High Performance Lifestyle: 5 Important Health Lessons From The Singapore Grand Prix

High Performance Lifestyle: 5 Important Health Lessons From The Singapore Grand Prix

The Grand Prix is rolling around and win or lose, there is plenty to learn from Lewis Hamilton, three-time Formula One World Champion.

In 2015, at lap 34, Lewis Hamilton and the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS F1 Team called it a night as Hamiltons’s car was not performing. “I’m losing power” was what Lewis Hamilton told his team. This was Hamilton’s first non-finish for 2015. One of the comments between Lewis Hamilton and his team was “why risk the engine and car if you’re not going to get anything out of it anyway?”

In this wisdom, we can learn five important lessons about health and high performance.

1. Know Your Limits

A couple years ago when I attended Epson’s Technology Showcase with the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ team, we were granted an exclusive meet and greet with Mercedes team driver, Lewis Hamilton. One of the points Hamilton spoke about was to “know your limits.” He said, when you know your limits, you can push the limits and develop further.

This might seem obvious. Many people who run or workout at the gym know this, and are always pushing their limits to improve. They try to run faster or longer, and lift heavier weights. But this brings up a very important point. Are we pushing the right limits to develop better health and performance? Or are we pushing our limits on things that take away our health?

There are many people who push their limits too hard or too fast. There are others that push their limits on how long their body can last running on poor food intake or minimal hours of sleep. Others push their neck to the limit by using their phones any chance they can get. Which limits are you pushing?

2. Prepare 

During the press conference and interview with Lewis Hamilton on Friday, he was asked about his preparation and if he’s ready for Sunday’s race. He replied saying his preparations have started already. Preparations for the car had started. His own preparations had started, too. It wasn’t just about getting the fastest lap to pole position.

For us to perform at our best, and live life without limitations, pain and illness, we too need to prepare every day correctly. Whether you have an important work meeting, or you’re hosting a dinner party tomorrow, you need to get prepared. Of course, the preparations for your presentation and meeting should have been completed. But for you to be at the top of your game, you need to get yourself and your body ready.

Getting a good night’s sleep is the first step. That means turning off the computer, and choosing not to spend hours playing games, messaging friends, and soaking up all the social media on your phone. That way you are able to wake up early and cherish your morning. This may include exercising, enjoying breakfast, and planning your day. This will get your mind and body into the right mood, mindset and ready to give your best.

3. Get Involved

Another point Lewis Hamilton said during his interview was to “get involved.” He knows that technology is at its best right now, and yet technology is always improving. He plays an essential part of creating his car for 2016, which has already started. The more he gets involved, the more the Mercedes team can build a car that responds to his needs and style of driving, allowing him to perform at his best potential.

So too with our health, we need to get involved. I have some clients to see me for pain relief, and have literally ‘out sourced’ their pain and their health to me. They do not want to participate in the healing process. This is not a good approach. I have other clients who see other health care practitioners and personal trainers who give them exercises to do. But when I ask them what the goal of the exercise is and what they feel when doing the exercises they don’t know.

They just think that it should help, and they feel good because they are exercising, but they are not getting involved in their health the best way. One particular client of mine said she was given more exercises, and she feels she’s getting stronger and all the exercise are helping her low back pain. But why is she doing a one legged bridge when her two legged bridge exercise is in poor form and she’s not strong enough? When doing a standing one legged movement, why are you feeling the back and groin of the non-standing leg being exercised? What should be working is the hip that is bearing the weight.

We can start getting more involved with our health and how we perform by simply asking the right questions, and making sure your healthy habits are tailored specifically to your needs and ability.

4. Be Aware

During the race, Lewis Hamilton told his team “I’m losing power.” Hamilton knew in an instant that his car was not responding how it should. He had such acute awareness of himself and his car. This awareness and concentration is very important for all drivers, especially on the Singapore F1 race track, as the engines, tires and brakes run much hotter here than other races.

The same awareness and concentration is required when we push our limits to perform at our best. We need to keep conscious awareness of what our body is capable of, how it’s working and how hard we can push ourselves. When we go for a jog, when we do squats, and when we play with our kids, we need to pay attention to what we are doing. There’s no point is over exerting and risking injury if our body is signaling otherwise.

Do you pay attention when you are lifting or is it just a chore? Do you pay attention to your technique when doing sit ups? Or are you just going through the motions because you want a toned abdomen, and are just trying to hit the target number of repetitions?

5. Act Now/Early

In 2015, at lap 32, Lewis Hamilton, and THE MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS F1 Team called it a night as Hamiltons’s car was not performing. This was Hamilton’s first non-finish for 2015. One of the comments between Lewis Hamilton and his team was “why risk the engine and car if you’re not going to get anything out of it anyway?” For high performers, being able to perform is the number 1 priority. They wouldn’t do anything to risk their ability to be at their best.

This is a very important lesson to learn. Not many people, especially those who push themselves to the limit are ready to acknowledge and do. I know plenty of executives and managers who suffer with aches, pains, and other health concerns silently because their corporate environment is competitive. It’s their job and they must do what’s required no matter what.

They could easily be replaced by another colleague, or even worse, someone younger and ‘cheaper.’ But if they don’t act on problems like what Hamilton faced (a minor problem that he could have ignored, kept driving, and completed the race) they will more than likely end up worse. Like Hamilton, we should be aware of and be quick to address the concerns as they appear to avoid severe (but avoidable) damage and set-backs.

What’s going on in your life and your health that you are not addressing? What aspect of health is giving you pain and problems, but you choose to overlook it? Do you get any benefit from ignoring these signals? Play the long term game so you can be your best for longer, than entertain the short term moment.

Final Thought:

Though we can learn a lot from the champion of the 2015 Singapore Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel, we can also learn from the non-finishers, namely the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS F1 Team, and more importantly, Lewis Hamilton. Let’s strive to improve our health and performance every day, with these 5 lessons.

If you want to get involved in creating better health and performance, or need help to get you back to health and performing at your best, drop me message. We love seeing you get back to doing what you love, well!

Connect with Dr. Gary

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Dr Gary Tho

Dr Gary Tho is the founder of ChiroWorks, a health care clinic, specialising in peak performance for anyone who can’t afford an ‘off’ day. His clients include executives, corporates, professional athletes and artists. He is also a speaker & writer. Dr Gary conducts a variety of engaging health workshops and his book The Pain Free Desk Warrior - Free yourself from aches and pains will be launched in Oct 2015. Dr Gary is changing the world one posture at a time.

Edited by: Amber Valencia, Updated: September 12, 2017, Image credit: Lewis Hamilton by Jake Archibald – Flickr, And Vettel wins by Sofia K – Flickr

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