Educating yourself about your health can be discouraging. A lot of sources aren't empowering: especially if you live with chronic pain or another condition, they treat you like a victim. A lot of sources that are otherwise solid are dry as dirt: they're preachy and tedious to read. Add in the amount of out-and-out misinformation that exists about health and nutrition, and it's hard to figure out where to go for solid facts.
But don't worry. There are lots of creative, fun, empowering and fact-based resources out there. No matter your health status or fitness goals, you're sure to get something solid out of exploring these six resources.
Self-help author Tim Ferriss started his career as the author of The 4-Hour Workweek, in which he explained how to make a respectable amount of money while working -- you guessed it -- four hours a week. Since then, he's moved on to become the author of The 4-Hour Body and The 4-Hour Chef, which focus on fitness and nutrition, respectively.
Ferriss' focus is on figuring out how to get maximum results with minimal effort. He's not interested in fad diets or fitness regimens -- just results. With that in mind, he rigorously tests every single idea he comes across, on the best test subject he can find: himself. As a result, his style is very approachable and personable. Ferriss has found the systems that work best for his body, and while he admits he's not the same as everyone, he encourages his readers to try out and test the same regimens on their own bodies, to see what results they come to.
If you're looking for where to get started with Tim Ferriss but are hesitant to shell out money for his books, his podcast serves as a good free sampling of his material. Be sure to check out his list of five morning rituals. You might also appreciate his interview with "Iceman" Wim Hof, which goes over how Hof controls various body states that were previously considered involuntary. Through relatively simple breathing techniques, he knows how to withstand cold, fight off illness and improve overall well-being.
It's no wonder Joe Rogan's such an entertaining guy: he's a stand-up comic, and that infuses everything he does. He also is a martial arts enthusiast and became a color commentator for Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2002. He's a savvy, thoughtful guy, with a varied background that includes fitness, meditation and other pursuits. He has very little patience for mysticism and leans heavily toward factual evidence in everything he advocates, which makes him a solid, entertaining source.
His podcast is one of the best samplings of his material. Check out his interview with former distance runner Mark Sisson, where he discusses how to eat healthily in a way that's manageable and sustainable -- no matter your age. (Sisson is a very athletic, healthy 60 years old.) Rogan is also very active on YouTube; his videos give advice on topics like engendering the elusive state called "flow" and an interview with nutritionist Dr. Rhonda Patrick, who's done extensive research on micronutrient deficiencies and their role in the aging process.
A lot of High Existence's offerings aren't necessarily for everyone. It focuses primarily on psychotropic drugs and it takes a spiritual perspective that a lot of these websites don't. You'll find that High Existence's blog posts regularly question your assumptions about the mind, philosophy and the like, in a way that's engaging and promotes curiosity.
High Existence also recognizes that it's possible to change brain chemistry and the body via non-chemical means. Several of their articles focus on simple changes you can implement without chemicals, which can lift depression, soothe anxiety and bring focus to your life. Try a cold shower to increase your willpower, for instance, or some Buddhist mindfulness techniques to amplify positive moods and decrease negative ones. And the website takes a pretty tongue-in-cheek approach at times, as with its list of seven universal life lessons contained in every self-help book.
Netflix is for more than just vegging out. It has plenty of documentaries and other videos you're sure to enjoy. A lot of these vary in quality and reliability, of course: Netflix's editorial standard is one of entertainment, not factual accuracy. But with a discerning eye, you'll find plenty of information on Netflix you can apply to your approach to health and well-being. Many documentaries and series will give you only one side of the story -- but part of the platform's beauty is how it's easy to find another documentary on the same subject, to provide a counterpoint.
Netflix doesn't have many videos on exercise or fitness (yet). Instead, it excels at videos that deal with food and nutrition. Look for gems like Michael Pollan's series Cooked, documentary Forks Over Knives and Food, Inc., which focuses on the food industry's more destructive practices and encourages you to choose food consciously.
Equinox has a line of facilities including gyms, spas and other services designed to help cultivate well-being, along with a fitness-tracking app. But they also have a blog that goes over fitness topics -- ranging from the standard to the offbeat -- in a fun, approachable and useful way that's in line with Equinox' sleek signature style.
In addition to a regular curated playlist feature that'll make your workouts more fun, they offer information about all kinds of useful topics -- such as a discussion about the use of cannabis to treat period cramps, and the health merits of whole wheat versus white pasta. You'll learn something you can apply to your life, blog post by blog post.
Fitness expert Ben Greenfield provides tips on how to set and achieve fitness goals -- even one that may seem unrealistic or impossible at your current level of fitness. All of his materials focus on how to help you become "superhuman" in your endurance, strength, flexibility and other fitness metrics. What could be more intriguing?
Even if you yourself don't care to follow his "superhuman" plans to completion -- or don't want to -- you'll learn a lot from reading around. Check out articles guiding you through topics like how to breathe better or his podcast interview with Vince Del Monte, where he goes over proven ways to gain muscle even if you're a hard-gainer.
Fitness, health and nutrition don't have to be dry. Experts like these provide trustworthy information you can apply in your life how you please. No matter your starting fitness or health, you can become the best you can be.