In this episode of Bulletproof Radio, my guest, Greg Wells, Ph.D., shares ways to fully rest your body and your mind. You’ve likely been under some measure of sustained stress pretty much the whole first half of 2020. It’s taken a toll on your physical and mental health. And maybe your financial and social health, too.
Greg’s new book, “Rest, Refocus, Recharge: A Guide for Optimizing Your Life,” came out just a few months ago as lockdowns were getting underway across the world. So, our conversation about health and human performance, particularly under extreme conditions, is particularly relevant.
He’s a scientist and physiologist who makes the science of human limits understandable and actionable. He became a physiologist because he broke his neck body surfing in the ocean at age 15 while at a swim team training camp. That sparked his interest in the human body and how it adapts. He made a full recovery and swam in University ultimately making it to the World Cup level.
He’s also a travel and expedition adventurer who has journeyed through every imaginable terrain and conditions in over 50 countries around the world.
Throughout all of his athletic endeavors and adventures, breathing was paramount. We explore the breathing techniques for different activities and situations, what science is learning about the breath-brain connection, and how to go beyond flow.
“There's a medulla in the brain, which is where we control breathing,” Greg says. “It’s actually linked to the center of the brain that is also involved in stress regulation. If you take long, slow, deep breaths, you know that you can calm the body down. You can actually feel it. If anyone just takes three deep breaths right now, you're going to relax.”
“The other end of that spectrum,” he continues, “is if you want to activate the nervous system, you can exhale really hard. That's why tennis players for example, scream and exhale when they hit the ball. That activates the nervous system and increases your stress and your explosiveness. In between those two extremes are all the other things that we can do with our breathing.”
Greg offers simple and innovative ways that you can slow down. Whether you’re in a sport, doing a work project or spending time with your family, knowing how to breathe the right way at the right time is a true game-changer. You can also stop using a morning alarm and start using a bedtime alarm instead. Listen on to find out how!
Enjoy the show! And get more resources at https://blog.daveasprey.com/category/podcasts/
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