"That which does not kill us makes us stronger." Friedrich Nietzsche

People who make it through challenges they encounter in life usually come out of the other end stronger. They are more mentally adept to handle future struggles they may encounter because they have already encountered and successfully navigated from problem to solution.

Individuals who focus on and meet fitness and health goals are generally shaped by stronger mental fortitude, along with stronger bodies, because to build the body one must first have the discipline to do so.

You are what you eat is a common adage. I propose a revision to this age old truth: you are the result of the pressures exerted upon you. The pressures can be self imposed or external. Food is one element of the pressures, but they can also be physical or mental.

Humans tend to thrive in conditions which are less then stellar. The modern western citizen thinks they need a plethora of creature comforts in order to survive. If your only movements are from your plush bed, to your plush couch, to your plush leather car seats, to your plush cubicle desk - what is the result?

Since there are no pressures exerted upon you, you are likely to expand in size and feel soft to the touch.

If you hit the gym regularly, go outside, bike to work despite the weather, and live a healthy lifestyle - what is the result?

Since there are several pressures exerted upon you, you are likely chisled out of flesh and bone and feel firm to the touch.

Hormesis

Here is a list of things known to increase lifespan:

  • low-dose radiation
  • toxins
  • pathogens and infections
  • heat and cold
  • hypoxia (oxygen starvation)

This phenomenon is known as hormesis, and has been known since the ancient greek civilization. The body produces favorable responses to low dose toxins and stressors.

Your body needs to be physically pushed. Your immune system needs a fight to stay active. Your mind needs to be constantly tested. You need a battle.

Here are some safe ways to activate this response:

  • Cold showers
  • Keep your heat low in the winter
  • Don't use air conditioning
  • Eat cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, collard greens)