Coding Your Body for Ease Instead of Dis-Ease
Get yourself some tea. A 5min read where “Coach Donald is talking above his pay grade to make a simple point” articles. Proceed with caution or just close the browser.
This is supposed to be marketing but I’m having a blast even though it’s eating up hours to write this.
I believe fitness itself is actually very simple, though not easy. What do I believe you should do to be “fit”?
First, what is fit? When do you cross the line to become “fit”?
Well…fitness is not a destination. Let’s start there. Here are two ways to look at it:
- As a spectrum. Health markers such as A1C for blood sugar, cholesterol levels, percent body fat (rather than BMI), can offer insights to that spectrum. You can undergo functional fitness tests from just “sit and reach” tests to a full Bruce protocol treadmill stress test to measure VO2Max.
- As a set of life activities that make life easier. How much you move, how well you eat, & how you manage your inner world emotionally. They all affect each other. Even while writing this, I’m internally stressed (I’ve rewritten this 4x). My body feels sluggish. I decided to get up and do sled drags and push ups.
Moving around got my body and mind refreshed. Now my inner world is better for now. I’ve struggled to focus all day
When you look at how you live your life, we can also look at whether they are improving you based on epigenetics or if you are installing yourself with a computer virus.
This is one of those “Coach Donald talking about his pay grade to make a simple point” moments. Proceed with caution or just close the browser.
Epigenetics is the study of how your behaviors and environment can cause changes that affect the way your genes work. As per the CDC website;
Think, triggers. A buzzword the last couple years.
*Googles “how do computer viruses work”* - it can damage programs, delete files, and make devastating changes to your hard drive, all of which can result in reduced performance. As per something I copied and pasted from my Google search.
There are activities that put the body (and mind) in a state of “ease”. It makes it easier to handle the effects of aging. Easier to reduce the influence of the genes that increase anxiety or flare up your autoimmune disorder(s). Easier for your body to deal with the plaque build up in your blood vessels. Easier to have energy to keep up with your kids. Easier to fight off bacteria and viruses to be less sick. Easier to be kind to people. Easier to have patience. Easier to allow for peace in your life.
Your body feels lighter. More mobile. Ease can allow you to better control cravings. Life is hard; healthy, fit habits get you out of your own way which makes life easier.
When you take on the habits of fitness, health, and peace you allow your best genes to express themselves. Your environment, from the outside world and your habits, influence the situations at which your body pulls up the random batch of DNA on page 9 (strong heart) or page 18 (fibromyalgia flare up). Lots. Of. Nuance. This isn’t medical advice.
If you want to learn what I mean by gene expression, it’s at the bottom.
Playing semantics here, other activities AND the lack of the “easing” activities lead your body into a state of, “dis-ease”. You become more susceptible to “feeling the fight” of bacteria and viral diseases (the symptoms as I think of it). The state of dis-ease makes you lethargic.
Lethargy reduces your patience. Endless mental chatter. The dis-ease of malnourishment makes your joints hurt more. The “bad” genes you have get expressed more and more - expressed meaning they play out, think about a dormant, dark computer program getting turned on. Cholesterol build up. The increased weight beyond what “feels good” makes it harder to do the activities you like. Not doing those activities creates dis-ease in your mental state. Your lower mental state then leads you to do 100mi ultra-marathons because you’ve lost all common sense.
Whew. Grim sounding. And well, Coach Donald, how do we get into a state of ease?
There are many domains of wellness, or ease as I will continue to frame it. We are sticking with physical health.
Let’s do this, “healthy activities” are like the anti virus software you probably don’t buy to keep hackers and viruses out. And computer viruses stress your computer which makes it not work properly, or really at all. Think of your computer expressing stress related genes that make it lag, forget stuff, and force embarrassment as all of it happens that one time you really need to show someone something right NOW. Or log on to that Zoom meeting you already were cutting it close for.
Healthy activities reduce opportunities for the “bad” genes to turn on. Okay, no more genes. Let’s talk about fitting those favorite jeans of yours.
You, maybe a person who hasn’t jumped in 12 years, except to unfounded conclusions, wants a simple way to work on your physical health.
Here is what I’d call, the bare minimum. The bare minimum that can express the genes that make life easier for you:
- Complete 30-60min of low intensity continuous cardio 3x/week - ie. walking with an elevated heart rate
- Complete 30-60min of resistance exercises (ie lift weights or strength machines) 1x/week
- Make half of the food on your plate a plant, by any measurement: weight, pie chart proportion, color, count, etc
- Add sugar to food & drink up to 2x/week
- Eat foods and drink drinks that are high in sugar, like pastries and soda up to 2x/week
- Add salt to food up to 2x/week
That’s it. Sure, some people can argue about the other 159 things that should be added to this list.
If you can do those 6 things, you can SIGNIFICANTLY improve your physical health status and allow your body more “ease”.
What’s the opposite of those things? Not opposite, but the “lacking” version that so many people live by. Living this way is like logging on to Limewire in 2008:
- Complete 0min of low intensity continuous cardio 7x/week - ie. walking with an elevated heart rate
- Complete 0min of resistance exercises (ie lift weights or strength machines) 1x/week
- Make none of the food on your plate a plant
- Add sugar to food & drink daily
- Eat foods and drink drinks that are high in sugar, like pastries and soda daily
- Add salt to food daily
Live like this and you will constantly live in a state of dis-ease physically. And it will likely cascade into mental and emotional health. What you ingest handles how your body expresses itself externally and internally.
Do you want to live fit and express the genes that allow you to live a life of increased ease?
Or do you want to live a life that is daily logging on to Limewire, downloading all sorts of viruses on your life software?
Share this with someone and ask them that questions
If you’re not sure what gene expression is and want to learn what I’ve been saying this entire time, or if you know what it is better than me (probably) and want to bring me out of the dark, read below and leave a reply.
And really, if you read this the whole way, you really should send a reply.
**Gene expression. So you know how you have DNA? Well when a situation happens in the body, your cell reads the DNA, does a bunch of stuff to make proteins, and then those proteins interact and which changes your body.
For example, you just did a HITT workout which caused intense aerobic stress. Your body then rolls out the DNA, finds the gene to create the protein PGC1-Alpha. That’s “gene expression”. That protein PGC1-Alpha then makes more mitochondria in your muscle cells. So next time you do that same HITT workout, you will undergo less aerobic stress. This is super simple, this isn’t supposed to be Dr. Coyle’s exercise physiology class.
Notice, that if you did NOT do the HITT workout, that gene for PGC1-Alpha would not have been expressed.
Point, just because it’s there doesn’t mean it HAS to DO something. Your environment plays a role in what genes get expressed and to what extent.
This is nuanced and WAY out of scope for me to go any further, but you get the point I hope. If not, watch this video. This YouTube page carried me through college.
If you went this far, high five!