Health and Fitness Ideas That Work #1

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.

Evoluent VM4 Vertical Mouse Right Handed - The Patented Shape Supports Your Hand
Evoluent VM4 Vertical Mouse Right Handed – The Patented Shape Supports Your Hand (Amazon USA)

#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.

3 Minutes to a Pain-Free Life: The Groundbreaking Program for Total Body Pain Prevention and Rapid Relief
3 Minutes to a Pain-Free Life: The Groundbreaking Program for Total Body Pain Prevention and Rapid Relief by Joseph Weisberg

Wrap Up

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.


Add yours

  1. In hindsight:

    1. Eliminating most processed foodstuffs.
    2. Making edible-as-found food sources the core of my diet.
    3. Increasing the quality of most cooking ingredients.
    4. Brief, intense, once-a-week 45-minute workouts.
    5. Using a 16-8 or a 18-6 two meal a day IF plan.
    6. Increasing the amount of good protein sources.
    7. Making sure that, whether I sleep or not, I can spend 9 hours in bed.

    In short, nothing that original but nonetheless groundbreaking for me. The results still amazed me.

  2. @Txomin- Those are great ideas, especially #4. I like #5 as well, but I can’t quantify the benefits I’ve received as clearly as the 3 ideas from this post.

  3. #5 = no snacking = better food control = freedom

    I will say, however, that I have observed that IF results vary greatly depending on certain personality traits.

  4. Dinis Correia

    May 6, 2013 — 10:48 am

    That book looks promising – adding it to my wish list now. I have a mild form of lordosis and I can never stick to a longer routine.

    I didn’t know “vertical mouses” were a thing – I’ll look into it, too – but now the concept seems obvious (I just moved my hand while reading this and it instantly felt less awkward 🙂 )

  5. Hi Michael:

    You’re always about improvement and building a more healthy lifestyle. That is why I like reading your posts. Though I am not in it to the level that you are, I can always take something away, in fact many things. Enjoyed seeing the nice childhood pics of you. You seem to have always had a nice smile, at least in the images that you’ve shared.

    The upright mouse is a great idea. I too made the adjustment while reading and noticed the difference. Most of my life is spent on the computer so am always seeking ways to take better care of my body while doing that. I wouldn’t want to not be able to write anymore because I didn’t take time to care for my body. Recently bought 2 Ergodyne Proflex wrist supports, and am remembering to use them every day, especially for my longest typing stints. They are not the best, but I made a commitment to start now with what I can afford. Upgrading is always an option.

    The book sounds great too. Have bookmarked it and the mouse, and look forward to getting them both.

    Thanks for all of your help and have a nice evening.

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