The internet is populated with lists and I am about to add another one!
Lists are popular because people like quick and actionable things that they don’t really have to think too much about. I understand. Sometimes my writing can become a little verbose and if I want to really hammer home a message of great importance I must adapt to the times!
So here is a list.
A list of things. A list of things that you should do everyday. A list of things that you should do everyday that you will think is stupid. A list of things that you should do everyday that you will think is stupid but will make your life better. A list of things that you should do everyday that you will think is stupid but will make your life better, not now but in ten years. A list of things that you should do everyday that you will think is stupid but will make your life better, not now but in ten years, if you actually do them everyday.
Verbosity. It can be problematic for me. I will keep this brief. You won’t have to read too hard. But if you take it seriously you will end up living a better life 10, 20, 30 years from now and beyond.
Let your mind be free
We all spend far too much time staring at phones or computers. Little moments. Waiting in line. Waiting for someone to come out of a store. Sipping tea in the morning.
Long ago you would stand bored watching the world go by. Seeing other people move, laugh, get angry. We noticed birds, clouds, trees, the new bread counters at the grocery store.
Don’t fill every moment.
Just look around. Watch. Have many moments, everyday, where you are just being in where you are.
Daydream a little
My wife sometimes is perplexed by my seeming absentmindedness. I will be sitting at the table staring out the window. She asks what I am looking at, the answer? Nothing. Literally, nothing.
Sometimes I just sit and stare into nothingness. You should to. It’s good for your brain. We should encourage daydreaming, not chastise it.
As often as possible. Be barefoot. Walking around the house, the backyard, the gym (if your gym is progressive and understands being barefoot is not akin to urinating on the floor), anywhere and everywhere that you can.
Sit on the floor
There is a correlation between the amount of time people spend on the floor and long term health. The more time you spend on the ground the better.
Read a book, daydream out the window, play with your kids, have a snack, whatever. Just sit on the ground a little everyday.
If you can’t get there comfortable, you had better start working on it.
One of my team says this all the time. Tummy time. Spend time daily on your stomach. Reading, watching internet videos, staring out the window, or anything else you want to do.
Again, if this isn’t comfortable, you had better start working on it.
Put on your socks standing up
Does this need a description? Socks, shoes, whatever. Do it standing up and not leaning on anything. ALWAYS.
You pet your dog, clean snot off your kids face, pick up something that you have dropped, or any one of a hundred things that pops up during the day on the ground.
Instead of bending over to do it, drop down into a deep squat. The adage move it or lose it is significant here. And again, if you cannot currently comfortably deep squat, you had better get working on it!
Get on the ground
You’re seeing the theme here right?
Cleaning the floor, get down there and do parts by hand. Have a picnic in your kitchen with the kids.
I keep coming back to this because I really think it is THAT important.
Add some stretching while dressing
Getting dressed can be SO hard, I get it. And now I want you to add more complexity to it. I am SO, SO, sorry!!!
You know that great stretch first thing in the morning? When you reach overhead, arch your back, and make your dog jealous of how good it feels to stretch out?
Do that. Every time you get dressed. And go old school, when you put on your pants, grab a foot behind you and stretch your leg, both sides, no, not at the same time… BONUS, you will be getting in some one leg work!
Pick things up with your feet
You need to be barefoot to let your feet live. You also need to keep the muscles in your feet strong and mobile, just like the rest of your body! You don’t need fancy equipment!
Literally pick up things with your feet. Something you’ve dropped, something that needs to get moved out of the way, whatever. We have buckets of marbles that we pour on the ground and make people pick up and put back in the bucket using only their feet. It is really, really, really good for you.
Stand on one leg whenever you can
Not much to say here. On the phone, in a line-up, washing dishes, anywhere. Stand on one foot. Alternate sides. Who cares if people think you look crazy.
If it is fewer than 10 floors take the stairs. For the rest of your life. ALWAYS choose the stairs.
I always laugh after getting off a long flight. People are stiff and sore and just want to move around. Get into the terminal and start walking to the exit and what does everyone do? Takes the damn escalator.
REALLY? There are literally stairs RIGHT beside it and weren’t you JUST complaining that you were stiff from not moving for hours? Walk up the damn stairs.
Go up and down stairs differently every time
Now that you’re walking more stairs, make it fun! Forwards is for the mundane!
Go sideways, backwards, take two at a time, take two at a time with one leg but one at a time with the other leg, or maybe try three at a time with one leg and two at a time with the other leg. Or maybe two stairs forward, two left side, two forward, then two right side. The variations are endless.
Again, who cares what anyone thinks? When they can’t get themselves out of bed anymore in the morning and you are walking stairs for fun we will see who looks ridiculous.
Hang from stuff
Life isn’t like the movies. Most people couldn’t hold themselves on a rope, tree branch, or bar of any kind. Sorry, but you aren’t going to be catching your friend falling off the building with one hand and save them by pulling them up to safety.
You hang from things. Whatever you want to hang from is fine as long as it will support your bodyweight. Let’s be safe here ok?
Even if you only hang with one arm to get started while your other hand braces onto something. Although being able to hang on a tree branch with only one arm at a party is going to make you look super badass.
Step over things
Stop going around obstacles. Tackle them. Step over curbs, railings, branches, whatever. Pick up you damn feet and step over them.
Walk on elevated things
You see kids running along the top of a short wall or the curb dividers in a parking lot and we think, oh kids being kids.
Stop being an adult. Adults are really NO fun.
Walk on narrow things, in every direction. Great for balance and proprioception. And it is just WAY more FUN.
Jump between things
This can become a little higher risk but it is seriously good for your life. Jump fro one curb to another. One tree stump to another. It doesn’t even have to be elevated. Just pick two points and jump from one to another. Daily.
Remember hopscotch? Do kids still play hopscotch? I don’t know but if the don’t they should be. And you should to.
No need to setup a game though. Just hop a few steps here and there. Two feet, one foot, any direction, just, hop. Kids do this all the time.
Are you seeing ANOTHER recurring theme here? Kids know how to keep their bodies healthy naturally. Why do we train this out of them???
Do some spinning
Spinning around is how you train your balance. Not to beat a dead horse but kids do this all the time. You should too.
Before going up your next set of stairs spin around in a full circle. Going from the sink to the fridge? Don’t turn towards the fridge, turn the opposite direction and spin around before heading over. Again, there are a MILLION ways to add some spinning into your life.
This is arguably one of THE most important things on this list.
Walk on uneven surfaces – on purpose
Stop walking on the path. Walk over the grass, across that little mound of mulch, choose to walk across the rocks, walk one foot on the parking lot and one foot on the curb, maybe go back and forth, left leg ground, right leg on curb, then next step put the left leg on the curb and right foot on the ground on the other side.
Now you have also added stepping over things! Get really creative and add a spin to this!
Shockingly, the human body is able to move through many different movements. Yet we all tend to do two: forward walking and sitting down. Literally, that is the majority of your daily movement.
Really just sit and thing about it for a moment while you are daydreaming sitting in the car waiting for someone. How many other movements do you do in a day besides sitting down and getting up and walking forward?
So walk backwards, even just a few steps, or try sideways or do some crossovers with your feet. Whatever. It doesn’t have to be all day, just a few strides here and there.
Remember, move it, or lose it.
Crawl around – it’s important
Yes, crawl. On your hands and knees, crawl. Bear crawl, which is just crawling while not letting your knees touch the floor.
Add this to your life daily. DAILY. If you cannot do this comfortably, you have some physical training to get at!
Add some holds to your day
Plates, groceries, kids, dogs, logs, shoes, jars, paint cans, chairs, books, whatever is around and has at least a little weight to it. Hold it up overhead. One arm, two arm, on one leg or two, mix it up.
Hold stuff overhead for a minute or two a day. Hug it to your chest and hold it (this better be heavy though). Carry your groceries by your side instead of using the cart back to the car. Hold stuff.
Turkish getups. I love them and you should to. Do these daily for the rest of your life.
If you are being a stubborn bastard and refuse to learn how to TGU then do our old standby, the lay down getup.
What is that you ask? Simple. Stand there. Lay down on the ground on your back and then stand back up. No rules. ANY way you want to get back up. Now lay back down right away on your left side. Then back up, then down on your right side, and up, and them back down on your stomach and back up.
Try to do that for two minutes. It is…more challenging than it seems.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the TGU
Roll around a little
While you’re down there on the ground, just roll over a couple of times. Two times left and then two times right. Or whatever you want, I won’t judge.
Rolling is just spinning but on the ground! And this is VITAL to your long-term health. Seriously. We build all sorts of rolling into all of our training programs. Do it daily and you will be physically healthier for the rest of your life.
And there we go, 25 things you can add to your life daily that will, very truly, make a more significant difference over the next 30 years, than any bootcamp class you take or supplement you can buy.
No, they aren’t flashy, they aren’t sexy, but they work. They WILL keep your body fit, capable, and more resilient to accident and injury. If you do these little things every single day the accumulative impact will be like investing $100 in Apple stock in 1980. Except better because it is your health.