Last week I posted about theThe You Project Conference that I attended over the weekend and how much I loved it. I’ve been thinking about it all week, with my thoughts focused on the guest speakers. They were a great bunch of speakers with qualifications and life experience in different areas of health, wellness, and living your best life.
Paul Taylor was a highlight for me. He is an educator and motivational speaker from Melbourne. I’ve listened to him on The You Project podcast, and felt going into his session at the conference, that I knew him. Paul is Irish, and a former British Royal Navy aircrew officer, where he was involved in rigourous combat survival training and resistance to interrogation training. He is an exercise physiologist, nutritionist and neuroscientist and director of the Mind Body Brain Performance Institute. He is also the founder and former owner of The Personal Training Academy. Added to these qualifications and experiences, Paul is a leadership trainer and has worked with many large corporations including Tennis Australia, Coca Cola, NAB, Flight Centre, Country Road and many more.
Mastering Your Day
With all of those qualifications and the extensive experience in fitness and resilience that Paul has, I knew that this session was going to be more than worthwhile. Paul spoke about many things. There was the neurobiology of exercise which sounds like it would be very ‘sciencey’, but Paul has the talent of making the complicated seem simple and easy to understand. Paul asked the question, “why is it that life is the best it has ever been, but we are the unhappiest generation ever”? That really made me stop and think.
Paul went on to speak about the importance of mastering your day, so that you get things done, achieve your goals, and don’t just drift. He then went on to give a few tips. Following were three that I managed to jot down. I didn’t take lots of notes, as I usually do, as I was too busy hanging on every word.
- Kick start your day. Get out of bed early and exercise
- Bookend your daily intentions. Take a few minutes in the morning to write them down. Some of the important areas to look at are virtues or behaviours, work, energy and connections. Check back in at night and observe your day. How did you go? What went well, what didn’t go so well. Recognise and honour the day.
- Gratitude. An extremely valuable exercise that helps to reinforce the value of life and those around us.
- Set new habits. This is essential to do, in areas in your life that you wish to improve such as diet, exercise, time management.
Following are a few bits and pieces from my notebook:
- Your life is your choice. Nobody is coming to sort your life out for you. It’s up to you.
- The recommended daily steps is 10,000, but there is no science behind that number. In Pauls opinion 19,000 steps are what is necessary for normal brain function. We need to do more than this every day for increased fitness
- HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training – This is the best form of training to increase fitness and health benefits.
- Exercise creates more will power. A healthy eating plan is more succussful when exercise is present.
- Get comfortable with being uncomfortable (this is my favourite)
- Have cold showers daily.
- Don’t change 10 things at once. Just start.
- Motivation is temporary. It’s what you do when you don’t want to do the exercise, that is important
- What is your life telling you? What are the results you are getting? What are you doing that’s not working in relation to food, gym, and family.
I was a bit surprised when Paul brought up the importance of having cold showers or finishing up your shower with twenty seconds of cold. Cold!
When he first said it I shuddered in horror as don’t cope well with cold. It then occurred to me that maybe I have gotten comfortable with being comfortable, and perhaps I need to put myself outside my comfort zone.
A few of the benefits of cold showers:
- Strengthens the immune system, reducing sickness
- Cleanse your circulatory system
- Improve blood circulation
- syrengthen the nervous system
- Boosts performance
- Develops grit and resilience
- Recharges your brain
After hearing of the benefits of cold showers, I have to say, that it sounds like a good thing to do. As yet, I haven’t found the courage, but I have been turning the heat down on my very hot shower for the last 20 seconds. Gradually I will reduce the heat, until eventually a cold shower will kick. My plan is to do the cold shower for just a few seconds and gradually increase the time. That’s the plan anyway, but I know it will take me getting uncomfortable to do it. Brrr!
The following video shows Paul Taylor talking about body and brain performance and resilience, including the scientific evidence on cold showers.
Are you convinced to take a cold shower? Do you think you could manage thirty seconds? I’d love to hear your thoughts and promise to reply to all comments made..