🚰 Personal Health Checklist
Updated January 2024
Consult your doctor on the best course of action for you. This checklist is for my reference primarily, but hopefully, sharing it can help you too.
Nothing here is meant to be revolutionary. It is a checklist to browse and remind yourself to make better and healthier habits. I use this as a reference to ensure I regularly incorporate these items into a healthy life.
- Avoid processed foods: anything in a box or on the shelf and processed meats - to reduce overall sodium intake, fillers, etc that come with processed foods. Avoiding processed foods means you’ll generally eat more nutritious and less calorie-dense foods.
- Walk or do some simple exercise afterward to aid digestion and restore blood sugar levels.
- Limit alcohol or remove it altogether – it’s a toxin. Here is my favorite podcast episode on it: Huberman Podcast Episode 86: What Alcohol Does To Your Body, Brain & Health.
- Eat slower. Being in the present moment while eating can prevent overeating and help with better digestion.
- Drink more water. Usually, a good rule of thumb is at least 2L per day, but it could be more depending on your weight.
- Eat more fiber and vegetables.
- Prioritize protein and eat lean meat, fish, eggs, and nuts (rather than red meat and pork). From what I understand, some red meat is ok, but it’s best not to have it daily.
- The less sugar, the better.
- Aerobic capacity (V02 Max) is the strongest predictor of future health. Train VO2 max by maxing out your heart rate for four-minute periods through sprinting, rowing, HIT, or other intense, short-term cardio activities.
- It’s essential to strength training necessary to build and maintain muscle mass. Building muscle is much more difficult than keeping it, and your ability to create muscle declines significantly over age 40. Build muscle when you’re young!
- I was surprised to see how tight the data correlation is between daily step count and all-cause mortality:
It’s critical to prioritize daily walking!
- Mobility is essential, especially for people working on a computer all day. Stretching / yoga daily is helpful to maintain range of motion.
- Rebounding / Jumping on trampolines is great for your joint and ligament health.
Unless you take care of the basics like sleep, exercise, managing stress, and diet, supplements will only help a little. Overall, I get as much nutrition as possible from food and have deprioritized supplements. However, I take a few supplements daily to ensure I get enough of the basics.
Get your blood tested to determine what nutritional supplements you should take. Universal supplements challenging to get enough of in modern society include, but are not limited to:
- Psyllium husk / Fiber
- Collagen Peptides
- Vitamin D
- K2 MK7
- Omega 3 / Fish Oil
- Magnesium and Calcium
Here’s a video from a doctor on the supplements he takes:
- Sleep 7-8 hours per night; best to be at the same time every night. Make sure your room is dark and a bit cool. Change your pillow at least every two years to avoid the build-up of dust mites, etc. Silk pillowcases prevent wrinkles. Finally, some studies suggest that Melatonin ~2 hours before bed helps you get higher quality sleep (but I currently don’t do this).
- Brush your teeth daily and get your teeth professionally cleaned every six months. I was surprised to find that lousy mouth health is associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
- Take ice-cold showers and, even better yet, ice baths. Minimally has been shown to increase your mood and decrease inflammation.
- Regular sauna use is linked to significantly lower rates of cardiovascular issues and related deaths.
- Breathe through your nose primarily, especially at night. Flonase can help keep your sinuses clear. I started using nasal strips those seem to help me keep breathing through my nose.
- Interacting with animals has been shown to decrease levels of cortisol (a stress-related hormone) and lower blood pressure.
- Learn to breathe and meditate.
- People with a sense of humor live longer. And people who are optimistic live longer. Be optimistic and laugh more!
A meta-analysis from 6 prospective cohort studies (n=181,709) found that patients with a more optimistic mindset were at lower risk for all-cause mortality (HR 0.87, 95% CI 0.82–0.92). Less worrying, more living 😀✌️ (source)
Things I Do to Stay Healthy
Keeping Tabs on My Overall Health Data
- Measure weight with a smart scale at home regularly. It’s good to measure macro trends over months rather than day-to-day.
- HRV is a predictor of overall health. 0-50 is unhealthy, 50-100 is ok, and 100+ is healthy. You can see trends in your Apple Health app (I wear the latest Apple watch)
- Professionally test body composition, VO2 Max, and RMR through DEXA or BodPod. I do this every 6-12 months.
- Every 12 months, I do a blood panel through Inside Tracker and take the recommendations to a doctor for review. I also do a blood panel through my doctor every 12 months.
As mentioned, I’m looking for trends over time with this data. Weight can vary by 7 pounds depending on when I ate, how much water, etc.
Blood tests are super accurate but can change a ton as well. For instance, once, I had issues with my white blood cell count in one test, but it turns out I was just in the early stages of getting sick. To verify, I took another blood test three weeks later when I was over the sickness, which showed healthy results.
- Weekly gymnastics and dance class year-round.
- UPDATE 2/1/2024: In 2023 I ran 350+ miles! That’s a record for me since high school.
- In-ground trampoline, jumping ~20 minutes a few times per week.
- Straight-arm bar hangs for 60+ seconds (I used to do pull-ups but found bar hangs to be better for shoulder mobility) – my current record is 90 seconds.
- Daily stretching and handstands.
- I walk over 10,000 steps per day (last year average was over 12,000). I use the Apple Watch to track this. My rule is either 30 minutes of walking or running per day.
Diet and Supplements
Drink 1L of water in the morning and drink 1-2L more daily (2-3L total).
Mixed these supplements in 2 cups of Zero Sugar Chobani yogurt and Harvest Blend Back to Nature Trail Mix. Also add some walnuts.
- Collagen Peptides + Hyaluronic Acid (skin and joint health)
- Psyllium husk / Fiber (more fiber, the better)
- Creatine 5g
My Supplement Stack
- Vitamin D 2000
- Calcium 500 & Magnesium 250
- K2 MK7 100
- Fish Oil (I like Carlson)
Eat more vegetables! Here’s a picture of grilling recently where the only unhealthy thing on the grill is the bacon around the asparagus
I do not any special diet. No Keto, intermittent fast, or anything. The closest thing you could call me is Pescatarian, but I also eat Chicken.
UPDATE 10/1/2023: I cut out 90% of my alcohol consumtion and 100% of fried foods nearly a year ago. I try to avoid low quality oils and refrain from eating out at fast food restaurants. I also try to avoid processed foods, but I’m not perfect.
I started eating more berries because they are tasty and have a ton of antioxidants.
UPDATE 2/1/2024: I do fast, but only when my weight gets too high for sports where I like to be agile (right now gymnastics). I’ll skip eating for a day (water only) for ~30 hours. I can do this once per week if needed, but usually it’s just randomly here and there until I get back to my ideal weight band. By exercising my willpower through fasting occassionally, I learned to have more willpower throughout my entire life.
- Sauna 4-5 days per week
- Brush and floss daily
- Apply full-spectrum SPF in the AM
Update on 2/1/2024: I stopped doing cold showers and ice baths, but I want to get back into it.
- Hot baths with Epsom salt
- Cold showers and ice baths every day
- Walks around my neighborhood or back yard. Listening to Spotify/music while walking is amazing
- Apple notes app on my phone and mac to take notes (trying to move more to Obsidian)
- Blinkist to go through non-fiction books and take notes to improve my life
- Sharing notes through Discord communities of like-minded people
I’m now almost two years into developing and following all of these items. I’ve collected feedback from people that I’ll try to consider and incorporate in the future.
What did I miss? Tweet at me @1marc.