The BehaviorFit Manifesto 2017-03-15T16:44:16+00:00

The BehaviorFit Manifesto

Behavior. It is what we do.
Health. It is a result of the things we do (for the most part…more on that in a minute).
Good health, we all strive for it. Well, maybe not. But, I imagine if you clicked on this Manifesto, then, at the very least, you have some interest in it…
Now, I just said that health is mostly the result of the things we do. The controllable things like eating and moving. Uncontrollable things that mess up our health are things like our genetics, having a chronic disease, or traumatic events.

HEATLH CHOICES ARE BEHAVIOR

The bigger issue at hand is that we are all responsible for our daily choices. Our choices are forms of behavior like any other and they can do us good or do us wrong. And over time, daily choices add up to create habits. These habits are either healthy or unhealthy. Are these habits what you want them to be? Could they be better?

And if we repurpose a semi-famous quote, we say something like “The greatest predictor of future health choices is past health choices.”
Our choices accumulate over days, weeks, and years. We are in a constant battle between what feels good now versus what will feel better later…or at least will help us feel the best we can. We may never have a heart attack or sprain an ankle, but the pendulum is always swinging from increased risk to decreased risk, or vice versa.

BEHAVIOR AS THE CORNERSTONE OF SUCCESS

Behavior change is the cornerstone of any health success. You may have the best intentions, but until action meets a meaningful outcome, nothing will happen.
If behavior is the center of our health, then it is worthwhile to constantly measure, monitor, and maintain key health areas to produce the life that we want. With an emphasis on what we do, our everyday behavior, we can begin blending the meaningful findings in research and practice into our lives.
Our behavior, whether it is related to health or not, is often the result of learning by doing (a contingency) or by following rules.
Here are some examples:
Contingency: Are you eating salad because it tastes good?
Rule: Or because it has better long-term benefits than deep-friend onion rings?
Contingency: Are you lifting weights because it makes you stronger?
Rule: Or because increased muscle mass is linked to better heart health?
Contingency: Are you sleeping more because you hate the cranky feeling the next day?
Rule: Or because more sleep is better for stress levels?
Maybe it’s a combination both.
And sure, we will learn things first by doing, and then following rules, back again, or the other way around…It’s a viscous non-linear circle.
However with the good comes the bad
It is also important to point out that some other people may be following some wacky rules (bad advice) and may never gain a meaningful result, or even worse develop a bad habit because of an accidental gains.
We have all seen viral videos of like:
  • A guy eating pizza on the ab machine (result of bad advice)
  • People with bad or outright weird exercise form: The man or woman getting a pump or sweat (the contingency) but putting themselves at risk for serious injury

Health follows this same pattern. Having the right rules and contingencies can help guide a healthier (and in some cases safer) life.

INTRODUCING: BEHAVIORFIT’S FOUR PILLARS OF HEALTH

With the right foundation, you are bound to get your behavior moving in the right direction. BehaviorFit’s four pillars of health are selected with one thing in mind: playing the long-game. No shortcuts.

These are not tools to be used to one week, for 6 months, or until next year. Tools that are used for life.

Here are the BehaviorFit Pillars of Health:

  • Lift Weights
  • Move Every 30 Minutes
  • Sleep 8 Hours
  • Eat Fats, Avoid Carbs
Notes on the rule selection: These pillars are based on spending 100’s, if not 1000’s of hours reading research articles and books, listening to experts on podcasts, attending webinars and conferences, and watching relevant YouTube Videos and TED Talks. Most of my time was spent reading. Also, each source requires a scientific basis, and most sources are a PhD in the respective areas.
Notes on each individual rule: Brief reasons why each rule is important.
  1. Lift Weights – exercise science does the heavy lifting here (yes, that is a pun), the more muscle the better as we are all racing against the aging process; the more we age, the more that muscle wants to disappear and bones get weaker.
  2. Move Every 30 minutes – this is the hidden, dark world of physical activity and the expertise area of BehaviorFit, moving regularly is essential for both short- and long-term benefits
  3. Sleeping – if your body doesn’t have to recover and heal, you are operating sub-optimally every day
  4. Eat Fats, Avoid Carbs – we live in an abundance of processed foods and too much sugar, fats are important and good for you, much of the demonization of dietary fat is based on incorrect research claims

HEALTH REQUIRES HARD WORK

If you are not doing anything about it, then you are not doing anything about it.

There are no magic bullets to health. Just following one rule, may be great, but that success interacts with other areas. Expecting sleep alone to cure your ills is short-sighted. You workout more, but if you are not eating enough, then gaining muscle is unlikely. You might say, each of the rules is a magic bullet. But you will need each bullet, and the most important bullet of all is…our behavior.

BehaviorFit is rooted in behavioral science. A science that let’s you understand how and why things occur. And most importantly, different things matter to different people. It’s an approach that addresses individual behavior, on an individual basis.

Following the Pillars of Health may require you to learn something different, or even develop an entirely new skill. Success depends on this individualized approach to good health. And success is a process.

Just as it takes time to develop BAD habits, it takes time to develop good habits…and get rid of the old ones.

While rules are not everything, they can be a great start. The Pillars of Health shape the core foundation on what BehaviorFit views as a key principles to living a happy, productive, and meaningful life.

So, how strong are YOUR pillars. What pillars are missing? What pillars can be improved?

Join me in making everyday healthy choices a priority.

Keep moving my friends,

 

– Nick