Thanks to social media, there’s an abundance of health tips and tricks that claim to get you in the best mental and physical health you can possibly be. But most of them are supported by evidence of dubious origin (usually anecdotal).
With that being said, when a neuroscientist who’s also a tenured professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine posts health tips on their Instagram, it’s fair to say that the tips are legit.
Of course, we’re talking about Dr Andrew D. Huberman who recently took to both Twitter and Instagram to share his “top 3 science supported tools for mental and physical health.”
So, what are the tips?
The first is “morning sunlight viewing” which essentially means exposing yourself to direct sunlight first thing in the morning (not looking into the sun though: that could burn your retinas). Dr Huberman says this will help “set circadian rhythm” as well as your mood and ability to focus.
Secondly, Dr Huberman recommends that you spend a minimum of 3-3.5 hours doing moderate cardio per week for “cardiovascular health.”
The third health practice is Non-Sleep-Deep-Rest (NSDR), which involves either a type of meditation where you listen to a script, hypnosis or Yoga Nidra (a state between waking and sleeping, usually brought on by a guided meditation). Dr Huberman says that you should engage in NSDR for 10-30 minutes, 3-7 times a week. This will help with stress mitigation and cognition.
Dr Huberman explains that while there are lots of ways to support your health, doing these three things, in particular, daily is extremely beneficial.
“There are many excellent tools and practices to support mental and physical health and performance,” he says. “The top three listed here, however, have a lot of quality science to support them, are zero cost, and lead to outsized positive effects when performed regularly, ideally every day.”
“All three also indirectly support sleep which ultimately is the foundation of our ability to regulate our thinking and emotions, energy, physical recovery and possibly even longevity. So by doing these three things on a regular basis (daily is best), we support sleep as well.”Dr Huberman
Many Instagram users commented on Dr Huberman’s post saying they’ve tried his recommended practices and are already seeing a difference, with one user writing, “I have tried all three and they make a huge difference in my energy level. Thanks for sharing science with us.”