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A day in the life of Dr. Mercola

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

Story at-a-glance -

  • This week, Mercola.com celebrates its 22nd anniversary. In response to popular demand, I share what my typical day looks like, and the strategies I rely on to maintain my health and a good quality of life
  • I typically start my day with a glass of hydrogen water, followed by a meditative movement exercise at sunrise, a morning workout, sauna and quick swim, and a recovery smoothie
  • Once my morning work is completed, I will take a walk on the beach, followed by lunch, which is the main meal of my day
  • After lunch, I perform exercises to improve bone density and correct my cervical curvature
  • I finish my day with a sunset meditation and photobiomodulation therapy, and make sure I go to bed early enough to get a full eight hours of sleep each night

This week, Mercola.com celebrates its 22nd anniversary. I launched the first, much smaller version of this website in 1997 to share the latest developments in natural health with the world. Thanks to health-conscious readers like you, it's grown to become a leading source of health news and information. 

When I had an active medical practice, I was able to help tens of thousands of patients address their health problems using strategies such as diet, exercise and other safe and effective means, but I was convinced I could help magnitudes more people on how to get healthy through this newsletter.

Based on the feedback I've been getting through the years, this strategy has proved itself a resounding success, as many readers report having regained their health by following the advice given here.

Many have asked me to share the details of my own lifestyle and the above "A Day in the Life" video was created to satisfy that request. The first one I did was done three years ago, and I've altered my routine fairly significantly since then. I'll provide a summary of my daily routine below, but I would really encourage you to watch the video.

Keep in mind that these are not universal lifestyle recommendations that will apply to everyone. They're what works for me at this stage in my life and I am quite certain that by next year, it will have significantly changed again. It is an individual journey we all need to discover. That said, hopefully, seeing what I do, you may get some ideas for things you can do to help you feel better and stay healthier.

My morning routine — getting the day started right

My morning typically starts before sunrise. First thing, before I leave my bedroom, I perform a few simple exercises — which I repeat again at night — using a cervical traction device attached to my doorframe, and a weighted head cap.

While I'm asymptomatic, an X-ray revealed some degeneration in my lower cervical spine that could develop into a problem later on, which is why I'm doing these corrective exercises. Next, I take care of my sprouts. I have several batches at different stages of growth, so I go through each one, planting, watering and/or rinsing each as needed.

As a general health recommendation, I encourage you to use incandescent light bulbs in areas you use all the time, such as your kitchen and bathroom, as the light they emit more closely resembles natural light. LEDs emit mostly blue light with virtually no near-infrared light and don't provide a full spectrum, are digital and frequently emit dirty electricity.  

I no longer eat breakfast. Instead, I start my day with a glass of molecular hydrogen. Next, I go outside for my sunrise exercise — a slow-moving, meditative Tai Chi-type exercise while gazing at the rising sun on the eastern horizon. (Done early enough, it's safe to look directly at the sun.) After that, my workday begins. My office is equipped with a standing desk, where I process my emails.

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Morning workout

Around 9 a.m., I do a morning workout in my upstairs gym. As noted in the video, the workout I demonstrate is the strength training routine I do twice a week. On other days, I don't work out as hard. Normally, I will listen to a video or podcast during my exercise, through a hardwired laptop (to avoid electromagnetic field radiation from Wi-Fi). Here's a summary of my exercise routine:

1. Warmup — To warm up, I perform a series of stretches and movements to maintain flexibility, range of motion and coordination:

1) Windmills (using a hand weight)

2) Indian clubs

3) Egoscue stretches

4) Quad stretches

5) Cat-cow yoga pose

6) Up-dog/down-dog yoga pose

7) The plow

8) Arm and leg stretches

9) Pushups

10) Dips

11) Pullups

12) Ankle grab situps

2. Strength training with blood flow restriction (BFR) therapy — BFR is a novel type of biohack that allows you to do strength exercises using just 20% of the max weight you'd normally be able to lift, while still reaping maximum benefits.

It involves performing strength training exercises while restricting venous blood flow return to the heart (but not arterial flow) to the extremity being worked. This is done by wrapping the extremity being worked with a cuff that mildly restricts blood flow.

By forcing blood to remain inside your muscle while it is exercising with low weights, you stimulate magnificent metabolic changes in your muscle that results in great improvements in strength and size with virtually no risk of injury.

For this reason, it's particularly well-suited for the elderly. For more in-depth details about how to do BFR, you can review my recently added instructions in our Exercise Guide.

You can also review an interview with Jim Stray-Gundersen, a leading proponent and teacher of BFR training in the U.S. I will be focusing on this topic with many more interviews and articles this year.

3. Hot/cold therapy — After my workout, I spend 20 minutes in my near-infrared sauna, which is directly followed by a swim in my unheated pool. In the winter the water temp drops to the low 60s or 50s (Fahrenheit) and is an effective form of cold therapy. An alternative would be to simply take a cold shower afterward.

Post-workout recovery

Once I'm done with my morning workout routine I use my hyperbaric oxygen chamber for 90 minutes and then I take my morning supplements, which include:

Apple cider vinegar

Biosil

Lumbrokinase, alternated with serrapeptidase and nattokinase (proteolytic enzymes)

B vitamins, including a sublingual vitamin B12

Vitamin K2

Zinc complex

Beta glucan

Rhodiola

Iodine

Ashwagandha

Complete Restore

Full spectrum enzyme

Liver complex

MSM

Ubiquinol

Hemp oil

Salmon oil

Probiotics

Next, I prepare a morning smoothie with boron, raw cacao butter, astralagus, flaxseeds, calcium citrate powder, potassium citrate, L-carnitine, acetyl L-carnitine, beta alanine, glutamine, L-citrulline, Miracle Whey, Lakanto vanilla monk fruit extract (for a bit of sweetness), coconut oil, three raw organic pastured eggs, half an avocado, frozen blueberries from my orchard and water.

I typically only eat between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., so this is the first meal of the day. I almost always work out in a fasted state. The two raw eggs in my smoothie provide me with the needed protein after a strenuous resistance workout. At bare minimum, I recommend compressing your eating window to eight hours, and fasting for the remaining 16 hours each day.

Compressing it to six or even four hours is even more beneficial. By fasting for a period of time each day, you activate powerful regenerative processes in your body, which will go a long way toward keeping you healthy.

I'm now 65 years old, and I have no pain anywhere in my body, and have no disease, and my mobility is good — all of which is what allows for high quality of life.

Afternoon routine

After this, I batch process emails again before taking a walk on the beach. In preparation for my daily walk, I take another glass of molecular hydrogen, along with a small handful of fermented chlorella, which are exceptionally rich in chlorophyll. The molecular hydrogen helps my body recover from the oxidative stress of the exercise I just did in the morning.

I moved from Chicago to Florida to take advantage of year-round sunshine, and live within a short bike ride of the beach. I walk barefoot in the surf to avail myself of the negative ions from the ground, which act as potent antioxidants, and wear only shorts and a hat, to get sun exposure on as much of my skin as possible.

I've not needed to take an oral vitamin D3 supplement since I moved to Florida, and the reason for that is because I make sure I get daily sun exposure. As you probably know, when sunlight strikes your bare skin, it activates your body's natural vitamin D production.

The near-infrared spectrum in sunlight also has other healing influences. For example, it recharges your mitochondria and helps structure the water in your cells, and this may be just as important as vitamin D production. Normally, I will read a book or scientific literature on my Kindle as I walk. My goal used to be to read 150 books a year but now it is closer to 50 and I am reading about 2000 studies a year.

Needless to say, taking daily beach walks is not something that is available to everyone. However, wherever you live, make a point to spend time in nature — walk in the woods, hike the mountains, stroll through a park.

Most of us will have access to some form of natural surroundings nearby, and spending time in nature is a really basic strategy for good psychological and physical health. Before I leave the beach, I hop in and play in the waves for 10 to 15 minutes or merely float. This is really the best type of grounding of all.

Afternoon routine

Lunch typically consists of grass fed ground beef and a salad. Fresh sprouts form the base of the salad, to which I add some organic peppers and cabbage, biodynamic olives, nori (a type of seaweed) and Himalayan or Celtic sea salt.

Many of the foods I eat every day are grown right on my property, using regenerative agriculture methods. I grow blueberries, persimmon, bananas, avocado, Japanese plum, mango, regular plums, acerola Barbados cherry, turmeric, peaches, kratom and aloe vera.

In my pond, I also raise bass, red tilapia, crawfish, freshwater shrimp and turtles. I also have a composting pile and a chicken coop. Growing your own food is a foundational way to improve your health. Growing sprouts is a simple way to get started, as they're easy to grow and deliver the most beneficial nutrients pound for pound, compared to other vegetables.

Once a week, after lunch, I perform a few more exercises using a device called Osteostrong,1 developed by John Jaquish, Ph.D., author of "Osteogenic Loading." As the name implies, it's designed to improve your bone density, which becomes a concern with advancing age. Each of the four exercises takes just 15 seconds, so in terms of time investment, we're talking mere minutes a week.

Evening routine

As the sun begins to set, I do an evening meditation and the same Tai Chi exercise as at sunrise, this time looking into the setting sun. Next I perform the same cervical exercises I did first thing in the morning, followed by photobiomodulation therapy. I place the machine (which is entirely shielded and EMF free) about 2 feet away and treat the top of my head for about 10 minutes.

Last but not least, I make sure I go to bed early enough to get a full eight hours of sleep each night. To ensure correct posture while sleeping, I place the pillow sideways under my neck, so that it cradles my neck and head, and to prevent mouth breathing and snoring, I will place a piece of paper tape across my lips. It might look silly, but it does the job. You simply cannot breathe thorough your mouth with it on.

Have you taken control of your health?

I hope you enjoyed this "Day in the Life" video, and that it has given you some new ideas of what you can incorporate into your own day. Again, you probably will not want or need to pattern your day precisely after mine, as the strategies I employ are tailored to my own current needs. But hopefully you'll be inspired to make whatever changes — be they big or small — to improve your own health and quality of life. 

+ Sources and References