 plants a day challenge) can strengthen the intestinal microbiome. A diverse gut microbiome can improve immune and brain function. Maintaining a diet rich in plants, protein and fiber can ensure you get the right amount of food to keep you feeling full and energetic for longer (highly processed sugary foods can cause you to crash and feel even hungrier).
While it may not work for everyone, Huberman has recognized the benefits of intermittent fasting before. It can reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes. In order to live longer, C-suite executives and longevity researchers alike have devoted themselves to intermittent fasting. Dr. Mark Hymanfounder and senior advisor for Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine and author Forever Young: Secrets to Living Your Longest and Healthiest Life, previously stated Wealth fast overnight between 12 and 4 p.m.
We are located in an epidemic of loneliness. feeling socially isolated it has health consequences comparable to smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day. Moreover, loneliness can increase the risk of developing dementia, depression and anxiety, among other health conditions. This year, US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued a national advisory warning about the health effects of loneliness. Many call for ways to reinvent socialization by structuring collaborative environments and creating spaces for intergenerational friendships to be the foundation of the community.
In addition to the health benefits of feeling connected, the strength of our social relationships greatly determines our level of connectedness happiness. Maintaining and forming friendships from childhood to middle age and beyond is an integral part of maintaining health. Volunteering or joining activity groups or hobbies—to name a few—can help give people a sense of connection. A recent AARP survey found that the vast majority of adults (87%) watch game as a pillar of their health, and many say it helps them stay connected to others.
While Huberman notes that those with the means and time can expand their routine to include additional ways to boost their health, he calls his five key strategies “a solid and reliable foundation.”