After 500 shows of the B.rad podcast, I figured it was time to record a helpful, useful, “Start here” episode that you can share with friends, family, and loved ones!

Inspired by a friend of mine who had just started to become acquainted with my podcast and asked me: “What’s a good episode to start with?,” this show will provide you with an overview of health and lifestyle optimization tips and will cover the basics from a big picture perspective.

In this show, you won’t hear anything too science-y or intimidating, but you will learn how to optimize essential elements of your lifestyle, such as sleep, diet, movement, fitness and stress management. You’ll hear about methods for establishing an evening ritual for sleep, easy changes you can make to your sleep environment, why sleep, rest, and recovery are #1, the specific foods that are literally toxic for your cells and cause you to accumulate excess body fat, and why it’s so important to prioritize protein. I also talk about the concerns I have with restrictive diets, share my dietary strategy and what I typically eat throughout the day, explain why general everyday movement ranks above adhering to a devoted fitness regimen, and talk about why walking is the centerpiece of a healthy, active, energetic life.

You will also learn why sprint workouts are so essential, how to adapt them to your needs if you are unable to perform one on flat ground just yet (and the various alternative ways to do a sprint exercise), and simple but effective tips for managing stress. If you, or anyone you know, wants to clean up their act and start living healthily without breaking the bank or harshing your gig too much, this is the episode to listen to. You will learn how to wind down at night without overstimulating yourself and messing with your sleep, which healthy foods to emphasize, the bare minimum you can do fitness wise to still make a difference, how to eradicate and deal with stress in your life, and why you should make things in life work and never settle for dysfunction, distractions, and avoidance.

Got any comments or questions? Engage with us by reaching out to podcast@bradventures.com.


Today’s podcast is going to give you all you need to know at a glance to lead a long, healthy, happy life. The first category is about sleep, rest and recovery. [00:47]

The greatest offense to our sleeping habits and cycling optimally through all phases of sleep is artificial light and digital stimulation. [03:08]

When it is time to wake up in the morning naturally, there is a suppression of melatonin and elevating of serotonin, the mood-elevating, feel good hormone. [10:30]

Diet has become very controversial and confusing. The nourishment you put into your body will make or break your health and your longevity potential. [14:25]

When you eat nutritious foods, they are highly satiating. [10:08]

Proteins are the most important nutrient that we can obtain from our diet. [26:14]

Carbohydrates play an important role in your energy, your calorie expenditure, and, in general, your ability to perform. [29:55]

A chronic overdose of high sugar-containing processed foods is going to overwhelm your body and have toxic consequences. [43:49]

Movement, in general, is more important than adhering to a devoted fitness program. [45:53]

Walking is the baseline for all manner of peak performance athletic activity. [51:21]

Fitness entails putting your body under resistance. There are many ways you can do this. [55:18]

You do not want to engage in chronic overly-stressful exercise. [01:02:45]

To focus on stress management, you want to tone down all the instant gratification hyperconnectivity. [01:05:50]

Remember to wind down at the end of the day and take breaks from hyperconnectivity. [01:10:40]

Go to your kitchen pantry and rid yourself of processed foods and make a new shopping list of nutrient dense foods. [[01:11:40]

Make walking a priority in your life. [01:13:10]

Don’t overdo your fitness exercises. [01:16:42]

Prioritize meaningful interpersonal relationships, solo reflective time, and engagement with nature. [01:17:28]



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Brad (00:00:00):
Welcome to the B.rad podcast, where we explore ways to pursue peak performance with passion throughout life without taking ourselves too seriously. I’m Brad Kearns, New York Times bestselling author, former number three world-ranked professional triathlete and Guinness World Record Masters athlete. I connect with experts in diet, fitness, and personal growth, and deliver short breather shows where you get simple, actionable tips to improve your life right away. Let’s explore beyond the hype, hacks, shortcuts, and sciencey talk to laugh, have fun and appreciate the journey. It’s time to B.rad.

Brad (00:00:38):
When you can get out there and walk as a part of your life, a fundamental part of your life. You will also

Brad (00:00:47):
Start here. Yeah. After nearly 500 shows on the B Rad podcast, I figured it was time to record a helpful, useful start here episode that you can share with your friends, family, and loved ones. This came, uh, prompted by a question from a friend of mine who was just, uh, becoming acquainted with my podcast and said, what’s a good episode to start with? I have a 10 part series on testosterone. I have a four part series oh. Well, I can’t really recommend an ideal one. So that’s the goal here. Welcome. Thank you for listening. And we are gonna talk about all you need to know at a glance to lead a long, healthy, happy life. And I want to break this into a few big picture categories. The first one I’m gonna talk about is sleep, rest, and recovery.

Brad (00:01:50):
Then we’re gonna talk about diet. Then we’re gonna talk about movement, then we’re gonna talk about fitness. And then finally, stress management. So this will be a nice useful episode to listen to over and over again once a year, perhaps, to keep you straight. And then, of course, you’ll be compelled to go deeper into the various categories that I cover briefly here. So I’m trying to be not sciencey, not intimidating, just giving you a reasonable baseline understanding that, of course, you can go deeper in, but this will be a great takeaway and we must begin the conversation with sleep, rest, and recovery. All other health endeavors and goals flow downstream from getting adequate rest. And we talk about sleep, sleep, sleep. But I also want to add to the category rest recovery, downtime and certain concepts that are extremely important only in recent years with the advent of mobile connect, mobile connectivity, mobile technology, hyper connectivity, and the ability to take away all the natural downtime that we’ve had throughout the history of humanity to where we can be constantly stimulated and multitasking and going and concentrating all day long without a break.

Brad (00:03:08):
So we need that downtime, and we need rest and recovery in many ways. And of course, the most prominent way is with a nice structured overnight sleeping period. But that’s not the whole game anymore. Uh, and when it comes to evening sleep, of course, I have a lot of shows dedicated to this topic. And the big picture, principles to discuss are to minimize artificial light and digital stimulation after dark. This is the greatest offense to our sleeping habits and cycling optimally through all phases of sleep in modern times, because when we blast our eyeballs with artificial light and digital stimulation, after it gets dark in our envir in our environment, we are overriding the delicate hormonal processes that help set you up for a graceful transition into a restful evening sleeping period. You’ve probably heard about the preeminent sleepiness hormone called melatonin.

Brad (00:04:12):
And when melatonin rises as it’s supposed to, after dark, and in the hours before sleep, that’s when you start to get heavy lidded and your brain starts to go into relaxation mode where you can’t concentrate and you can’t go, go, go at that frenetic pace that you did all day. We want those hormonal processes to occur, but artificial light in the form of TV screen, computer screen, mobile technology screen, this is going to interfere with the release of melatonin. The scientific term for it is DLMO dim light melatonin onset. That is a natural function of our circadian rhythm that occurs when your environment gets dark, and then you will lead in gracefully to a good night of sleep. So we want to have evenings that are darker, mellower, quieter and more relaxing than our daytime periods. Um, we expect to slam the lid shut after cranking through a bunch of emails from 11 to 11:30 PM and then go straight into bed.

Brad (00:05:17):
And that’s just not how the body works optimally. So you want to set up this graceful, quiet, mellow evening period. It doesn’t have to be the entire duration of from sunset to bedtime, especially, um, when we’re talking about winter months where you’re it’s getting dark. If you’re in the northern latitudes at three 30 or four, or four 30 or 5:00 PM and you’re probably not going to bed until 10:00 PM and so you’re gonna have artificial light and digital stimulation, but you wanna minimize it as it gets closer and closer to bedtime. So developing a, uh, relaxing evening ritual where the final hour, for example, before bed is dedicated to quiet time, quiet conversation, uh, perhaps leashing up the dog and walking around the block. That’s right, outdoors, cold weather, all these things will help prepare you, uh, for sleep when you return.

Brad (00:06:08):
And then the second part of the requation here, besides a dark, quiet, mellow evening, uh, routine would be to create a sleep sanctuary. An ideal place to sleep. You probably heard about, uh, the discussion about temperature. So you want a cool temperature. In fact, your body requires a drop of one to two degrees fahrenheit and body temperature before you can fall asleep. So if you’re cranking up the heat, or you have perhaps too many blankets, too much, uh, too many garments on, um, that’s gonna interfere with your sleep. So what we ideally want is a cool environment, um, with warm skin. So that’s where the covers come in, or that’s where the pajamas come in. But we want to, we will best fall asleep in an environment between 60 and 68 degrees. So you wanna get that room cool. That’s why the mattress controlling temperature controlled mattresses are so popular these days because it will help you maintain a cool sleeping environment even as your body heats up through the night.

Brad (00:07:14):
And so we want, again, warm skin from, uh, PJ’s and covers and a cool sleeping environment, kinda like a cave or sleeping outdoors as our ancestors did for millions of years. Uh, also in the sleep environment, we want it to be, helping to program the brain to relax, wind down and fall asleep. So we don’t want cluttered. We don’t want a work desk. We don’t want any type of screens in our bedroom. It should be a spartan austere environment that’s clutter-free stress-free. Research as shown that even looking at, um, a stack of papers or clutter can provoke a stress response. So if your bedroom is doubling as a workspace, ideally you would, uh, not do that and have the bedroom used for only a couple important things, sleep, intimacy, <laugh>, rest, and relaxation. And so we want to remove the clutter, remove the stress provoking items from the bedroom, have it cool, and especially have the ability to make it as dark as possible.

Brad (00:08:17):
Raise your hand if you’ve ever slept in a totally kick super dark bedroom with darkening blinds. It makes a huge difference from a room that can get three quarters or seven eighths dark, but you don’t have the best curtains, or there’s little slits here or there. Or even worse would be the LED emissions throughout the night. So this clock or, uh, plugin device that is emanating light, these things can interfere with your very, very delicate circadian rhythm. And you want pitch dark for those adaptive restorative hormones to come out and play. I did a show about Jack Kruse’s article on circadian rhythm. And, the period from 12 midnight to 3:00 AM is when, uh, the growth hormone is released into the bloodstream, but it’s very, very light sensitive. So those little safety lights, uh, that people plug in to see well enough when they have to get up and go to the bathroom, I recommend instead having a small handheld flashlight with a orange or a red tint.

Brad (00:09:20):
You can get a red flashlight on Amazon and have that as your source of light if you do have to get up and get outta bed, otherwise completely dark. So you get that nice evening ritual going. You have a nice sleeping environment, uh, with from which to rest in. And your brain realizes when you get in there that it’s a restful environment. Arianna Huffington’s great book called The Sleep Revolution talks about getting into a sequence that you’re familiar with, where you go in the bath, you get out, you put on your pajamas, you get some, leisure reading, and you go through the sequence every night so that your brain knows, Hey, now it’s time to fall asleep, rather than again, slamming the screenshot and expecting your body to completely go from 60 to zero gracefully, it’s not gonna happen as well.

Brad (00:10:10):
There we go. Now, I talked about adding rest, recovery, and downtime into this category. So we have our evening sleep. We’re doing the best we can. We try not to wake up with blaring alarms, but instead wake up naturally, ideally near sunrise, so you can take advantage of all the natural circadian functions that kick into gear when it’s time to wake up, namely the suppression of melatonin in favor of serotonin, the mood elevating, feel good hormone. You’ll also get a natural and desirable spike of cortisol, the preeminent stress hormone in the morning. And we want that on cue so that we can wake up feeling alert and energized. So, this is all the hormonal processes that are important to honor and try to sink your lifestyle with the rising and setting of the sun as closely as possible.

Brad (00:11:07):
I often reference a great book called Lights Out Sleep, sugar and Survival, where the authors go into detail about how important it is to try to simulate that you were living in natural times where when the sunset, it got dark and that was dark, you didn’t have lights to turn on. And of course, um, we are very calibrated to wake up near sunrise. So if you’re not waking up efficiently, effectively near sunrise, we wanna rewind and go look at your evening rituals to make sure that you can get plenty of rest, plenty of hours that of sleep that you need, and then be able to kick into gear around sunrise. I’ve talked about my own sleep needs personally, where I feel like I have an extreme requirement for sleep. I always have, whereby my ideal is around nine hours a night.

Brad (00:11:57):
Most people reference that seven or eight feels fine, but I do a very good job prioritizing it, and that’s how much I need, especially in, in around difficult, uh, challenging workouts. I need more sleep after those. And, um, that’s just how it’s gonna be, uh, until further notice. But I do wake up naturally and I wake up feeling pretty good. Uh, so that suggests that I’m getting a sufficient amount of sleep. If you are really dragging every single morning, and you require a central nervous system stimulant to even feel functional, again, I strongly recommend rewinding the story and looking at your evening patterns so that you can wake up feeling alert and energized as your body is designed to. Okay, that’s enough about sleep as we’re moving at a fast pace through this whole show. But again, rest, recovery and downtime, that’s going to kick into relevance, especially for the fitness enthusiasts out there, where if you’re not recovering optimally and you’re in overly stressful exercise patterns, that’s gonna ruin the intended benefits.

Brad (00:13:03):
But also that downtime from hyperconnectivity, uh, especially with the ever-present mobile device, we have to power down. And, for example, if you’re in a typical workplace scenario where you spend a lot of time in front of a screen every day, getting away from the screen, getting outdoors into fresh air, open space, direct light, and giving your brain a refreshing break, even just sitting in a chair and staring off into the space for five minutes, can pay tremendous dividends and even help you kick into another higher level of creativity or clarity. A lot of people reference that when they go and take a walk in the middle of their workday. So now they’re getting movement as well, which is another pillar that I’m gonna talk about. But taking those brief breaks, if that’s all you can afford, is five minutes.

Brad (00:13:54):
That’s a fantastic idea to break up these prolonged periods of cognitive function and staring at a screen with, movement and brain downtime. So again, um, it’s not a break to stop working on your, uh, presentation and turn right over to YouTube for five minutes and then return back. You want to get a physical break and a cognitive break as well. So that was pillar number one of sleep, rest, recovery and downtime.

Brad (00:14:25):
And now we come to diet, which has become so controversial and confusing. The good news is that more and more people are tuning into the importance of optimizing diet and trying to stay away from the disastrous, uh, health consequences and disease epidemics that are strongly associated, directly associated with diet. So we’re finally waking up to realize that all this that we’ve been putting in our mouth and all the stores that we’ve been driving into to order food that’s not really food is causing widespread pain, suffering, disease, accelerated aging, and the tragedy of dealing with loved ones that have been stricken down by these commonplace diseases that are highly expected with the dietary habits that we’re following.

Brad (00:15:11):
So I did put sleep as number one, but I mean, diet is a close runner up for the, the nourishment that you put into your body will make or break your health and your longevity potential. So I’m gonna try to be really crisp and simple here, rather than weighed into the controversies of, uh, which extreme and highly restricted and regimented diet is better than the other one, because I think it misses the main point. And the main point, which I believe would be virtually undisputed if I come outta the gate saying, the number one objective for diet is to ditch the nutrient deficient processed foods that comprise the vast majority of most people’s caloric intake in the developed world. Um, research from Dr. Lauren Cordain, author of the Paleo Diet, uh, reveals that 71% of the calories in the, uh, a standard modern diet are coming from foods that, uh, did not exist in paleolithic times.

Brad (00:16:13):
So processed foods, uh, we have a huge consumption of the extremely health destructive, uh, high polyunsaturated industrial seed oils. These are what most processed, packaged frozen, and fast foods are made with. So the, uh, they call ’em vegetable oils or seed oils, um, they wreak immediate havoc on your health. And there are great leaders in this field that have a lot of content, uh, dispensed where we need to get these processed oils out of the diet. Um, so that would be category number one. And then we often call ’em the big three. In my books with Mark Sisson, we have, uh, the refined industrial seed oils, number one, processed sugar and processed grains. And you think of all the foods that are made with, in many cases, all three of those ingredients, or, or two or one that that is the, uh, that is the source of most of the pain and suffering and, um, ill health and obesity epidemic that we see in modern life.

Brad (00:17:15):
Modern life. So it’s refined grains, seeds and oils, stuff that’s in a box, heavily processed, packaged, um, the fast foods are all, you know, highly reliant upon the seed oils and, uh, processed grains and sugars. So, they, you know, beyond being empty calories and making you fat, they also interfere with mitochondrial function at the level of the cell. They interfere with your body’s ability to manufacture energy internally. They screw up your fat burning mechanisms when you go to fast food and wolf down a shake and fries, and a very processed burger. So these foods, processed foods, the stuff you get in a box, the, the popular snack items and treats and things that we like to enjoy in moderation, which I’m strongly against, we need to be very strict and severe with our dietary scrutiny to eliminate foods that aren’t really food and are toxic to our cells.

Brad (00:18:13):
What happens when you consume these foods and you interrupt the natural, graceful process of fat burning in the body is you go onto an energy rollercoaster, right? Because if you’re not good at burning fat and accessing your vast stores of energy on your body throughout the day, you are going to become more and more reliant upon servings of processed foods, especially the quick energy foods that give you an immediate spike, because they spike your blood sugar and make you feel better for 30, 60 minutes, whatever. And then another crash. And more cravings and appetite spikes for more processed foods. Your brain is wired, uh, for satiety, right? We have very delicate and elegant hormones that help us determine how much to eat and the satiety signaling that goes. And, uh, the brain sending a message to the stomach that you’ve had enough.

Brad (00:19:08):
When you eat nutritious foods, they are highly satiating. And when you eat processed foods, your brain in a desperate attempt to get the nutrition that it needs every day is going to compel you to consume more and more of these foods. That’s why processed foods are so addictive. I had a guest named Dr. Joan Ifland, one of the world’s leading experts on food addiction. And if you look up that show, I think she wrote a list of 11 signs that you might have food addiction. And as she went through the list she finished with the statement that, by the way, um, all of us already have six of these attributes, <laugh>. So it was pretty crazy to realize how dependent we are on regular servings of processes because we’ve messed up our fat burning. So when you clean up your act as your first order of business to get your life straight, that means going through your home environment and purging the pantry, purging the refrigerator of all manner of processed foods, including all the condiments and flavorings that are made with chemicals and processed ingredients.

Brad (00:20:17):
Now you have the potential to be a healthy human. And you go to step two here, which is to emphasize natural, nutritious, easy to digest ancestral style foods. And this is where we lean on the wonderful ancestral health movement that has thrived for the last, 16 or 20 years honoring our evolutionary biology and the foods that have fueled human evolution for 2 million years. Very, very hard to dispute this. And there’s a complete list that if you’re taking notes, you can write down. It’s pretty simple or memorize. These are the ancestral style foods that have humans have thrived on for 2 million years. Meat, fish, foul, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. technically we would also add insects on there, as that’s been an ancestral food too. But I think you get the gist today is we can emphasize the, uh, the, the animal-based diet they call it, that comprises that, that includes the most nutritious foods on earth.

Brad (00:21:21):
I have a tiered ranking system of the most nutritious foods on earth, the different categories. You can download that for free@bradkerns.com. It’s called the carnivore scores Food Rankings chart. And of course, we wanna find the best sources for these foods. So you have all the controversy about, uh, whether red meat is, is gonna kill you or whether it’s okay. Our ancestors have been eating meat, eggs, fish, <laugh>, foul vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds for a long time, and they are nutritious for the human. Unfortunately, we have a lot of sourcing today that is offensive to both the environment as well as the, the nutritional quality of the food. Uh, but to contend that eggs are going to kill you because they’re so high in cholesterol, is to refute millions of years of evolution. And emerging modern science confirming, for example, that your dietary cholesterol intake has no effect on your blood cholesterol levels.

Brad (00:22:23):
And there are many reasons for the widespread condition of metabolic syndrome, metabolic dysfunction in modern humans, um, mostly having to do with consuming too many processed calories and not burning enough. But we have to get back to the basics here. Honor our genetic expectations for health, and find the most nutritious sources of the foods that you prefer from that all encompassing list of meat, fish, fowl, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. So I’m gonna call it a nutrient-dense animal-based diet that emphasizes protein and has sufficient, uh, amounts of all the nutrients that you need. So that would include nutritious carbohydrates as well as nutritious fats. And, that’s going to rise ahead of the restrictive dietary strategies that are designed to generate a short-term result or, or, um, reprogramming of one’s, uh, metabolic health, for example, the ketogenic diet, or diets based on fasting.

Brad (00:23:26):
All these things can be extremely health boosting to help you extricate from this unfettered access to indulgent foods that basically characterizes, uh, most people’s diet. So we want to clean up one way or the other. And these strategies that help you narrow down including going plant-based for 30 days, or even going on a, a brown rice and celery juice fast for 14 days, is going to be a mechanism from which to increase your awareness of eating, natural, nutritious foods, and hopefully kickstart you into a sensible long-term. Easy to adhere to diet, because we have a lot of psychological factors here that we can’t ignore. You can’t just go like a robot and, you know, consume food like it’s prescription medication in your, in your cupboard. Um, you wanna enjoy your meal times. You want to create healthy low stress, enjoyable meal experiences, as opposed to wolfing down food on the run in a stressful state that’s gonna interfere with digestion and negate some of the benefits of consuming those healthy foods.

Brad (00:24:33):
But it’s pretty simple to stick to foods that have been minimally processed. You know how they say, read your labels, make sure that you’re not getting bad ingredients. How about try to stay away as much as possible from labels and by labels, I mean, you know, the stuff that’s on processed foods, of course, the carton and egg carton of eggs has a label, and so does the shrink wrapped grass fed ground beef that you purchase. But you know what I’m talking about when I say, um, stay away from labels as much as possible. And if you do get something with a label, read the darn label and make the most strategic choice within the parameters of your budget and your food preferences. And it’s not that hard, and it’s also not that expensive, as has been widely criticized.

Brad (00:25:18):
So on my Carnivore Scores Food Rankings Chart, you can see some of the superstars of the planet are things like fresh fruit, oily cold water, fish, the least expensive fish on earth are also the best. So the cans of sardines, mackerel, uh, anchovies, herring and salmon are big winners, and they’re very affordable. Animal organs are still by far the least expensive in the meat category in the butcher because they’re, uh, not highly consumed, but liver is undisputably the most nutrient dense food on earth. Whether you like the taste or not, or whether you’re staunchly vegan, you can’t argue with the microscope and the micronutrient analysis of a slice of grass-fed liver. Um, so these are things that are highly affordable and highly nutritious. Fresh fruits, you can, uh, do very well on a budget, getting a consumption of a lot of that.

Brad (00:26:14):
Now, pasture-raised eggs can be six or seven or $8 a dozen versus regular eggs at two or $3 or a dozen. But when you’re talking about the incremental increase in your food budget, um, in, in comparison to all the discretionary spending of someone who claims that they can’t afford pasture raised eggs, a lot of these arguments can be can be kind of pushed away where you can really strategize on a food budget. And I encourage you to do the best you can with the resources that you have. I mentioned prioritized proteins, so I want to go into a little more detail there. This is our most important macronutrient that we must obtain from the diet. We have a very strong biological drive to obtain sufficient protein to manage and support all the basic, uh, building block functions throughout the body.

Brad (00:27:07):
So protein is generally not used for energy to burn in the manner that we are accustomed to thinking how many calories we burned at the workout. The energy’s mostly gonna come from fat and carbohydrate, and protein is dedicated to muscle repair and, uh, all kinds of manufacturing of hormones and things of that nature. So, it’s possible and probably very common to under consume protein, especially if you are following some sort of restrictive diet that is not emphasizing the high protein animal-based foods that give you the best source of protein in the diet. Um, that’s right. I’m talking about people who are eliminating animal products. They have a very, very high risk of a protein deficient diet, and that would very much be the worst aspect or the most destructive thing that you can do with your dietary habits, is to under consume protein.

Brad (00:28:05):
Good thing is we have that strong, uh, craving and, um, our appetite hormones will, uh, drive us and direct us to consume sufficient protein. And if you get chronically low on protein, you’re gonna feel like crap. You might see your hair falling out, and all kinds of, uh, terrible symptoms, including intense cravings for high protein foods. So, we wanna put that out there, that getting good natural easy to digest and assimilate sources of protein is the number one goal. And that’s important in this day of hype and fad and marketing driven consumer purchases, uh, to consider that, like any plant-based protein is vastly inferior to an animal-based protein. So when you’re going to the store and buying a jug of pea protein or hemp protein, um, probably not gonna hurt you, but it’s certainly not gonna help you in the manner of getting a high quality whey protein or getting protein from the best animal sources such as pastured eggs or grass fed ground beef, or the true superstars of the protein category.

Brad (00:29:14):
Yes, you can get protein from brown rice and kale and lentils, uh, but it’s gonna be much more difficult to assimilate, and you’re gonna have to eat vastly more higher quantities than if you just allowed yourself to have a couple few eggs every day. And so on down the line you’ve heard of the term essential fatty acids. So there are certain fatty acids that we must obtain for the diet. And so looking for those best sources of fats, um, such as the saturated fats that are in most animal foods and the monounsaturated fats in healthful foods such as macadamia nuts, avocados, coconut products, those are also a dietary staple.

Brad (00:29:55):
And then when it comes to carbohydrates and so much controversy and confusion, you know, the, the natural nutritious carbohydrates of the earth, uh, play an important role in your energy, your caloric expenditure, your ability to, you know, perform and recover from all manner of daily stresses, including just brain function. The brain burns primarily glucose. That’s, you know, ingested carbohydrate gets converted into glucose. So unless you’re on a strict ketogenic diet, your brain has a ravenous appetite for sufficient glucose. It burns 20% of our daily calories, whether or not we’re concentrating hard or whether we’re sitting on a rock staring out at the ocean. So we have a baseline requirement for carbohydrate. Most people in modern times have no problem hitting that, unfortunately. Most of the carbohydrate intake is from these offensive sources of nutrient deficient carbohydrates in the form. Things like sweetened beverages or processed grain foods and snacks, um, cookies, crackers, cakes, muffins, breads, cereals, pasta, rice, all those things that deliver calories, but very little nutritional value. So my commentary on carbohydrates would be to emphasize the, uh, natural, nutritious, easy to digest sources such as fresh fruits, raw honey, the vegetables that you enjoy and prepare carefully so that they’re not difficult to digest.

Brad (00:31:23):
And, uh, going from there, sweet potatoes, uh, things like that, that have nutritional value, and give you, hopefully, hormone balance, energy to perform and recover and lead an active lifestyle. And that would be a pretty good basic, overview coverage of what’s gonna work for you with diet is ditch those processed foods and surround yourself with natural, nutritious, dense foods. What times a day? What’s my eating window? How many calories should I eat? What percentage of protein to carbs, to fat? All this stuff is, I would say fodder for those who are, deeply into the healthy living movement and have already passed through the basic qualification doors. Uh, like get smart. Remember the old show where he went through like 20 doors to get to the secret hideout? We don’t even need to talk about any of those things and measure anything or get blood meters for, um, our, our ketone strips or continuous glucose monitors until you clean up your act and get rid of this toxic, modern processed foods.

Brad (00:32:34):
And after that, your appetite and your calm, relaxing meal times and good shopping habits will guide you to an optimal dietary strategy without you really have to worrying about it too much. Remember, the body has intense cravings for protein, uh, to ensure that you get enough every day. And then when you eat nutritious meals of whole foods, you’re gonna get enough carbs, you’re gonna get enough fats, you’re gonna get enough proteins, and you’re gonna feel great instead of feel crappy when you throw down stuff that interferes with your body’s ability to naturally process energy. There’s so many shows covering diet, and I think you’re gonna have a good time just browsing around and looking at all that stuff. But go look at the chart, for sure. Download that chart from bradkearns.com. If you haven’t already, print it out.

Brad (00:33:27):
It’s a beautiful color. You can put it on your refrigerator and it will give you at a glance, some of the, um, you know, the checkpoints that you want to hit to get an A plus in diet. A lot of people ask me about my dietary habits and how they’ve evolved over the years, and I’ll just give some brief comments here, much more on the dedicated shows. But I guess the main attribute is that I really have near zero consumption of nutrient deficient processed foods. I can’t even, uh, think of an example where, oh yeah, I was hungry and so I stopped and got some gas and got some Oreo cookies. It just doesn’t happen. If I can’t get access to nutritious foods, I will take that opportunity to cleanse my body with a period of fasting <laugh>. And that’s absolutely fine.

Brad (00:34:14):
And a lot of cases when I’m traveling, I also feel like it’s easier to manage the stress of jet travel when I’m not consuming a lot of calories. So, the closest I will get to a day or a long period of fasting is when I’m traveling and or don’t have access to nutritious foods. And I’ve taken recently to having energy available, you know, such as in my car, in my travel bag, in the form of things like dried fruit and nuts and things that are easy to travel with. So, over all my centerpiece would be my super nutrition protein smoothie in the morning with the B.rad Super fuel whey protein, creatine. I have frozen fruit in there, like frozen bananas, frozen dates. And I’ll put a variety of different supplements that I’m taking at any one time and drink this thing down religiously every morning.

Brad (00:35:07):
’cause you really want to get your protein, uh, assimilation off onto a good foot first thing in the morning. One of the world’s leading protein experts, Dr. Don Lehman, he’s been on some of the major shows like Peter Attia’s show. He says the most important times for protein, our first thing in the morning when we wake up, because we’ve been fasted for however long, in my case, nine hours, 10, 11, 12 hours. And so we want to get protein synthesis going, uh, because otherwise we’re going to depleted state if we continue to fast for hours and ask ourselves for a high activity daily routine. So a protein smoothie in the morning. Uh, Dr. Lehman also recommends taking a scoop or taking a source of protein near bedtime, not enough to interfere with your evening ritual, but you also want to have that protein ready for the best time for protein synthesis.

Brad (00:36:00):
That is the overnight sleeping period. So I’m starting with a protein smoothie. I’ll throw in some fresh fruit or even some dried fruit, especially right around workouts before or after to get something that’s super easy to digest and help me a bit with my energy needs. If you’re a longtime listener to the show, you’ll know that I consume a ton of the highest quality dark chocolate sourced from bean to bar artisan chocolate makers from around the world. And that’s kind of my snack or something that you might find me just nibbling on. Excuse me, I don’t nibble on dark chocolate. You’re supposed to put it on your tongue and let it absorb without biting. That’s the proper way to consume dark chocolate again, when you download that PDF from bradkearns.com. I also have a, uh, wonderful little PDF called, uh, dark Chocolate Connoisseurs Guide, where I talk about how to buy the best chocolate and understand the difference between commodity processed chocolate with the big brands and how bad that is for you, and how that supports child slave labor in Africa versus the true quality in this category.

Brad (00:37:04):
So I’m always trying to source the very best foods in every category. I eat a ton of eggs and ground beef are my two dietary centerpieces. And I will note, as a side note here, that red meat is vastly superior in both nutritional quality as well as impact on the planet and impact on animal cruelty to the often preferred chicken and pork. So for some reason, red meat has received a bad wrap, but the cow, the ruminant animals, the category of animal that a cow is in does much better processing even the objectionable grain feed that it’s fed in the last months of its life, and delivering an end product that’s high in saturated fat, but not high in the offensive polyunsaturated fat that happens when you get a process, a commercially raised chicken or pig. So the pig and the chicken are also fed these processed foods in feedlot animal experience, industrialized farming, right?

Brad (00:38:11):
And they are monogastric animals like the human, so they only have one stomach. And when they consume this, junk food, that’s their feed, they will deliver a junk food end product. So if you ever hear someone say, yeah, well, I eat chicken and fish, but I don’t eat red meat. And you get congratulations all around for being so health conscious, you really, truly want to flip that and say, well, I eat a lot of red meat, and fortunately I’m not eating chicken or fish, because most of the chicken out there, unless you find a true pasture raised full organic chicken from someone at the farmer’s market, most of the chicken is pretty nasty. And, much more animal cruelty involved than, uh, in the cattle industry. And the same for the pigs and the disgraceful conditions that they live in that you can see on these documentaries where they go and show the pigs living in their own filth and all that kind of stuff.

Brad (00:39:07):
So, 80% of the cows lifespan is spent out on the open range grazing on grass. So all cows are grass fed for most of their life. And then a feedlot animal and the mass production that we get from cattle today, yeah, that’s pretty nasty when they stick ’em in those feed lots and stuff, ’em full of grains and food that’s not really nutritious. Uh, but again, the cow can handle that and deliver a favorable end product much more so than other types of processed meats. So I’m going to put red meat up there. Even if you can’t afford or can’t source grass fed it’s still gonna be okay. And, grass-fed is, is superior, of course. And the other types of red meat that are less mass produced like bison and lamb, those are gonna be really a good choice ’cause they’re affordable and they’re almost all completely grass fed, unlike the cattle which we consume in much more quantity.

Brad (00:40:13):
So, I’m getting that smoothie. I’m getting fruit, dark chocolate, lots of pasture raised eggs, lots of ground beef, whether it’s spice and lamb or cattle. And, sweet potatoes is another good source of carbohydrates, raw honey, I enjoy eating that. I will enjoy quality restaurant food, so very selective there with both the restaurant itself and my order. I like things like tacoria and I like Japanese food, things that I can’t, make really well at home, and that pretty much, um, uh, characterizes my diet. Oh, so, and if I wanna indulge and celebrate, and people usually follow up like, well, what about when you wanna do, um, you know, a cheat meal or, or something like that? And I would never, um, uh, use that term to characterize my diet. I think it’s a stupid term to begin with.

Brad (00:41:03):
And if you’re following a diet that you need to quote, cheat on, there’s something wrong with your diet. So I consume the foods that I absolutely love and enjoy and would like nothing better than to choose my ground beef and sweet potato lunch that I’ll have after I finish this recording, right? So I’m not depriving myself or struggling to adhere to some diet and can’t wait to get to the weekend so I can go to the pizzeria and stuff my face with, you know, processed, low quality pizza product. So anything I put in to the mix, I truly enjoy and want to eat. So, some of my celebratory foods are gourmet handmade ice cream, ideally consumed with a special, uh, occasion where you drive across town and go wait in line with the other people and get the very best ice cream.

Brad (00:41:55):
That’s, you know, provided by these, uh, you know, artisan ice cream makers, uh, once in a while, right? Um, maybe once a week if I’m in a good groove. And then I’ll forget about it. And it might not be, uh, once a month or once every two months. But the point here is that it’s so different. A celebratory meal or a celebratory treat where you get the very best quality is a huge difference from having Ben and Jerry’s on your shopping list. If you do, or you have some pints in your freezer, look at the ingredient list. They include, um, industrial seed oils in a lot of their products for, uh, preservation and processing needs. So, go with the best if you are gonna get a celebratory treat. And my main celebratory treat is dark chocolate. And if I’m out looking at the dessert tray at the restaurant or at a party or whatever, and presented with all these different varieties, I would probably choose <laugh>, the dark chocolate bar that’s in my backpack over most of the things presented to me.

Brad (00:42:55):
I love my Macadamia Magic nut butter, that’s been off the market for a while, but we’re hoping to come back strong with a new and improved formula. But macadamia nut butter, so delicious and incredibly healthy. Uh, I love shopping at the farmer’s market and, uh, shopping local and all that great stuff, uh, especially for the, uh, the, the fruit and the meat offerings. But these artisan bread makers, oh my gosh, I didn’t eat bread for, oh, probably, um, 15 years. I didn’t have any bread. Felt a lot better for it too. ’cause I have, you know, some gluten sensitivity, I’m sure just like most of us do. But then when I started buying these loaves of sourdough at the farmer’s market, uh, the kind that goes stale in three days, they’re absolutely delicious. Much easier to digest, especially for a sensitive person than the processed bread that when you look on the label has a bunch of chemicals and preservatives.

Brad (00:43:49):
So I now allow myself to eat bread as long as it’s the kind that’s gonna go stale in three days. And you might see me grabbing other stuff at the farmer’s market, like, freshly squeezed watermelon juice. I love that at the Los Angeles Calabasas Farmer’s Market. These makers of what they call French yogurt or French keifer with these exotic flavors like coconut and apricot and berry, absolutely delicious. And, hey, does it have sugar in there? Probably does. But it’s all, you know, a clean, freshly made product. And on the topic of sugar and the phobia of sugar, I wanna remind you that glucose is burned in the cell for energy. So when you see these leading experts or social media personalities talk about how sugar is toxic, what they really mean is a chronic overdose of high sugar-containing processed foods is certainly going to overwhelm your body and have toxic consequences like the dreaded advanced glycation end products.

Brad (00:44:54):
When you have too much sugar running around your bloodstream, you become pre-diabetic and you cause problems in many of the major organs of the body. That’s, that’s a whole different deal than making a blanket statement that sugar is toxic. There is some cause or some justification for, you know, earning the level of carbohydrates that you consume, or even the, the amount of fat that you consume through your exercise dietary habits. So ideally, we wanna be sensible with our dietary habits, avoiding the processed foods. And if you do want to have a watermelon juice from the farmer’s market, you go right ahead, enjoy yourself. And if you go and buy a 12 pack of watermelon juice and sit on your butt, every day and don’t exercise, yes, you can get yourself into the energy toxicity state, by any means, by by many different means. So that’s my clarification there.

Brad (00:45:53):
And I want to go to the next category, which I’m going to title movement and make this a little bit separate from fitness or from calling everything exercise. Many experts are now contending that this is the most important intervention ranking above adhering to a devoted fitness program. So the objective is to simply strive to increase all forms of general everyday movement in order to become more healthy. Yes, adhering to a devoted fitness regimen where you’re lifting weights, doing resistance workouts, sprinting, playing tennis <laugh>, getting out there, playing pickleball, whatever it is that’s great, has all kinds of health, uh, vitality, longevity benefits. But number one is to get off your butt and move more throughout the day. And of course, the centerpiece objective here would be walking the quintessential form of human movement that has been pretty much, uh, pushed aside with the fascination of the running boom and the high intensity interval training protocols and the fitness industry and all the hype and misinformation that’s pumped down our throats that’s trying to get us to get on that bike and, and sweat and, you know, burn a bunch of calories and measure those calories.

Brad (00:47:18):
All those things are secondary to just being more active and moving throughout the day. And this goes to evolutionary biology as well. The homo sapien species is wired for near constant movement throughout the day. That’s how our ancestors lived for 2 million years. And even when they were still, they were in a squat position. So they’re still getting muscular activation while they were, squatting down eating their meal, or resting and relaxing. And today, when we plop our butt in a chair or on a couch and go for long periods of time without moving, we experience all manner of hormonal and metabolic dysfunction. It’s human genetics here. The, the, the need to walk. It’s not like a fitness, uh, objective or a goal to include, like, yeah, I wanna play more pickleball in 2024. It’s, it’s not in that category.

Brad (00:48:13):
It’s an absolute essential human need in the same realm as sleeping is. So think about that if you are deficient in your daily step count. And don’t worry about the 10,000 steps a day, because that’s an extreme goal that really has served possibly to demotivate people because they’ll come nowhere near it. So what we wanna do is take this one step at a time and just try to get out there and take some five minute walking breaks from work. Maybe take a 15 or 20 minute walk as a centerpiece of your evening wind down ritual or starting your day, especially if you have a pet leash up that pet. Get out there for 10 or 20 minutes and make that into a habit. Your body absolutely requires it in order to be healthy. If you are still for prolonged periods, you experience an increase in insulin resistance and a decrease in cognitive function.

Brad (00:49:08):
Even as short as, uh, 20 minutes research has shown this decrease in glucose tolerance increase, increase in insulin resistance, meaning you’re gonna start feeling a little drag as tired and craving a quick snack to keep you focused, whereby you would get that nice natural energy boost if you just took a break and went walking for five minutes. So that’s, uh, this is all in the, uh, refrain of what you might’ve heard called sitting is the new smoking. And if you google that term, there’s all this research and all these articles showing the health destructive aspects of simply not moving. I wanna draw an interesting comparison here. When we talk about our genetic expectation, to move, to be healthy, in contrast, the, the lion, the, the species of the great, the great lion is genetically programmed to sleep for up to 20 hours a day and then launch brief all out attacks that can only last for around 20 or 30 seconds before the lion becomes exhausted and then goes back to sleep for up to 20 hours per day.

Brad (00:50:17):
When the lion, and this is the apex predator we’re talking about, so oftentimes the lion successful sleeping, when it’s time to eat, it’ll get up, it’ll launch the attack. And after a lion feasts, it has been known to sleep for up to 24 hours straight. So the lion as a species, requires 20 hours a day of sleep. One of the reasons is because it can’t dissipate heat well. So it needs to sleep, instead of move during the day and then go do its thing at night. In contrast, the homo sapiens requires near constant daily movement to thrive. And we know this from research on modern-day hunter gatherers like the Hadza in Tanzania who walk between three and seven miles per day and are basically spending most of their waking hours in movement. Now even those fitness freaks who want to go and slam a workout and then sit around for the rest of the day, are not immune from the health destructive aspects of prolonged periods of stillness.

Brad (00:51:21):
It’s called the Active Couch Potato Syndrome. This is a scientific field of study where people who, even people who adhere to a devoted fitness regimen, can still suffer from the adverse metabolic consequences of prolonged periods of stillness. In other words, that hour of power in the morning in the gym does not protect them from the adverse blood markers and the other risk factors that we see with metabolic disease driven by sedentary lifestyle patterns. So when you can get out there and walk as a part of your life, a fundamental part of your life, you will also experience fantastic aerobic conditioning benefits. So even if you’re an athletic type and feels like walking is the waste of your time, instead you need to go do the HIIT workout or a crazy high intensity bike ride, let it be known that you will experience fantastic aerobic conditioning benefits from walking, from getting your heart rate up into that fat burning zone.

Brad (00:52:26):
But below what’s called fat max heart rate or math heart rate, or zone two maximum heart rate, where you drift into the, uh, more intense, training zones. Walking is the baseline for all manner of peak performance athletic activity. You need to have that aerobic conditioning base to thrive in any sport, including the brief explosive sports, because to train for athletics and fitness goals, you have to have that endurance base, and that is built primarily and most effectively by comfortably paced cardiovascular exercise defined as intensity level, at or below your fat max heart rate. I love this anecdote. I put it in our new book that’s coming out. Mark Sisson and I are releasing a book called Born to Walk, and it’s gonna be all about the health benefits of walking and how running in many ways is too exhausting and injurious for the vast majority of participants.

Brad (00:53:29):
Most people would be vastly better off slowing down to a walk to get that aerobic conditioning without the stress of, uh, pushing the body, uh, too far, uh, routinely with one’s workouts. So this anecdote is about Hannes Kolehmainen, the Finnish 1920 Olympic marathon champion. He ran a time of two hours and 30 minutes over 100 years ago, which is still an outstanding elite time today that would win most, you know, marathons that are on the calendar and place very highly, even at the major global marathons. At 2:30 in 1920. Just a stunning athletic performance. Uh, his training is quite surprising because, it was, uh, mostly walking and he was one of the first athletes to engage in high intensity intervals. So he did push himself hard and he’d head to the track and do some impressive workouts, whatever he did way back then.

Brad (00:54:27):
But he walked for miles and miles every week to elevate that fitness base to the point where he could benefit from these occasional interval sessions and to the point where he could run two hours and 30 minutes in those rudimentary crazy, they look like dress shoes with, you know, the rubber sole, very firm and rigid. Um, he probably couldn’t run much more than his occasional interval workouts on the cinder track because he didn’t have shoes to do it. He’d get hurt. But in the marathon, he strapped up those shoes, busted out at 2:30, and there’s excerpts from his training log in Timothy no’s great book lore of running. Uh, one week leading up to the Olympics. He walked 67 miles, ran 15 miles, took two days off, on another week he, uh, walked 28 miles, ran 28 miles and took three days off.

Brad (00:55:18):
So walking is key for everyone with all kinds of fitness goals, increasing all forms of general everyday movement. And that takes us to the fourth category. So if you’re keeping track, it was sleep, rest, recovery and downtime, then it was diet, then we have movement, and now we have fitness. So we have an urgent need to put our muscles under resistance load on a regular basis. This is use it or lose it principles and the same urgent need to perform brief, explosive, all out sprints occasionally. So and this has been the primal fitness regimen that we’ve recommended for many years is a couple of resistance training or strength training sessions a week that can last between 10 and 30 minutes. They don’t last a long time by design and perhaps a high intensity sprint workout once every seven to 10 days.

Brad (00:56:15):
So these workouts are short in duration. They’re within reach of even the busiest people to carve out time for fitness, and they deliver tremendous fitness benefits. So when you’re talking about a resistance workout, you can use body weight, we call ’em the primal essential movements, pushups, pull up squats and planks. You can use, stretch tubing and home-based simple devices that fit into a backpack, uh, or you can go to a proper gym and use the machines or use the free weights, but you have to figure out some way to put your body under resistance load, ideally with full body functional movements. That’s why they talk about squats and dead lifts. Being the, the best exercises or leg press is a safe one that even my 86-year-old mother is focusing on when she goes to the gym. But you need to challenge those muscles to the extent that you’ll get to near failure, where you can’t perform another rep due to the fatigue.

Brad (00:57:10):
You don’t have to go all the way to failure, but you want to get yourself breathing hard, putting under, putting yourself into difficulty, feeling the strain or the burn in your muscles. And then doing these sessions where you pick, you can even just pick a, a couple few exercises. So if you wanna make it really simple, you can, uh, go to the gym and perform what Dr. Doug McGuff calls the Big Five exercises. He talked about this in detail on our great show and also in his fantastic book, Body by Science, which remains bestseller a decade after he wrote it. Uh, but when you’re doing the Big Fiveexercises with the typical gym machines found, you are working every major muscle group in the body. You do a single set to failure of five different exercises, and then you go home and get out of there.

Brad (00:57:59):
So the workout literally, uh, takes only around 15 minutes to perform and you only need to do it once a week to build and maintain tremendous strength. So you can get very fit and very strong with a very brief time commitment. Don’t be intimidated by the bros that you see in the gym who use the gym as their social experience, uh, their place to sit and send a lot of text messages while they’re taking up a machine that someone else is waiting for, and also in their desire to achieve, you know, really lofty fitness and peak performance goals. But the basics can be had by everyone with a very brief commitment, a very brief trip to the gym. On the Primal Blueprint Fitness pyramid that you can learn all about. In the book, Primal Endurance, as well as, Primal Blueprint, we talk about doing two strength training sessions per week, lasting 10 to 30 minutes, and one sprint workout lasting once every seven to 10 days.

Brad (00:58:59):
So a sprint workout. When I say sprint, ideally we’re talking about sprinting on flat ground, ’cause you get the bone density benefits and the fat reduction benefits. But if you’re not adapted right now to go take off down the, the athletic field at a sprint. You can also quote sprint, doing low or no impact activities such as sprinting on the stationary bike or the rowing machine, or the elliptical. But the point here is rather than just focusing on steady state cardio, like most majority of people you see in the gym or on the roads are doing, you want to get a nice warmup and a nice preparation and then, uh, turn it on for a short period of time to where you get to near maximum effort, again, challenging the body, prompting the flood of those adaptive hormones into the bloodstream.

Brad (00:59:46):
So you get anti-aging benefits, and you get the bone density and the muscular, uh, building or toning or maintaining muscle mass, which is a key to aging gracefully. And when the prominent drivers of longevity is the ability to maintain muscle mass and muscle muscle strength throughout life. So, sprinting, strength training, putting your body under difficulty in these short duration workouts are key to a well-rounded broad-based fitness program. That, of course also includes frequent low intensity movement. So we’re talking about walking in that, uh, section. And then we also have we can greatly benefit from performing these focused cardiovascular, uh, exercise sessions where you’re keeping your heart rate in the proper zone, but you’re going out and going on a one hour bike ride or a 30 minute jog or using a machine at the gym for 30 minutes.

Brad (01:00:42):
But I see too many people narrowly focused only on that tiny sliver of fitness that is a cardiovascular endurance and can benefit tremendously from including a basic strength training protocol, as well as a brief all out sprinting protocol. Sprinting will deliver by far the best return on investment for your fitness dollar, your fitness time, and it can, you know, deliver fitness benefits that are superior to workouts lasting 10 times as long at shorter pace. ’cause if you can put it out there for sprint, you will feel more comfortable and perform better at all lower levels of exercise intensity. So sprinting will help you become a fitter human and that’ll be the fast track to, for example, dropping excess body fat and improving fitness because you are challenging your body to the maximum. And prompting, you know, the, the genetic signaling for fat reduction, for muscle building for improved cardiovascular function improved power, flexibility and explosiveness.

Brad (01:01:47):
So, get out there and do it on the bike at first and hopefully work your way up over time to, for example, being able to sprint uphill or upstairs where you don’t have the impact risk. And then one day going into a very careful protocol to include wind sprints, very short sprints, and then maybe, hopefully someday a proper sprint workout. And a quick takeaway for what comprises an ideal sprint workout. It’s very simple. The, the main set, the thing that you’re really doing besides warming up and doing drills and preparation is conducting between four to eight reps of a near all out effort, lasting between 10 and 20 seconds. That’s it. And the recovery ratio is at least six to one. So if you sprint for 10 seconds, you rest at least a minute. If you sprint for 20 seconds, you’re gonna rest for at least two minutes in between the reps, and you only need to do four to eight for a fantastic sprint session.

Brad (01:02:45):
And then also to mention in the same realm as the stuff you wanna do for a well-rounded fitness experience, what we also need to put a plug in is for what you don’t wanna do. And that is to engage in chronic, overly stressful exercise patterns, which, unfortunately,seem to befell the vast majority of fitness enthusiasts today. Because if you look at most of the mainstream fitness programming, it is overly stressful and lasting too long in duration to benefit to optimally benefit most of the participants. So I go look on the schedule at the fitness club, and at eight o’clock it’s the step class. And at nine o’clock it’s the spin class. And the 10 o’clock is the bootcamp class. Most of the participants in these classes that usually last for an hour or 45 minutes are working at a heart rate that vastly exceeds fat max heart rate without getting enough recovery time in between asking for, mrepeated efforts over and over again to push the body into, uh, that high intensity, uh, interval training zone, uh, minimal rest, doing it again and again and again.

Brad (01:03:56):
So you’re not really sprinting when you’re taking a stationary bike class, and they’re saying, okay, we’re gonna do 10 sprints at the end lasting 30 seconds each. It’s more of that interval training zone, which of course, research shows that you’ll get fit that way, but it also has a high potential for exhaustion. So I prefer to recommend, um, a lot of low level movement where your heart rate is very, very comfortable. You can converse comfortably while you’re doing, for example, a stationary bike ride or a walk, or if you’re really fit, perhaps you can jog at fat max heart rate. And couple that with a brief more explosive and shorter duration sprints. So, like I said, 10 to 20 seconds maximum four to eight for a sprint session. And when it comes to that typical programming of HIIT workouts, HIIT stands for high intensity interval training.

Brad (01:04:52):
Those should be done sparingly, and they don’t need to last an hour. They would probably be much better off lasting half an hour. Same with the extremely popular CrossFit movement, which develops all types of, uh, really great fitness attributes. And the extreme CrossFit enthusiasts are really well-rounded, incredibly fit specimens, but for a lot of participants, the workout is slightly too significantly too strenuous. The workout model, the programming model of the entire movement and put you into a high risk zone for injury, burnout, illness fatigue, and all the things that happen to people that get too deep into fitness with an ill-advised strategy. So, avoid chronic exercise, emphasize all forms of everyday gentle movement, and definitely be sure to include high intensity strength training, resistance training, as well as brief, explosive all out sprints.

Brad (01:05:50):
Now we get to the final category, and I’m gonna call that stress management, um, because there’s so many forces working against us today, vying for our constant attention and constant overstimulation, instant gratification. I had Dr. Robert Lustig on the show. He wrote a fantastic book called The Hacking of the American Mind, where he asserted that the major, you know, marketing forces and, and, uh, corporate interests are trying to hack our minds and deliver instant gratification in the name of profit that takes us away from our potential for long-term happiness, contentment, and fulfillment. So in other words, instead of leashing up the dog and going around the block for 15 minutes a evening, we are glued to our screens to get those dopamine triggering feedback, the stimulation that we get from scrolling on social media, engaging with text messages, watching high shock value programming in many cases on streaming entertainment. That’s the quick burst of dopamine at the expense of feeling like you are able to actually unwind at the end of a busy, stressful day and engaging with your animal, or engaging with your, partner, friend, loved one for a nice leisurely walk, uh, looking at the stars and just chilling.

Brad (01:07:09):
So, to, to, to focus on stress management, we want to tone down, uh, all this, uh, uh, instant gratification hyperconnectivity, and, you know, go on this quest to engage more with nature, engage more with, uh, meaningful social interactions, not rapid fire, short attention span, talking over each other, but actually sitting around and, and talking about things with deep meaning and vulnerability and authenticity. And that’s why you bring on so many relationship experts onto the show to cover that part of life for all of us out there who are trying to eat the right foods and do the right workouts. We also need to learn how to treat people with kindness, love, and attention, and really connect and get the whole picture going well, especially, more time in nature. I realize that’s become more and more important to me, uh, the older I get.

Brad (01:07:59):
And that’s what’s so great about, uh, spending time in Lake Tahoe, is you’re force to engage with vast nature instead of the dense, densely populated urban areas where I’ve spent most of my life. So, getting out there, finding a way to engage with nature and doesn’t have to mean, um, walking the Colorado Trail, 438 miles all summer, like my friend Dr. Stevie did. But instead, um, you know, um, finding a park that’s only, one city block and sitting on a bench in the middle of the park, if that’s your nature, and that’s what you have access right now, that’s fantastic. Oh, sorry, Dr. Steven, you ran most of that Colorado trail. Incredible performance, extreme endurance achievement, that’s wonderful. And what a better, what better way to spend the summer than getting out there and going for something, you know, really, life changing like that.

Brad (01:08:51):
But for all of us, again, we wanna do the best we can. So if you only have 20 or 30 minutes to engage with nature, and that’s in your backyard or your apartment courtyard, uh, sitting by the fountain listening to the water spill off the spill off the pools into the lower pool, that’s fantastic. I think we sort of get tripped up trying to create something that’s perfect, and that’s gonna get a lot of attention on social media instead of going and sitting next to the fountain in the middle of your apartment courtyard, and being able to chill and engage with nature in that manner. So doing the best you can, enjoying and pursuing those simple pleasures of life and paying close attention to your penchant and all of our penchant for instant gratification. Hyperconnectivity especially getting lured in to these dopamine triggering pleasures.

Brad (01:09:41):
When your resistance is low, such as feeling a little tired, exhausted, and drained of willpower, at the end of the day, that’s when we have to sit up and say, Hey, you know what? It’s time to have a meaningful, enjoyable conversation with my partner, rather than stream yet another show, just because it’s gonna play automatically in 10 seconds, 9, 8, 7, 6. I literally jump up and grab the remote before the countdown ends because I don’t want to tempt myself with the beginning of another streaming show unless it’s really, really, really good. And then I’ll allow <laugh> allow a little leeway, leeway in the name of enjoying life. So everything here is conveyed in the spirit of good cheer. But again, when I hear that term, everything in moderation we’ve gone to the extreme health detriment of our baseline behaviors in modern life.

Brad (01:10:40):
So we need to wake up unless you want to go, you know, march along to your ultimate destiny of heart disease, cancer, metabolic disease, and the increasing rates of cognitive disease that are being, uh, more and more associated with lifestyle patterns, such as poor dietary exercise and sleep habits. So now I’m gonna finish the show with an immediate to-do list in the name of cleaning up your Act and starting to live, uh, more healthfully and doing so without needing to break the bank or break your back, uh, loading up all these, uh, to-do list items onto your already busy life. So number one, remember we wanna wind down in the evenings, minimize artificial light and digital stimulation after dark, and throughout the day, take breaks from hyperconnectivity and digital stimulation to just chill and get some downtime in some way, shape, or form.

Brad (01:11:40):
Number two, it is time to do a kitchen, pantry, refrigerator, purge, get rid of processed foods, at least eliminate them from your home environment. If you have to go to a Chuck e Cheese birthday party this weekend, and, um, you’re sitting around looking at the cupcakes and the pizza and you say, Hey, there’s nothing else to eat here, I’m gonna take a bite. Well, that’s tough when you’re out and about in the world, but I want you to scrutinize your restaurant choices, your shopping habits, your shopping patterns, the stores that you patronize on the internet or in your community. Of course, farmer’s market and local food is getting more and more available to everyone, and that means less and less excuses to say, Hey, what can I do? This is, this is the best I can do. No, it’s not. You can do way, way better.

Brad (01:12:26):
And it starts with that purge. So, rid yourself of toxic foods. And then with all that extra space on the refrigerator or the pantry shelves, you can emphasize natural nutrient-dense animal-based diet, prioritizing protein, and getting the nutritious sources of fats and carbohydrates that you enjoy and can actually sustain healthy dietary habits because the foods that and the meals that are pleasurable are, are part of it. Okay, so no more of this stress, anxiety, deprivation restriction, and short-term gimmicks in favor of making long-term, uh, lifestyle transformation.

Brad (01:13:10):
Then we get to the pillar about movement, and I’m gonna do a short an abbreviation here, JFW, that stands for just f–ing walk. Make walking a priority in your life. I can’t wait to share with you in the coming months more and more details about this wonderful book.

Brad (01:13:29):
Mark and I are so excited to put this out there, especially as long time runners where endurance running has been, you know, a centerpiece of our life for so long. But really, uh, the secret, the magic is in walking and just being more generally active without overstressing yourself with extreme exercise practices like most endurance runners are doing right now. When it comes to fitness, we want to get that resistance exercise, putting your body under resistance load on a regular basis. Again, it can be machines and things at the gym, or you can get home-based implements, or just use your own body weight right now, if you’re sitting in a cubicle or sitting on a couch, you can stand up and, uh, proceed to perform a set of 20 deep squats. And it’s pretty tough. Your muscles will start burning and you’ll get a little bit outta breath with these brief bursts of explosive effort.

Brad (01:14:21):
And that is great because if you sprinkle these in throughout the day, it’s not too time consuming. It’s not very stressful, in terms of, you know, not being able to recover the next day. But over time, these micro workouts, and I have, uh, numerous shows dedicated to that topic. So you can search for micro workouts and learn more, but these micro workouts will add up cumulatively to a wonderful fitness benefit. I also often use the example of a flight of stairs. So my rule is, whenever I encounter a flight of stairs during my day, my rule is I need to sprint up them. That might not be a suggestion that you could try at home, but how about taking the stairs a little faster than you normally would, and then descending after you get warmed up with that fast trip, then go a little faster the next time and perhaps do three ascents of a single staircase to the point where you’re, again, you’re getting outta breath and feel those muscles working.

Brad (01:15:19):
That’s how you preserve and build lean muscle mass throughout life. It’s critically important to do this brief intense exercise. So we have the occasional all out sprint workout, and we also have the regular couple times a week strength training sessions and, uh, the opportunity to engage in micro workouts, especially if you can’t seem to get to the gym a couple times a week to do a proper strength training session. And I just want you to consider this, these things assignments, it’s a human assignment to be fully human. You don’t have to worry about how motivated you are to go and do it, or whether you’re in the right mood or whether you have the right training partner, or I heard the excuse so many times during quarantine, oh yeah, well, my gym closed, so I haven’t done any strength training in a while.

Brad (01:16:10):
Oh, you don’t have a staircase you can find or you can’t drop for a set of 20 deep squats. So it, the fact that a gym’s not open is completely upending your commitment to be as human as you can. I want you to reject all those excuses and get it done no matter what. So don’t judge it. Don’t worry about motivation or your mood or making it overly complex. Just get out there and put your body under resistance load and perform some explosive exercise once in a while. And of course, move as much as you can throughout the day.

Brad (01:16:42):
On the topic of fitness, um, remember not to overdo it so you know who listeners, you know, if I’m talking to you or not. Um, beware of overdoing it and getting too deep into it where you’re getting into exhaustive, overly stressful patterns that are, uh, adversely affecting your, uh, your, your path through life and your, your daily routine. Same thing for work. So I didn’t talk about that before, but I’m putting it on this, highlight. Don’t overdo it in fitness and don’t overdo it on work either. It’s definitely not worth it. I forget who this quote is attribute to somebody like Mark Twain or but, it goes, no one ever says on their deathbed, I wish I had spent more time at the office.

Brad (01:17:28):
Okay, number seven is stress management. So you want to prioritize meaningful interpersonal relationships, solo reflective time, engagement with nature, the celebrations, the vacations, the entertainment that we engage in to manage the stress of our core daily responsibilities. And please don’t settle for the addictive allure of The Hacking of the American Mind with instant gratification, dopamine triggering indulgences in favor of, uh, ones that give you true happiness, contentment, satisfaction.

Brad (01:18:05):
Thank you so much for listening, watching. I would love to hear to read your feedback about these, uh, this list and these objectives and how maybe it’s worked for you or other comments, questions you can always connect with us podcast@bradventures.com. Thank you so much. Get out there and get it done. Get the list going again, wind down at night. Do the kitchen pantry purge now. Uh, emphasize natural, nutritious foods. Just get out there and walk. Follow your fitness, uh, protocols of doing, uh, resistance training and sprinting. Don’t overdo it with fitness nor work. And manage your stress load by engaging with nature people and.

Brad (01:18:48):
the simple pleasures of life. That’s a wrap.

Brad (01:18:53):
Thank you so much for listening to the B.rad podcast. We appreciate all feedback and suggestions. Email podcast@bradventures.com and visit brad kearns.com to download five free eBooks and learn some great long cuts to a longer life. How to optimize testosterone naturally, become a dark chocolate connoisseur and transition to a barefoot and minimalist shoe lifestyle.


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