Hi all and welcome back to another week of Get Constructive!
Keeping with the format of last week’s post (link here) where we busted five of the most common health and fitness myths, today is also going to be rapid fire. Today though, rather than busting more myths and throwing in a few rants in between, we are instead going to give you five of Get Constructive’s favourite resources across all mediums to help you venture beyond the content provided here each week and into what we believe are some of the most formative sources of information available in health, wellbeing and overall self-optimisation.
Let’s face it- between forums, articles, Men’s/Women’s Health magazines and everything in between, there is a lot of conflicting, contradictory and basically… crap information out there and as always at GC, today we are cutting the fat both literally and figuratively with the first of our resource instalments.
This list will also be added permanently to the resources section (link here) of the GC homepage and over time this will develop into a library of hand picked sources covering all aspects of self-improvement. In the meantime enjoy the list and as always, feel free to add your comments or suggestions.
1. Tim Ferris – http://fourhourworkweek.com
With the name Tim Ferriss, the list could essentially start and end here. Tim is undoubtedly one of the most inspiration people on the planet with his enormous bank of work in the field of self-optimisation stretching across books, podcasts, blogging and now into TV.
He is a high level martial artist; a New York Times best selling author; a highly successful entrepreneur; and the list only continues with his work being one of the central motivations for the creation of Get Constructive.
Starting with his ‘Four Hour’ book series(link here), Tim provides an entirely new perspective on the fundamental aspects of life including work and wealth generation; health and the human body; and in his most recent book- “The Four Hour Chef”, the efficiency of the human learning process and how this can be accelerated in learning any new skill.
His podcast “The Tim Ferriss Show” (link here) delves into the secrets of the world’s highest performers and includes interviews with Antony Robbins and Arnold Schwarzenegger. It is the ultimate in motivation and education, as well as the perfect distraction on long flights, commutes on the tube or while driving to the next stint out west.
For those of you interested solely in the health, fitness and longevity focus of his work, I strongly recommend his book, “The Four Hour Body” which is available in your every-day paper format but is also available in audio, narrated by Tim himself which can also help you constructively pass away long periods of travel.
We could go on all day about Tim’s work and it is undoubtedly some of the most cutting edge and inspiring material out there. If you need a change and don’t know where to start, it is with Tim’s work and that is why it sits firmly at #1 on today’s list.
2. Kelly Starrett – http://www.mobilitywod.com
In response to some recent Get Constructive on-site work in the UK, the question was raised – “I have been told I need to stretch more- what sort of stretches should I do?”. It was a tricky question, mainly because it is not necessarily the right one and the response was to instantly refer to Kelly Starrett and his MobilityWOD organisation.
Kelly is leading the charge through his books, website and YouTube Channel (link here) against this old school approach to ‘stretching’. To replace it, he has developed a ‘movement-based integrated full body approach’ and the Doctor of Physical Therapy and co-owner of San Francisco Crossfit is helping everyone from ‘average Joe’s’ all the way through to the world’s highest performing athletes to perform self-maintenance and to work on their musculoskeletal systems, enabling long term exercise without pain, injury or a ‘use-by date’ in their chosen field.
He has made an enormous amount of information available for free through his instructional videos and it is worth a search of his site as the first port of call for any minor or niggling musculoskeletal ailments to see if they can actually be self-managed, rather than immediately signing up for the costly and often non-conclusive visit to the doctor.
The guy is an absolute genius in this field and his two books- “Becoming a Supple Leopard” and “Ready to Run” (link here) are also must-haves for any individual aiming at high levels of physical performance, without the long term costs of pain and injury.
3. John Berardi – http://www.precisionnutrition.com/blog
Keeping things in the information sphere, we have the man behind the Precision Nutrition conglomerate, John Berardi. John adds yet another PhD to today’s list with his life’s work focussed on exercise physiology and nutrient biochemistry. He has been at the forefront of coaching and content in this area for decades and he too, provides a wealth of information for free through the Precision Nutrition blog (link here) and the associated Facebook page.
As with the information provided here at Get Constructive, the material issued through Precision Nutrition is free from any nonsense or quick-fix fads and it is all written in a tone that can be digested by the novice or expert in training and nutrition.
If you want to dig further into Precision Nutrition’s work, there are books and packages available including personal programming options, and the crew at GC can vouch for the delicious and macro-friendly recipes listed in John’s cookbook ‘Gourmet Nutrition’ (link here).
4. MyFitnessPal – https://www.myfitnesspal.com
Switching gears now, for the last two resources today we are jumping into the tech space and giving you two amazing apps that have become cornerstones for the health and wellbeing of individuals the world over. The first of these is MyFitnessPal (link here), a user friendly nutrient tracker available on iPhone or Android from the app store.
This app is only recently starting to take hold in the construction industry despite being around for a while, and finding meals on the enormous MyFitnessPal database is a simple as scanning the barcode through your phone’s camera or typing it into the search field. By spreading the use of the app and providing individuals with an easy-to-use tracker of calories, macros and micronutrients, MyFitnessPal is changing the mindset of how construction personnel view food and how the smallest of changes can lead to huge improvements in body composition.
The app is also mentioned in Get Constructive’s introduction to diet (link here) and the offer still stands that if anyone needs help in using the app outside of the information provided on the MyFitnessPal website, feel free to email through your questions.
5. Headspace – https://www.headspace.com
For some, this last one may come a bit out of left field, but this amazing app Headspace is listed, not only as a potentially life-changing resource; but also to cover the mental training and improvement that is so important to the Get Constructive initiative and hopefully to all of you in the continuous head-fog of the construction industry.
The Headspace application available on iPhone or Android, is an initially free introduction to ten days of guided meditation, teaching the basics of relaxation and controlling one’s thoughts in times when they can often take over and derail us from our goals. As we all know, these same thoughts can lead to anger, anxiety or the full spectrum of unwanted emotions and they can rise suddenly or build gradually when we are under the pump.
This may sound like a bit of hippy ‘one with the universe’ crap but I can assure you- if you have trouble switching off; if you lay awake at night ticking over figures or parts of the project that aren’t going quite right; if you jump to anger or take out the odd bit of work stress on your loved ones; or if you find yourself unfulfilled in your current job and wished you were just ‘a bit more creative’…. then try this app. After ten days you can subscribe for a small monthly fee and the sessions available can be adapted specifically to your goals and situation. If practiced regularly, where the gym might strengthen us physically, this mental training can ultimately strengthen your outlook on all areas of life.
With that rounding out our list for today, Get Constructive leaves you for another week. Next week’s post will bring some photos and the wrap up of some exciting on-site work we are doing with the UK rail industry and we will continue to link you to the best in self-optimisation resources all week through our Facebook page. Until then have a great week and Get Constructive!