“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” -Leonardo Da Vinci
Everyone deserves to know how to live a minimal life… Our needs as humans tend to be very simple. Being able to break away from the ever-growing noise and distraction can be a breath of fresh air. Billionaire and inventor Elon Musk recently announced he is selling all his belongings to the point of owning no home. Why a billionaire would do that is unbeknownst to many, yet one reason he did quote on the Joe Rogan podcast was that his possessions could not be used against him. Yes, our possessions can be used against us. They can cost us energy, they can cause us to worry and stress. In as stressful a time as now, due to COVID-19, they can distract us from the fact that our needs are very simple and by learning to live a minimal life, we are able to focus on what truly matters. Now this can also be interpreted in a familial and relationship sense but what I am referring to is your health and vitality as nature intended. You will hear me reference nature because I see a world where people are becoming more and more disconnected from who we are as humans. It is truly sad to see. For many of us, our happiness lies truly in front of our eyes yet we allow material things and how many followers we have on Instagram to blind us from what is important. In this post and the following, I will cover 5 quintessential needs, not in too much depth (it is up to you to practice and understand them) for the sake of keeping it simple and highlighting the basics. In this blog we’ll start with the first two.
Air – Our first exercise and our last, the element we can go the least amount of time without. Not only is it essential for our life and overall health but studies have shown that not intaking adequate amounts of oxygen, compounded over time, can diminish memory performance and induce emotional liability as well as result in motor impairments. Basically, proper breathing is something worth learning about about and practicing. See if you notice times when you hold your breath or tense up throughout the day. That is why many successful people will advocate a breathing routine to have clearer thinking and reduce stress. As my Jiu Jitsu sensei Saulo Ribeiro says “if you don’t breathe, you die”, scientific fact and it is true whether it is quickly or slowly.
Water – The next element that we can go the least amount of time without. There is not a definite recommended amount (the 8 glasses a day is BS) but it’s definitely something to start tracking. The right amount if you are active is oftentimes more than you want to drink. I myself at 170 lbs bodyweight aim for 256 oz (2 gallons) daily. The trade off is most certainly more bathroom trips than you desire and it can be difficult to implement when travelling long distances but this should be your second priority upon waking. Also, keep in mind that other beverages (sodas, caffeine, alcohol) dehydrate you so when you drink them you need to drink even more water! The good news is when you have a daily goal you will find it much hard to drink the other crap. Assuming your goal is more than 8 glasses of course, and if it isn’t don’t feel bad. I know people who drink one glass and are in their 50’s! Can you imagine? On a serious note I knew a basketball player that developed a kidney condition due to improper hydration and strenuous training. He was rushed to the hospital during a basketball practice. Fortunately, most of us do not have such extreme physical demands but if you were in a shipwreck and got stranded on an island, we could agree that water would be your number one resource for survival.