I see you out there, you’re killing the life game. You’re up with the sun, extra large, double shot, coffee in hand, grown from genetically modified beans so it’s ultra caffeinated.
You have an entire days worth of meals in your lunch box that you meticulously planned out the night before as to hit all your macros within 100% accuracy.
Then after work it’s strait to the gym so you can live up your favorite hour of the day. Afterwords its time to get a quick meal and get to bed early so you can repeat it all the next day.
For many people, myself included, the above is an idealistic view of what a perfect healthy day looks like. You’ve taken care of your nutrition, your physical stimulus, and good sleep requirements. All these things should lead to the perfect human being right?
That’s what I thought for the longest time, and I put a ton of effort into bending my days to resemble this. Consequently, in an effort to live a perfect healthy life I would also neglect my friends and family.
Then, on a random Tuesday, my wife got a wild hair to go out and play trivia at our favorite bar. We called up some friends, made up a silly team name and set out to bring home the gold. We didn’t, but we ate amazing, unhealthy food, had some drinks, and we laughed so hard. Like, full belly laughs, wiping away tears, I might pee in my pants laughter. I’m sure we carried on a little bit too much for our other trivia competitors but we had such a great time.
Driving home that night, at an unhealthy hour, it hit me that nights like this were missing from my life. It sounds corny but I could feel it in my heart that spending time with friends like this is essential to your health.
Being the nerd I am, I looked into the science of how important human interaction is. I found several examples around the world in places called “blue zones” where people are living long lives independent of eating organic produce and kale shakes. There were a few common factors but one theme for these “blue zones” was that, the people in them lived in tight communities and spent many hours each day basically hanging out with close friends and family.
So in an effort to live a “healthy” life and improve my fitness, I was severely neglecting a crucial element in spending time with friends and family. Now I’m not saying that boozing it up till 3 am, then working an 8 hour shift will help you improve your fran time, but maybe it’s a good idea to skip the perfect routine once in a while. Take a break from the daily grind and have some fun. Hang out with your parents, stay up way too late with some good buddies and laugh.
I fully believe that a good night out with friends can be just as beneficial as a grueling workout and leafy green salad.