Understanding how the world works means understanding how to create a healthy, prosperous, and successful life. A large part of that is making sure we build good habits, like exercise.

Here’s a transcript of our conversation:

Emma: Hi, Brittany.

Brittany: Hi, Emma.

Emma: So today I thought it’d be fun to do a little bit of a different episode, a little bit of a different topic than we typically do. I wanted to talk about why exercise is important and what that has to do with our economy, our country, our personal lives, and personal responsibility. I think it ties in a lot with sort of these themes of taking care of yourself and you know, ultimately taking accountability for your life. And we talk about that stuff all the time. And I know that we’ve also talked a lot about healthy routines, things that you can do to make sure that you are, you are living your best life. And I know Brittany and I both are big fans of getting regular exercise and having a healthy routine. And I just thought that we could maybe chat about that a bit today. So I guess to start off, maybe I’ll share sort of how I get my exercise in and what I like to do day-to-day. And then maybe Brittany you can, and then we’ll go into a little bit of like, why this matters to us and then kind of connect it to the broader big picture. but for me, I really love lifting weights and I know not all kids, I don’t know if the science on this has shifted at all, but when I was growing up, it was, I think you were supposed to wait until you were like 12 or 13, at least that’s what they were saying. But lifting weights is a really great form of exercise. It makes you stronger, you build muscle, your body just gets a lot more energy throughout the day. It’s awesome. And I’ve mentioned this before, but it really helps me focus when I go do something really challenging like that. It kind of like evens out my energy and gives me the ability to really sit down and focus on what I need to do during the day. And then I also do a martial art called Brazilian Jiujitsu, and it’s more of like a combat sport and it’s kind of like, it looks like, my friends call it aggressive hugging, but you’re kind of like wrestling. So it’s fun. Joe Rogan and Jocko Wilin, they talk about it all the time. They definitely got me interested in it. So I do that a couple of days a week as well. And I find that like the competition competitive aspect of it, of actually like rolling around and fighting with someone really makes me forget that I’m doing cardio, which is super nice. So that’s kind of what I do throughout the week. And then I try to take lots of walks during the day. I have a dog that really helps cuz she’s gotta go out, someone’s gotta walk her. So I find that the fresh air and kind of getting moving, especially if I’m starting to feel sluggish Yeah. It Really, really helps me. So that’s kind of what I do. Brittany, do you wanna share maybe, what your exercise routine looks like?

Brittany: Yeah, absolutely. And I will have to admit I have been bad about it since, cuz I’ve been recovering from COVID and then oh, oh, getting like cold after. So it’s been like, ah, but so what I typically do, and it changes in the winter, in the summer, so in the summer I love being outdoors. I’m a vitamin D addict. I like to get out in that sunshine. I’m also a crazy person who loves humid, heat. So I’m like, oh, does it feel like a wet blanket out here? awesome, let’s go running. So that’s what I try to do. And I try to do like four to five miles when I go. And sometimes it’s a walk, sometimes it’s a run, sometimes it’s a jog. It just depends. But that’s been so good for my mental health and for you know, just, just, just getting all my work ethic even, right? Because I get a little distracted as I’ve talked about before. So running has been really good for me. That’s what I do in the summer now I found my two coworkers, I call them my lifting bros. In fact, they started calling me Brocney cause I’m a bro, a lifting bro. They changed my name to Brocney. It’s very funny. I love it. So they take me, we in the morning, I live right by a gym and my work pays for some of my gym paths. So I go there, I’ve been waking up at like five 30. I go there at like seven. We do some lifting and then, you know, go home. But I also do, I walk everywhere. I don’t have a car and in DC I can do that. So I’m always getting out of my house in some way. And I really like that cuz it forces me to be active. I also go dancing. I’m a big dancer so I can burn. Sometimes I burn like 1500 calories in a night dancing. Wow. Because it’s just constantly moving. And so that’s really good for me too. And again, like you were saying, it’s not just that it keeps me in shape and it keeps me, you know, it keeps me, looking the way I wanna look. I think the biggest thing is really my mental health, especially during COVID, that’s when I started exercising consistently. Cuz I was working from home. I was at my home all day. It was like, I can’t look at my wall anymore. Like, this is terrible. And I was like, you know what? I, the gyms are closed but I can go outside and run. Totally. And so for me, that’s where it started. And then it turned into like, oh, I’m stressed. You know what, I’m gonna go for a run. Cause if I’m running, I, instead of sitting here like fidgeting and worrying, I’m doing something physical. Yeah. And I’m, you know, I’m doing something instead of sitting here. So mental health is probably one of the biggest reasons that I do it.

Emma: Yeah, I have to agree too. I didn’t go as much into my reasoning, but I think you mentioned focus, it really, really helps me with focus. Cuz like I said, that’s something that I struggle with sometimes, but also mental health-wise, if you’re dealing with, you know, negative feelings or maybe you’re feeling anxious or worried about something or you’re just kind of like spinning out and not feeling great in your mind and getting two in your head going and actually exercising has amazing benefits for doing Oh yes. Those feelings. It really helps you. I don’t know even how this works and maybe someday we’ll have to get like a, you know, medical expert or some sort of personal trainer or something on here to talk about why this is the way it is. But it is, it almost feels like magical how, how big of a difference it can make when you’re feeling bad to work out. And it’s funny cuz it’s probably the last thing that you would wanna do. I know for me sometimes if I’m feeling bummed out or stressed or anxious, it’s kind of the last thing that I am gonna wanna go take myself and do. But I’m always so glad when I do because I feel so much better. So that’s one element of it. But also we have really saw seen in the last two years or so since COVID has started and the lockdowns have started, how important, you know, being healthy is in avoiding viruses like COVID or being able to recover from them quickly. You know, it’s, it’s not fun to talk about, but one of the main, it’s called comorbidity. And basically, it’s something where if you are, you know, extremely overweight or obese or if you have heart disease, there is a much, much higher chance that you’re gonna suffer bad complications or even die from COVID. Which, you know that’s really scary. But the good news about that is heart disease and obesity are something that we can control. You know, we can take accountability for our lifestyle and we can do things, you know, starting today, starting tomorrow to protect ourselves from those risks.

Brittany: Listen to the episode, listen to the episode.

Emma: Exactly. You can go on a walk or a run or you know, pick up something heavy, whatever you wanna do. There are so many awesome ways to exercise and you know, like we said, not only just the mental health benefits, but you can actually protect yourself from, you know, negative diseases like diabetes and heart disease and stuff like that.

Brittany: Even, dementia with weightlifting, yes they’ve seen a lot of,  just correlations between older people who weightlift and their brains staying intact more.

Emma: Exactly. And it can be tough sometimes to stay disciplined and to figure out what works best for you, but it can also be a really great way to meet people and make friends. If you’re on some sort of sports team, and I know, you know, as kids it’s a lot easier to join sports. So I would say take advantage of that now, while you can, because once you’re an adult it’s, you know, you have to join like recreational leagues and figure out a way to do it. So if you have an opportunity.

Brittany: That’s a good point it gets harder.

Emma: It does. And you know, it’s easy too when you’re a kid to not think about that stuff cuz kids do tend to be more active. But I will say, you know, not to be like, oh, back in my day, even when I was growing up, screen time was not as much of a daily habit. You know, my parents were always pretty conservative with how much screen time they would let us have. Cuz there’s always been something, it’s either the TV or sitting on the phone or whatever. Oh yeah.

Brittany: Even talking on the phone, that used to be big, back in my day as you said.

Emma: Yeah, totally. Yeah. You got your landline and you chill there and talk on like these group calls all night. But oh yes, group calls. There’s always, there’s been stuff that like wants to pull us away and distract us. But I think even for attention span exercise is so awesome for that. But also it’s the underlying idea that’s so important to me is that when you exercise, you’re really taking accountability for your own health. And that’s something that we just have not seen a lot of people doing over the last year. And Brittany, I don’t know if you have any thoughts on this, but it’s almost like people believe, hey, if this other person doesn’t get their vaccine, then mine won’t work. Or if you don’t wear a mask, yes, then mine won’t work. When in reality we all have way more control over our health than most people realize.

Brittany: One thing that has really bothered me through all this, and again, if you want to get a vaccine that is 100% your choice, but that’s the only solution, right? So nobody’s getting better. Nobody’s saying, you know what like I said, that this really, the whole pandemic really encouraged me to exercise. Me too. But they’re not, the government’s not saying, why don’t you go exercise more? Yeah. They’re saying just get the vaccine, that’s all you need to do. Nobody’s saying get more vitamin D and go for a walk. And that is shocking to me, Emma. It’s actually very scary because they’re saying the only way to fight this pandemic is through, you know, getting a jab. And it’s like, and then there’s like 15 jabs now. Now it’s three shots and it’s gonna be four shots. It’s like, wait a second, where does this end just get healthy? And I’m not saying healthy people don’t get COVID. They do, but your chances of being okay are a lot better if you’re working out.

Emma: It’s true. Yeah. And that was a huge thing for me to is during COVID just sort of seeing wow, people who are in, in good shape and who are eating a healthy diet and not having a ton of sugar or, you know, really refined processed foods and who work out every day, they are really having an easier time beating this. And that was, it was inspiring for me. And it’s also kind of scary to think about, you know, the burden on our government and the amount of money that’s spent every single year on, you know, fixing heart disease or treating heart disease patients and those sorts of things. I think it’s a problem that’s only gonna get worse. And unless more people step up and say, Hey, you know what, I can take accountability for my own health, I’m gonna do it. And I think it starts on an individual level. One stat that I will tell you guys is I think I read, gosh, was it 40% of like early deaths of basically not dying of old age in the United States are from heart disease, which is something that, you know, is very much preventable with a healthy diet and with exercise. So, those numbers are very scary. But also we have a little bit of hope here. There is a silver lining because we can control it. So that’s why we’re talking about exercise on a podcast. That would on the surface have nothing to do with exercise because it’s a matter of personal responsibility. So anything to add, Brittany, before we wrap it up here?

Brittany: No, I think this is a great topic and really important.

Emma: Awesome. Cool. Well, yeah, I encourage you guys finds, find a way to exercise that you like and that’s fun, and best of luck. It’s a new journey to start and it can be very positive. So we will talk to you guys all again soon.

Brittany: Talk to you soon.