A tough part of a health journey is figuring out what really works and what just appears to work. An example would be when I lost 20 pounds after adopting a Paleo diet. To this day, I don’t know if the fat loss was from going low carb, intermittent fasting, eliminating grains or just cooking my own meals. For this post and hopefully future posts in a series, I want to highlight only the health and fitness ideas that I am 100% certain worked for me. They are in no particular order. Here goes.
#1 Vertical Mouse
If you work on a desktop computer and use a traditional mouse, this product may very well eliminate pains in your mouse arm and shoulder. It did for me. For years I got pain in my shoulder, upper and lower arm after spending hours on the computer. I’d take Advil or Aleve and sometimes go as far as icing. My right shoulder was almost always out of alignment and was higher than my left.
The vertical mouse is more like a hand shake. Those familiar with some of the principles of High Intensity Training might recognize this is what is known as natural position. The palm of the hand wants to turn inward towards the body. It doesn’t want to be torqued downwards for extended periods. This causes the elbow to flare out. Hours of doing this day in and day out can cause pain. When we hold the vertical mouse and our palm faces in towards our body, you’ll see the elbow doesn’t flare and the shoulder doesn’t hold tension. Try it for yourself as you read this post and you’ll see what I mean.
It takes a few days to get use to the vertical mouse, so when I first started using it, I’d go back and forth between it and a traditional mouse. I still keep the traditional mouse around for guests. The result is all that pain is 100% gone. Evoluent now also sells a Left-Handed version of the mouse.
#2 Eliminating Wheat
Lately there has been a backlash against the backlash against wheat. Not from me though. Although I am not certain eliminating wheat was the reason I lost 20 pounds – it probably helped – I do know I feel way better without it in my diet. My skin is much better and it did cause headaches for me.
Part of the gluten ain’t so bad movement comes from attacks on Dr. William Davis and his book Wheat Belly. The PubMed Warriors lit into him for some of the details in his book. My response to the attacks on Dr. Davis is that he has worked with hundreds if not thousands of patients. He has first hand seen the benefits of ditching the wheat. Whether we understand all the mechanisms fully or not can’t negate the successes of his patients. And it isn’t just Dr. Davis. Robb Wolf, Chris Kresser and Paul Jamient all are witnesses to how much health can improve when wheat is removed from the diet. Even the Peat-a-tarians are anti-wheat.
To me going a month without wheat and reintroducing it is a super low commitment to testing something a large number of people are having problems with. There are some disingenuous bloggers that love their cakes and cookies that are saying gluten is fine. Behind most of those bloggers, I have found that have a strong bias against low carb diets. When did pro-carb become pro-gluten? Not for me. I love my carbs, but I loathe wheat.
#3 The Book: 3 Minutes To a Pain Free Life
For twenty years I have been doing some form of mobility or alignment exercises. I start off with dedication, but in the end I always quit. The idea of spending 20 or 40 minutes every day or even a few times a week becomes cumbersome. In 2011, I received a comment telling me about the book 3 Minutes to a Pain Free Life. As much as love the alignment work of Peter Egoscue and the mobility exercises from Eric Cressey, the 3 Minutes book is the bomb. This is the protocol that I have stuck to more than anything else. And it works. Only 3 minutes a day has corrected the rounding in mid-back and I feel much better.
My full review for 3 Minutes to a Pain Free Life.
Those are the first 3 ideas. The mouse costs about $90 and the 3 Minutes book is $12. Going without gluten is free and you will likely save money as bread, pizzas and pasta cost a lot more than rice and potatoes.