Being an entrepreneur means doing things differently: Creating new products and services. Finding new ways to solve old problems. To paraphrase Steve Jobs, being just crazy enough to change things.

That extends to daily habits like health and fitness. Ice baths are a big thing. (Even though ice baths really, really suck.)

Intermittent fasting is still big in tech circles; Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey only eats one meal a day. 

Dopamine fasting continues to grow in popularity. (Here's what happened when I tried a 24-hour dopamine fast.)

If you think some of those habits sound extreme, you're right. Just because something is good, supersizing isn't automatically better. Plus, any habit taken to an extreme is really hard to stick with.

Like eating 5 cans of sardines every day.

That's just one of the things serial entrepreneur and VC Craig Cooper recommends. According to Cooper, "Sardines are the #1 superfood... they're a powerhouse of nutrition, so I'm kind of an evangelist for sardines amongst everyone I meet."

Granted, sardines are good for you. One serving of sardines contains 17 grams of protein, half the recommended daily amount of calcium... and are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a substance that can lower bllood pressure, lower cholesterol, and increase the production of red blood cells.

But there's no scientific evidence that taking in 300 percent of the daily recommended amount of omega-3 acids is better than consuming, say, 100 to 150 percent. The same is true for vitamin B12, another nutrient that keeps nerve and blood cells healthy; just because you consume 1,500 percent of the daily requirement doesn't mean your body needs it -- or can absorb it. (Like a friend says about certain supplements, "At some point, you're just creating expensive urine.") 

Of course that's not all Cooper does. He loves a 22-minute power nap. He claims he naturally falls asleep at 10:24 p.m. every night.

He lifts heavy, since lifting weights helps fight off the affects of aging. As researchers say, "It seems as if the decline in the cellular health of muscles associated with aging was 'corrected' with exercise, especially if it was intense. In fact, older people's cells responded more robustly to intense exercise than the cells of the young."

He's into intermittent fasting, monitors his blood sugar levels on a daily basis, eats lots of healthy fats, and avoids commercial skin care products since they "suck your man-force out of you." 

Some of that sounds great. Some sounds a little odd.

But here's the thing:

  • Any form of exercise is good for you.
  • Any healthy diet is good for you.
  • Any routine that works -- that makes you feel better, increases your performance, increases your health, etc. -- is good for you.

Cooper has clearly found habits and routines he feels work for him. And that's what matters -- to him, and also to you.

You already try to optimize the outcome of every every aspect of your professional life: To be as efficient, effective, and productive as you can possibly be. 

The same should apply to health and fitness. 

While living a healthier life is a personal goal, health and fitness can play a major role in your professional success. While the physical benefits clearly matter, the mental benefits of improved health and fitness are huge: Mental toughness, perseverance, determination... all are important ingredients for business success. (And all can be developed.) 

Staying fit and healthy even more important if your work means sitting at your desk all day -- and, if you're an entrepreneur launching a startup, all night, too.

That's why routines matter. That's why developing consistent habits matters. 

There's nothing inherently wrong with Cooper's five cans of sardines per day regimen. It's not like he's eating five bags of chips. Sardines are good for you.

The same thing is true if you make it a habit to eat a chicken breast and salad for lunch every day. Or if you make it a habit to take a 30-minute walk every day. Or if you go on a dopamine fast every week or two (since a dopamine fast is really just taking a break from a mindless pursuit of fleeting stimulation.)

The key is to find things that are good for you, turn them into habits, and make them automatic.

And don't worry what other people might think. Like Steve Jobs said:

Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently.

They're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things.

They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Considered that way... maybe buying sardines by the casefull isn't so odd after all.

Published on: Nov 12, 2019
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