A couple of decades ago, no one could even imagine having our latest health stats on our wrists or in the palm of our hands. It’s never been easier to detect anomalies in our bodies, seek treatment in time, and avoid otherwise preventable complications.
Health, wellness, and longevity are at the cusp of all the technological advancements that we are experiencing around us. The times are indeed exciting, and public health is only expected to get better from here. It’s never been easier to keep track of one’s health or even keep a tab on the health of one’s aging loved ones from afar.
But this makes me think — are we over-relying on these technological advancements instead of just listening to our bodies like we did before? Is there still a way to connect with our minds, muscles, and bodies in this tech-friendly time? Is technology actually making us weaker in the long run?
To many, this may seem too superficial, but not to our guest, Dr. Andy Galpin. He has dedicated his life to helping humans learn how to take their muscles, mind, and body to a stage of greater development and overall well-being. Today, he is here to throw light on how we can listen to our bodies in this tech-obsessed age.
“Technology is not bad; I use it with every professional athlete that I work with. But you don’t want to completely outsource your physiology to some clumsy tech. Technology is good for calibration and assessment.” – Dr. Andy Galpin
Before delving deeper into the topic, let’s first get to know our guest!
Dr. Andy Galpin is an author, coach, teacher, and Ph.D. holder in Human Bioenergetics, which is the study of how energy is transferred in cells, tissues, and organisms. Soon after his Ph.D., Dr. Andy created the Biochemistry and Molecular Exercise Physiology Lab at the California State University, Fullerton, where he is also a full-time professor and the Director of the Center of Sport Performance.
He has also co-authored a book – Unplugged: Evolve From Technology to Upgrade Your Fitness Performance and Consciousness. Dr. Andy’s studies prove that most people don’t fully understand the influence that exercise habits, food consumption, sleep patterns, and technology usage have on your long-term health performance.
That’s why it’s his mission is to educate people on how our habits and tech usage influence our health.
If you are keen to learn how to manage your health effectively and efficiently, then this episode of The School of Greatness is just for you!
One thing that I’ve heard from a lot of the sleep scientists and doctors out there is that you can’t pay off sleep debt. Even if you are two hours behind on sleep, your brain actually stops functioning at the regular pace. So can you pay off that debt if you miss a few hours every week for years, and can your body recover from it?
“Don’t think because you’ve not slept two hours tonight that you’ll never recover some physical state ever again; that’s not sleep debt. [What the sleep scientists and doctors stress on is that] you can’t sleep three hours a night during the week and then sleep 15 on the weekends and think that will [cover up on the lost hours]. I would absolutely agree with the idea of sleep debt, … [and] it is something you want to avoid. I would also agree that if you want to perform cognitively and physically at your highest level, sleep should be a major core.” – Dr. Andy Galpin
Dr. Andy has worked with top-performing athletes, and one thing we all know about major league ballplayers or NFL stars is that they are constantly on the move. From traveling across different time zones to consistently performing on the field, the life of an athlete is tough. And managing a healthy sleep pattern with such a physically and mentally taxing schedule is not easy but is extremely crucial.
“We have to come up with solutions [to maintain a healthy sleep cycle], and we do recover and come back to [a solid] baseline. … Our bodies tend to like sudden spikes versus slow releases. … We’re going to see an endocrine response, which is hormone release, and we’re going to see all these physiological changes. This is what we’re after. You match it with an equal amount of rigor in recovery [through enough sleep], and you are sorted.” – Dr. Andy Galpin
According to Dr. Andy, what you don’t want is just a wandering baseline where you’re slightly under-slept or slightly overfed and have a little bit of stress. It’s definitely not the kind of stress that you want. That’s a recipe for all things bad like loss of focus, loss of productivity, or loss of relationships, and that’s not where any of us want to be.
So no matter where you are, what you do, or what time you work, train yourself to take out time daily so that your mind and body can get the rest that it needs to perform optimally.
You don’t have to be an athlete to stay fit and healthy. It’s a lifestyle that you all should adopt to maximize your potential by optimizing your health, and the best place to begin is your kitchen.
With the availability of so many varieties of food, both packaged and non-packaged, it is becoming difficult to avoid the junk and toxic foods that harm your body. To help you reclaim your health, here are the top five foods you should consume, as suggested by Dr. Andy.
Eggs have long been known to be a vital source of proteins for humans, but I have often heard them to be one of the worst things to consume. People from different scientific backgrounds often say conflicting things, which makes it challenging for people to figure out what works for them.
“Science is a verb, not a noun. It’s an action and a moving target, [and there are new findings every day]. … I know some folks for whom eggs are a death sentence, … but for most people, though nutrient density wise, eggs are a pretty good source.” – Dr. Andy Galpin
Andy stresses that we should be able to identify what foods are working for us and what are not. What works for Andy or me may not always work for you. However, it’s also essential to understand that too much of anything is bad for you.
There are a lot of benefits of potatoes, apart from their widespread availability, and Dr. Andy elaborates on that.
“Potatoes have tons of benefits and functionality, and it works well for the whole family. You can cook it in many different ways, changing the nutrient profile. So you can make it into a resistant starch if you want, or you can make it into a faster source of hydration. … It’s cheap, of high quality, has plenty of nutrients, and lots of fiber. It’s also a good source of energy.” – Dr. Andy Galpin
Potatoes are a vital nutrient source worldwide and are one of the most versatile foods, but this doesn’t mean that you should shift to a diet of french fries. The unhealthy oil will easily cover up for what you gained in nutrients.
Even though I personally don’t like blueberries, many experts have highlighted their benefits. Dr. Andy encourages its consumption, too.
“Blueberries are a huge help in improving performance. … So, if you have to perform on the field, … consuming blueberries right before it is going to help you. … It has double the amount of carbohydrates relative to other berries. So, if calories are one of your concerns, then maybe you would want to switch blueberries with raspberries.” – Dr. Andy Galpin
Blueberries are also considered one of the best sources of antioxidants, and they may help boost your immunity. Several studies have also shown blueberries to reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Meat has been a pretty big staple for many years in most households, and while too much meat consumption is known to have several adverse side effects — consuming it less frequently could actually prove beneficial.
“Meat, in general, is high on my list. … Personally, I find antelope … and nilgai deer to be … the most optimal meat for consumption. … I am not against fish, but I am hesitating [to add it] … because of mercury toxicity [found in fish nowadays]. It’s a real issue.” – Dr. Andy Galpin
While meat like antelope and nilgai may not be easy to find where you live, you can still consume the meat that is readily available to you. Meats are a great source of proteins and other nutrients like zinc, iron, vitamins, and essential fatty acids.
While foods like eggs and meat are suitable for measured consumption, one must not forget the importance of adding vegetables to your diet, and there is no replacement for them.
“Broccoli … is not people’s favorite … but is still the most robust [vegetable] and can be cooked in many different ways. Its Nutri profile changes based on its cooking preparation, so you can get a variety of nutrients just by cooking it differently.” – Dr. Andy Galpin
Broccoli is no child’s favorite, and many of us still avoid it even in our adult years. But, Dr. Galpin and countless other influential scientists and fitness experts often highlight the importance and benefits of adding broccoli to our lunch and dinner menus.
“Whether you want to have five meals a day or three meals a day, or even one meal a day, it doesn’t really matter for the average person. [What’s important is to] get a plan, get somewhat organized, and try to be fairly consistent. Then if you want to move parts out, like my meat option for today is salmon, and then tomorrow I’m going to have lamb. All these things have pros and cons, but you still have a structure. You must have freedom with a little bit of structure so that you don’t go out and think — What am I eating today?” – Dr. Andy Galpin
Whether you’re an athlete, a musician, or an entrepreneur, having the right food is equally essential for everyone. Your profession or pursuits in life might influence the amount of food you consume, but food quality should be everyone’s priority.
Having a cheat day once in a while is an excellent way of treating yourself, but making this a lifestyle will significantly reduce your capacity to heal from ailments and perform efficiently and optimally.
I hope you liked this post and that this episode inspired you on your journey to greatness!
I can’t praise Andy enough for his constant pursuit of moving the human body forward. It’s incredible that Andy has built a lab where he gets to work with great athletes and helps them reach their goals.
There was an abundance of information shared in this episode of The School of Greatness, and I couldn’t fit it all into this post. To catch up on all of the extras, watch the rest of the episode here. To learn more about Andy and his work, you can browse his website or follow him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
If you benefited from this episode, share this episode with your friends and leave us a five-star rating on Apple Podcasts. Also, be sure to tag Dr. Andy, @drandygalpin, and me, @lewishowes, on Instagram with a screenshot of this episode and your greatest takeaways from the episode.
Do you know what it’s now, time for friends? It’s time to go out and do something great.