On the second episode of Rootine’s new podcast, The Precision Health Pod, we welcome Ali Spagnola, content creator, comedian, all-around health enthusiast, and co-host of the Total Fitheads podcast.
In this episode, Ali and Rootine CEO and Co-Founder, Rachel, discuss the mindset shift that comes with choosing functional fitness goals over aesthetic goals, the health and nutrition tools that Ali’s loving right now, the importance of sleep, and how data can help you understand just how personalized health really is.
Continue reading for our top 5 takeaways from our conversation with Ali. And make sure to listen to the entire episode of The Precision Health Pod, available on all streaming platforms.
1. “There are other things beyond the elliptical.”
A figure skater and dancer since toddlerhood (yes, seriously—Ali started figure skating and dance classes at age two), when she stopped doing both in early adulthood, Ali filled the fitness gap in her life with running and marathons. “It was all cardio. Recently I realized there were other options. It was pretty eye-opening to learn I didn’t just have to be on an elliptical for an hour. Putting [my fitness journey] online helps other people see that there are other things [beyond] the elliptical.”
2. “I've been focusing on what I want to do with my body as opposed to what I want it to look like.”
In this episode, Ali and Rachel discuss how easy it is to get caught up in the aesthetics of fitness, and the mindset shift that comes with asking yourself: ‘What else can exercise do?’
“It’s so much easier to gamify when you’re trying to get a skill or move your lift numbers up, versus an aesthetic goal where you take pictures once a week or once a month, or you look at the scale. It’s tougher to get that immediate satisfaction. [Whereas if you] add five pounds to your deadlift, that is so much more fun and motivating.”
3. “Go as hard as possible and then sleep as hard as possible”
Sleep is a non-negotiable for Ali. “When I was growing up, culturally [the message] was, ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead.’ You had more clout the less sleep you had, because [it meant] you were so important and busy.” These days, Ali’s so serious about sleep that she uses different tools, like the Oura Ring and Whoop, to track and get in-depth analyses about her sleep cycles, skin temperature, blood oxygen levels and more. “Now I commit myself to nine hours in bed every night.”
4. “If you don’t have any feedback that [something] is working, it feels a little silly and wasteful.”
One of the things we do at Rootine is provide customers with a feedback loop and offer a dynamic approach to supplementation. You can waste time, effort and money on things like supplements if you have no mechanism to tell you if they’re working, what you should be feeling and if you’re feeling that way.
“You realize that health is personalized but when you really see it, you’re like ‘Wow I should not be listening to that body builder on Instagram’,” Ali told us. “Because even if he does know what he’s talking about, it’s still very specific to him and [with me], it could be completely different.” Her advice? “Pay attention to what is working for you. Test and retest.”
5. “Go toward what is pulling your passion and it will be effortless.”
“If something isn’t working, do something else. Which seems so obvious, but at [a certain] point in my life I didn’t know there were any options [other than cardio]. Make sure something really is serving you before you keep doing it. And do what’s fun! Don’t force yourself onto the treadmill unless you really enjoy that.”
Listen to the full episode here.