Editor’s Note: On August 18, The Inertia’s EVOLVE Summit will celebrate people from the surf and outdoor worlds that use their influence to make a positive imprint on society. Gabrielle Reece will be speaking on a panel about health in the modern age and how we must work to find the best health practices for ourselves and make individual choices based on what works for our own bodies. Get tickets now.
What’s becoming truer for not only me but for Laird as well, is not being defined by age, especially as athletes. Roger Federer is 36 and people say it’s a miracle the way he’s playing tennis. Why is it a miracle? Pushing the boundaries of what defines age and health is important to us. But to really push you have to redefine what health is. It’s not just, “oh I’m going to learn yoga and eat kale.” Health is an overall approach, an incorporation of a lot of things.
In this modern world, not only do you have to do the work, you have to keep changing what you’re doing. You can’t stop learning. You have to incorporate science, move into practicing more of whatever it is you love to do to get exercise and get the best information you can which includes science and biology.
As you go forward, you can’t just use this machine and that supplement. You have to root health in your biology. We’ve been the same for 200,000 years. We have a foundation that’s very primal, as far as diet and movement patterns, then we have to be open to incorporating modern day technology to push some of the training we do. Using devices and all these things that measure metrics, I don’t think it always helps us go as far as we could if we simply concentrated on pushing performance. Of course you can use devices for motivation or feedback, but that can’t be in lieu of doing the work inside. There’s no way around it. Just dealing with the outside vessel, our bodies only, doesn’t necessarily work anymore. For example, I feel like I need to look deeper at the parts of my brain that affect my breathing. A busy mind can mess with that primal process.
Anything that’s too gimmicky, I just can’t be bothered with it. I’m sure people feel that way all the time. If you can’t afford it on a regular basis, with time and money, how do you incorporate it into your life? “Only $500 a crack to do this or that for your health.” Who can do that? Nobody, not real people, with jobs and lives of their own. You find what works for you and you put the work in. If you think you can achieve health with a shortcut that should be the number one red flag.
I’m always looking at things to support me. We’ve done a ton of research on breathing practices. Stuff people have been doing for thousands of years, trying to understand the science of it. Why we should nose breathe. There’s a ton of science behind that and why CO2 can’t get as easily into your body if you’re mouth breathing and how it can cause the erosion of teeth. People don’t always understand why you should breathe like this but it’s something that’s so primal and supports our overall health. Again, it’s not in lieu of the training. It supports it.
I’m looking at the self as the whole organism. To me, the info and education are so important. Laird talks about this–everything he eats is in support of his health and performance. I might be biased here but he’s one of the best people I’ve seen who doesn’t waste a ton of time on things that don’t support that quest for health.
Spending three hours on social media looking at people’s pics, that’s a distraction. That’s not supporting you, your organism. And it’s a living, breathing one with unique chemistry that you have to work to understand how to fully support.