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The 10 Most Important Things For Your Health ... Ranked

xray of a hand making an okay sign
  1. Breathing
  2. Water
  3. Sleep
  4. Thinking
  5. Eating
  6. Mobility
  7. Agility
  8. Strength
  9. Endurance
  10. Everything Else

The question is: why is this the order?

The answer says: it's based on how long it takes you to die if you stop.

Yes, that's kind of morbid. But, once you know that death is the final boss, and everything you do keeps her or him from beating you, this starts to make sense. Let's take these in turn

1- Breathing

If you stop breathing for 2 minutes, your brain starts to die. After 5 minutes you'll become a vegetable. The best breathing for overall health starts with full out-breaths. The pressure generated from that full out-breath taps on your vagus nerve, which regulates many aspects of your awareness. Breathing out as much as you can also makes sure you're breathing in lots of new air.

Get a lungful of new air.

2- Water

The planet and your body are both about 75% water. Water shortages, drought, monsoons, typhoons, and hurricanes are some of the largest and most frequent natural disasters. Too much water is something people suffer from, but not internally.

Get more water in ya body daily

3- Sleep

They don't talk about sleep torture for nothing. Depriving people of sleep for days or weeks wrecks the biological processes that support everything from awareness, to digestion, to thinking. Coffee and other stimulants may serve as temporary band-aids, but the grim reaper cometh. Your main 9-5 is to get sleep from 9pm-5am. I've heard that an hour of sleep before midnight is worth 2 hours after. I can attest that 9pm bedtimes make for fantastic (married) mornings, and nightimes.

Get better sleep.

4- Thinking

Maybe you thought that thinking wouldn't be included in this list. But, um, think about it. You have to figure out what you're going to eat. How can get more water? Where are you going to get your next meal? What workout regimen that will help you look better naked. None of those happen without thinking about the state of your future self and comparing it to your present state.

Get better at thinking.

5- Eating

Get your macros (protein, fat, carbs) and your micros (vitamins and minerals) right. If you wanted quick eating advice here goes: double your fruits and vegetable intake,  Your electrified waterbag needs them to keep the current flowing throughout your body.

Get better at food shopping.

6- Mobility/Motility

Plants slowly tilt according to the direction of the sun, and even tiny amoeba have tendrils to make sure they move from one place to another (mostly to eat more food and get away from nasty stuff). Animals are much the same, you need to be able to use your full range of motion to get up and go to the fridge, the store, and/or your garden. You'll also need to fend off beasts that will hunt you down and eat you. In ancient times that'd probably be a pack of big cats. In modern times it's the creditors that want to taste your blood. Better get moving.

Get some sun salutations in your life.

7- Agility

Agility is motility at speed. Agility drills make sure Venus Williams can change directions when the ball goes to the other side of the court. It also helps jugglers catch the ball they threw a little too far to the left. Working on your agility means working on your gross and fine motor skills. You have to practice moving while changing direction and speed.

Get an agility ladder.

8- Strength

You'd think that strength comes before agility, but strength requires movement 'under load'. This means with weight or against resistance. You need to learn good squat and sprinting form before you're able to do them well and fast, that's the agility part.

Get a 50lb sandbag.

9- Endurance

And you'd think that endurance comes before strength, but sadly, that's not the case either. If you look at competitive endurance athletes, they have to get in shape and fast first, then they can do it for long periods of time. Even if you're a beginner, you're couch to 5k will teach you that you need to build up the physical strength and then the endurance to complete your journey.

Get far.

10- Everything Else

I was tempted to put 'The Ten Thousand Things' because I'm a fan of ancient Chinese Philosophy. For them 'The Ten Thousand Things' was a symbolically big number to represent everything. Have you ever counted ten thousand of anything? Using your step tracker is cheating, have YOU counted those steps or did it? Whatever the case, everything you think and do  depends on the 10 things listed above. If you want to be great, you have to master the fundamentals.

Really this order?

Most likely, I'm open to suggestions. Anyhow, if you want to make sure you're doing the right things at the right rate to make your life better, I'm also available for performance coaching

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