When I think of how to Do More I’m really thinking, how do I keep doing what I do? Having made a career in the out of doors, these are the questions I have asked myself over the years: How do I keep things fresh? How do I make this all sustainable?
As a guide, athlete, classroom and outdoor educator I need my body and brain to be working at or near 100%, nearly 100% of the time. And no one cares that I am getting older or need more time to recover. Therefore, my down time or “me time” needs to be focused and holistic in an effort to be balanced. It is often simply stated, “take care of yourself and you can take care of others”.
Being “regular” is what I strive for in what I call my “balanced approach”. Here is what that recipe looks like this for me…
Sleep – 7-9 hours a night
I try to go to bed and wake up at similar times everyday. I have found I need 8 hours every night to feel my best. When I get 9, I am seriously on my game.
Hydration – 2.5 liters of water per day
This means 2.5 liters of water. I am not counting my coffee, tea or any other type of fluid…Water! I start my day by drinking 1 liter before anything else hits my stomach. This staves off any hunger, begins hydrating me and kick starts my digestive system as it has me running to the toilet without the aid of caffeine. Not to mention this is the minimum needed for cellular health. Oh, and you are supposed to pee once every 1.5 to 2 hours…sorry for the biological inconvenience 😉
Exercise – Sometime a little…sometime a lot…always sometime outside everyday.
When I am on my training schedule I can average anywhere from 3 to 8 hours a day of activity. While excessive…well it is. Regardless, when I am teaching in the classroom for extended periods this can get limited to a 20-minute walk. I use to get upset when I couldn’t exercise to great lengths. I now realize that in order to maintain my base during these times of lesser activity it is more important to focus on my diet.
Diet – 1. Fresh 2. Local 3. Organic
If it is fresh, it is likely closer to local, if it is truly local it is likely better than organic. Fresh food has less preservatives…if it is local it likely has none. In my experience, fresh, local produce often exceeds the standards for USDA Organic labeling. Think about it…if you purchase something in a box that has traveled thousands of miles, is it really organic and good for your health? I find that unlikely, in my opinion. I eat ots of greens, fruits and clean proteins! I also try to eat at similar times each day. Remember that regular thing?
Meditate – 5 minutes a day – minimum mandatory
Your body needs to sleep and your brain needs a reset. I find meditation to be a reminder of what your brain feels like with little to no stimulation from the outside world and connecting you with your breath. The more I meditate the more I realize it slows my thinking down, makes it more clear and helps me sort out what matters most, or what to focus on. On a personal note, dealing with my own psychological traumas I believe that mediation was, and is, the strongest tool in my work shed.
Yoga – 20 minutes – minimum mandatory
I consider Yoga, mediation for the body. While sleep gives me the time to recover, yoga resets my physical structure. The daily stresses we encounter affect our posture. If you don’t think that is the case, why does someone look down when they are being spoken down to? Or why do people cross their arms when they feel insecure? Yoga helps me find the proper structure and posture of my body while making me aware of the injuries and their progression in the healing process.
While it seems like a lot, adding this in little by little makes this an attainable goal. The result is being a better you that is able to Do More!