Optimal Sauna Usage for Longevity

I always used to think that sauna users were just lazy gym goers who didn’t feel like lifting weights or crushing cardio. Instead, they’d rather sit down in a nice warm and cozy sauna, and pretend like they’re losing weight… which obviously would be gained back with the next bottle of water consumed. But, after spending a week going through much of the scientific literature and attending four sauna sessions, my perspective has done a 180. Can sauna usage be used for lifespan extension? Disease prevention? And improved immunity? And if so, what are the appropriate parameters for optimal sauna usage? Well, I got the answers. Let’s get into it! Many places that offer sauna sessions often promote a multitude of benefits ranging from detoxification, skin rejuvenation, and weight loss, all the way to improved cardiovascular function, improved… Read More

Sleep Efficiency – Are You Sleeping Enough?

We should all be getting 8 hours of sleep, right? Kind of, sort of, yea that’s mostly right depending on your age. It’s a rule of thumb we all understand. So, if I go to bed at 11pm and wake up at 7am then I’ve hit my 8-hour sleep goal, right? Wrong. Today I’m going to explain sleep efficiency, why you’re likely calculating your sleep duration wrong, and why you may need to spend more time in bed. And I’m going to do that all with some fancy charts, fun facts, and maybe a joke or two. Let’s get into it! Our sleep duration is the amount of time we spend asleep. And below are the sleep duration recommendations provided by both the CDC and the National Sleep Foundation. Although everyone’s sleep requirements are slightly different, there’s a 99% chance you fall within these guidelines. But there are a few genetic mutations of DEC2, ADRB1, or NPSR1… Read More

How I Pick 401k Investments

The other week my employer’s financial advisor held a retirement training session for all the employees. His goal was to describe the investment options available to us through our organization’s 403b plan (a 401k for non-profits). In doing so, he made a broad recommendation that the best investment option for all employees was a target date fund. And I thought about this and was like he’s not wrong… but he’s also not right. This may be the best option for employees who are new to investing or want a set-it-and-forget-it option, which is most people I’d say, but there was something here that made me cringe just a little bit. Normally I’m all about target date funds if they’re low-cost. But our target date fund options aren’t. And if you’re willing to spend 1 hour per year reviewing your investment portfolio, you could easily save an… Read More

Coffee and Caffeine… Healthy?

The consumption of moderate amounts of coffee increase energy availability, energy expenditure, physical performance, motor performance, cognitive performance, alertness, wakefulness, feelings of energy, concentration, focus, short-term memory, problem solving, decision making accuracy, and neuromuscular coordination and while decreasing physical fatigue, mental fatigue, and risk of dementia, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and mortality. And yet, I’ve never once consumed a cup of coffee. Never buddied up with the world’s best friend Joe. I’ve stayed away from caffeine for nearly all my life despite the publicized benefits of coffee and caffeine. And it’s made me wonder, have I made the right decision? Am I missing out on America’s healthiest beverage? And should I start consuming coffee? Well, I did a lot of digging and… Read More

2 Steps To Maintain A Habit Forever

If you find yourself in a lot of debt, struggling with financials, without an easy way out, you may think that a quick influx of cash would solve your issues. If you could be reset back to the baseline, then there’s no way you’d get yourself in that situation again. But many times, that’s not the case. Take lottery winners for example. Research cited by the Washington Post says that up to 70% of large lottery winners go bankrupt within 5 years. One day all your financial issues are solved, and within a few years you’re right back to where you started. What about those who are obese or overweight? Many of those people say that if they could reset themselves to a healthy weight, it’d be much easier for them to maintain it and keep themselves from becoming overweight again. But this too isn’t the case. Take extreme caloric restriction or crash diets as… Read More

3 Steps To Build A Habit Today

The other weekend I was helping my brother clean and declutter our parent’s house. Apparently, he’s like the male Marie Kondo of our family. And while we decluttered the Zerbe household, we stumbled upon a pile of notebooks that seemed pretty old and started to page through them. We quickly figured out it was my dad’s old notebooks from when he was a teenager in high school. We saw his fishing log, random to-do lists, and even a highly detailed mechanical drawing of a boat engine. No idea what he was thinking back then. Maybe he used that drawing to impress my once single mom into going on a boat outing. 🤷 If so, I guess it worked. But shortly after that we saw his workout programs outlined with exercises, sets, and reps. This was pretty neat! And then we saw his progression documented not only by his weights increasing as he got… Read More

The Story In My Head

At times, I forget how much I enjoy nothing. And by nothing, I don’t mean putting on a mindless tv show or watching my favorite YouTuber. I don’t mean using technology as an escape or activities as a distraction. I mean the exact opposite. I mean going for a walk without headphones in. Or driving in the car without the radio on. Or sitting on a bench at a park in silence. Or standing in my living room, leaning against the wall, looking out the window. I mean excluding myself from all external stimuli to pay attention to the thoughts running through my head. To spend time examining the feelings I’m having and stories I’m telling myself. To enjoy the slow rush of peacefulness that floods over my mind. It’s weird to explain, but in these moments there’s this calmness I experience that I can only describe as serenity. It’s an untroubled, unstressed… Read More

Average American Expenses. How Do You Compare?

Have you played the latest Call of Duty Warzone game? Or Minecraft or Animal Crossing? I’m sure they’re great games but would be even better with a newer console and upgraded controller. Have you gotten a pet lately? They’re fun and loving but would be cuter with a new collar, toys, and obviously a hot dog bed (🌭 + 🛏️). What about an indoor garden? With dozens of plants that require new pots and shelves and fertilizer. These were a few of the hottest consumer trends throughout the past year that nearly everyone participated in. Trends that cost most people hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Trends fueled by relentless consumer marketing, personal fear of missing out (on the hot dog bed), and lack of financial education. Well, as I watched these trends pass by on the sideline… distracted by my fear of missing out on the perfect sleeping posture… Read More

The Optimal Sleeping Posture

So, you’re interested in optimizing your sleep. To wake up feeling refreshed and energized. To start your day without aches, pains, and tight joints. To jumpstart your morning into a productive, motivation filled, running on all cylinders joyous filled day! And you’re willing to look through every article, study, and journal to find every tip, trick, and best practice to do so. And you began to wonder how your sleep posture effects your health and happiness. What role does spending one-third of your life in one static position have on your circulation, digestion, and breathing. What the heck is optimal sleep posture and how can you achieve the perfect spinal alignment to prevent disease, death, and disability all while fostering abundant health and happiness?! Ok so maybe that wasn’t your exact line of thinking, but it was close to mine. And in doing so, I… Read More

What I Learned in the Emergency Room. Part 3.

We’ve made it to the final post in the series of what I learned in the emergency room. First, I discussed how nutritionally poor the food is in hospitals. Second, I talked about how misdiagnoses can happen and how you can prevent them. And third, today, I’m going to cover three more essential topics in health and wellness, and how they were affected by my emergency room visit: Sleep, Physical Activity, and Finances. Let’s get into it! Did you know that people who live next to airports have significantly lower quality sleep than those who don’t? This is because the noise at night from the planes overhead can disrupt sleep cycles even if they don’t wake us. Did you know that people who live in the city that keep their curtains open and let streetlight in their bedroom have lower quality sleep than those who don’t? This is because even dim light in our… Read More

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