Getting Healthier!

Here at Optimize Your Life, we’re spending 2018 figuring out how to live our best possible lives. Each month, we’re examining a different topic that helps us get there.

In January we learned about life planning. February was personal finance basics. March was dedicated to time management.

Then we spent two months on happiness. In April we learned about the science of happiness before using that information to learn about the intersection of money and happiness in May.

For June, we’re going to be diving into the topic of health. And it’s going to be a bit different.

Out of My Comfort Zone

Generally I limit my writing on this blog to areas where I can speak from a place of authority.

I’ve spent years studying happiness, psychology, finance, investing, decision making, and many of the other topics we cover around here.

I’ve spent pretty much no time focusing on health. In fact, if I recall correctly, 6th grade health class was my worst grade in my entire school career.

Learning About Health

That said, if we’re trying to live our best possible lives, we can’t ignore health. In the context of this experiment, I can’t skip over it just because I haven’t studied it before.

Besides, if I only worked on things that I was already good at I wouldn’t be maximizing my growth, right?

So we’re spending a month on health.

Because of my lack of experience, this month will be less from an authoritative standpoint and more experiential.

Health is a much more complicated topic than most of what we examine and there is a lot of dispute over the best ways to approach it – especially in nutrition and exercise. Because of that, I’ll tell you what I’ve found in my health research, but will mostly focus on what I’ve experienced in trying to get healthier.

Lucky Background

I have been fortunate in my life that health has never had to be a priority for me.

I spent years studying happiness, money, and productivity because they interested me and were important for living a better life.

Health is obviously important, but it was never interesting to me and my health was always good enough that it never became a priority.

I’ve always had a pretty terrible diet that was way too heavy on fast food, but I’ve never really had serious negative health repercussions from that. I’ve gained weight over the years, but am not overweight. My annual doctor’s visits have always been fine.

I figured this diet would catch up to me eventually, but there was no rush to address it.

Exercise

In the same vein, I never had all that much exercise, but enough for it not to be a problem.

I ran when I was young, but quit when it started causing me knee problems. For most of my adult life I have had no real exercise routine. (I have had various short term exercise habits, but nothing that stuck for the long term.)

That said, living in the city means that I tend to get plenty of walking in. I also play on a rec league hockey team that gets me some solid exercise once a week.

What to Expect

This month’s look at health will be mostly within that context.

There are lots of people that are less fortunate when it comes to health and obviously no health advice really makes sense for everyone. (Maybe don’t smoke? Is that universal? Stay away from heroin?)

Despite that, I will do my best to explain what I’ve tried, what has worked for me and what hasn’t, and why I think those things have or haven’t worked.

We’ll look at the science behind my decisions, as well as the habit formation techniques that have worked or failed.

This will be venturing into new territory for the blog, but I hope you enjoy and find it useful and informative in your own life.

Here we go…

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