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A short introduction to baseline wellness
A short introduction to baseline wellness

The foundations for living well

Jami Tikkanen avatar
Written by Jami Tikkanen
Updated over a week ago

Baseline wellness is a simple way to start exploring how different activities might impact your performance and recovery. It is a way to identify the essential foundations, and to prioritise where you could start by asking the question “What would kill me first if I’d stop doing it?”.

Here’s a list that seems obvious to us:

1. Breathing 

2. Hydration

3. Sleeping

4. Eating 

5. Movement


The longest recorded breath hold (with breathing pure oxygen before the attempt) is an incredible 24-minutes and 3-seconds. You probably won’t make it that long though and there is much more to breathing than just holding it. Breathing affects every aspect of your being from physiology and brain function to movement and mental state. Learning how to assess and work on your breathing habits, biomechanics and biochemistry will help you perform and recover at a higher level.


Andreas Mihavecz has been reported to have gone 18-days without water when he was forgotten in his Austrian prison cell in 1979. More likely, you can survive between 3 to 7-days without water depending on your environment and activity levels. Understanding how hydration affects your wellness and performance allows you to build a sustainable and adaptable practice based on your needs.


In 1964, Randy Gardner took part in an experiment for a science fair where he stayed awake continuously for 11-days and 25-minutes. Sleep has an immediate and powerful effect on your health and your performance. Your body recovers its neurotransmitters, repletes energy sources, repairs tissues, renews immune system, releases growth-hormone, etc. all during your sleep. Insufficient (in quality or quantity) sleep means reduced brain, physical and immune function. Not enough sleep = poor performance, increased injury risk and reduced ability to adapt to training stimulus (never mind poor health). Quite simply, great athletes sleep well and so can you. 


The longest reported, medically supervised fast is an astounding 382-days. While you can survive for long periods of time without eating, it is essential for you as an athlete to eat well. Learning and applying the principles of effective nutrition allows you to develop an approach that both suits your lifestyle and matches your goals.


Your ability to move is your ability to engage and interact with your environment. It might also be the reason why you have a brain. Moving well forms the foundation of your athletic performance. The basic currency of your training is a repetition. Therefore the quality of your training is determined by the quality of your repetitions. Developing safe, efficient, and effective movement patterns will make you a better athlete.

We would love to hear from you!

Thank you for reading this article. We would like you to stay with it for a little longer to think about these two questions:

  1. Which of the elements of baseline wellness are you already doing well on?

  2. Which ones are you still hesitating on? Why?

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