Since mid-March, I have been temporarily relocated to Park City, UT. The idea was to go somewhere for a few months where we could work without the distractions of Covid. It’s been a peaceful, highly creative time, but not without its adjustments.
The main issues have been my hour-by-hour schedule and, of course, the lack of a gym. This has led to my developing a daily schedule that I find I need to stay on track with my work, my health, and my equally important recreation.
Hydration Is Vital
Every morning at 7 am, I have 2 large 16 oz glasses of water with a pinch of pink Himalayan salt and a squeeze of lemon. Hydration is vital. What endlessly surprises me is the amount that is needed. For me, it is around 160 oz per day. That means I need a 16 oz glass of water every hour. This is surprisingly difficult to do and, of all my health regimes, the one that I get least right.
Basis Capsules for Cellular Energy
Next up, right after re-hydrating, I’ll have two Basis capsules. I keep the container on the counter next to the water so I won’t forget. Basis from Elysium Health helps boost my NAD+ levels which otherwise fall with age. Lower NAD+ levels may cause a lack of cellular energy. There are other companies that make NAD-boosting products, but I feel Elysium Health is the best. I have spoken to their lead scientists and researched where they source their ingredients. They are best in class by far. This is an extremely careful company with rigorously designed products that continues to impress me with their ethics. Many of the people I know who are informed about the benefits of NAD+ also subscribe to Basis.
15 Minutes of Meditation
Next up, I will have 15 minutes of quiet meditation. As someone once told me: to change your life, first change your mind. My thinking after having meditated for several years is profoundly better as is the quality of my life. I have never regretted taking the time to calm my mind.
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Work Prep and Harnessing Creative Energy
The rest of the day is broken up into blocks. First, I scan my email and the news for anything that needs my immediate attention. This time is limited to 45 minutes, no more. Next, I’ll do a quick 10-minute ab workout: High kicks to warm up, plank holds, the “hundred,” and leg lifts. This activates my core for a morning of sitting. I follow this with a protein smoothie, some leafy greens, and a single espresso.
Now, I am switched on and ready to get into some deep work. I have learned that I have a fixed amount of creative energy available in the day, that I am at my best in the mornings, so I guard this time for important tasks. Whenever possible, and working with various times zones can make this challenging, I avoid Zooms, calls, emails, social media, or anything other than the hardest work of the day during this time. A two-hour block of focused work is about my limit.
Fitness Before 1pm
For a variety of reasons, my workouts are now later in the day. If it is something that will get my heart rate way up, I need to do it before 1 pm — any later than this and I will have trouble sleeping. My workout exercises are planned out the night before, otherwise, when the time comes, I have a way of talking myself out of what I need to do. My doctor has advised me that whatever cardio I do, I should try to make sure it has a strength component to it. He tells me that losing muscle mass over age 60 is the single biggest concern for both men and women.
Since there is no more gym, I have had to find an alternative to the various cardio machines I had been using. Lately, it has been burpees, which I find horribly uncomfortable but efficient. I do 90 in 12 minutes with a goal of 100 in 10 minutes. Another cardio exercise I do is I load up a backpack with 60 lbs and then hike up the mountain for 45 minutes. Both of these build muscle, balance, and cardio efficiency. On the weekends and evenings I will often go on long, leisurely walks to de-compress both my body and my mind.
Recently, I purchased a used adjustable kettlebell — incredibly useful as I can adjust it from 25-70 lbs. It is not the same as a proper squat rack or deadlifts for total body strength, but it is a huge improvement over only bodyweight exercises. Bodyweight work is essential, but I find it is easier to apply a load especially to my glutes and legs if I have some additional weights.
Off-Time and Sleep
Because of the lack of structure during these work-from-home days, I have found it is important to schedule an “off” time and then the evening plans. Off time is 5:30-6:00pm. After that point, I’ll do a call with Asia if needed, but otherwise I’ll be having a quiet dinner on the patio with my wife, reading, or going for a twilight walk before bed. Around 8 pm, I’ll turn down the lights in the unit to cue my circadian clock that it is time to get ready for sleeping. The hour before I actually fall asleep I try to be vigilant about avoiding anything that will engage my brain too deeply, especially anything around work.
If I have been careful with my caffeine and exercise, I will sleep straight through the night for around eight hours.