Luke Jones is a Movement Coach and Online Content Creator at HERO Movement. Through articles, videos, courses, and online coaching, his big goal is to help people discover freedom of movement and create lives filled with well-being & adventure.
I’ve found a lot of value in ancient philosophy, so The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday & Stephen Hanselman is a book I go back to a lot. As the name suggests, it contains daily reflections on ideas or quotes from Stoic philosophers. I seem to get a lot more out of briefly touching on personal development and philosophy on a daily basis, as opposed to reading a big book in one chunk. With the former, I find it’s easier to put ideas into action and stay accountable. On a similar vein, the Manual of The Warrior of Light by Paulo Coelho is another book I enjoy returning to. Again, it’s broken down into daily lessons and tidbits of wisdom that you can dip in and out of as you please. With regards to movement and physical training, Exuberant Animal by Frank Forencich is one of my favourites. It's a collection of essays on movement, play, wellbeing, psychology, biology and more. A great reminder that movement and health are holistic, interconnected practices, and there’s more than one way to approach them.
It may sound a little cliche, but one of the most valuable habits I’ve found during times of distress is to come back to the breath. Simply tuning in, then altering my breath patterns for a few breaths. That could be some simple nasal breathing or box breathing just to reconnect my mind with my body and hit the reset button. If I’m still having a hard time, I endeavour to ask myself whether this is something I can control? If yes, then what’s the next small step I can take? If no, then perhaps it's time to try your best to let go and move forward.
In the health and fitness space, it’s interesting to see how quickly something can go from being ‘a’ way to do something, to being ‘the’ way to do it. And if you're not following this specific training method, diet plan or whatever, then you’re doing it all wrong. All too often, this creates division, confusion, and reinforces the ‘us vs them’ mentality. It can be dangerous. It’s my opinion that there are many paths one can take to move well and live healthily. And there’s often more similarities between these supposed ‘camps’ than there are differences.
Giving myself permission to slow down and prioritise rest & recovery has made a big difference in my quality of life. I have a few underlying autoimmune conditions that I manage with diet & lifestyle modifications. Both physical and mental stress can be triggers, so making sure I don't overdo it is important. I grew up playing competitiveve sports and had a ‘go hard or go home’ mentality for the longest time, so rest and relaxation felt quite alien to me. Over the years my priority has shifted towards training smarter, as opposed to harder. Playing the long game, as opposed to giving everything I have right now.
At Hero Movement, I explore and share ideas in all things movement, wellness and adventure. It’s a place where I’m fortunate enough to learn about the things I’m passionate about and pass on those teachings and findings to anyone who wants to listen. I do that through free content on the blog, online programs and coaching.
I had dreams of being a professional athlete - first with football, and then with martial arts. I'm happy with the path I've ended up with though, and don't envy the pressure those guys face!
We’ve seen online personal training and Zoom sessions skyrocket over the last year. Thankfully this was something I had already been doing for a number of years, so I was fortunate I haven’t had to make any major adjustments. It’s been extremely tough though for gym owners and in-person coaches. I hope they’re able to rebuild and come back stronger when the situation improves.
I’m excited to have partnered with the guys at Playbook to provide my online movement programs in an app format. It’s a super user-friendly platform, and subscribers also get access to hundreds of other coaches and all of their content. I’m looking forward to building it out and sharing it this year!
That’s a tough one… It’s a tossup between a vegan burrito (with guac and hot sauce aplenty), some kind of Indian Thali mix, and I’m also partial to a vegan pizza from The Stable, Fistral Beach.
“Smile, breath and go slowly” - Thich Nhat Hanh.
My 4-year-old nephew consistently reminds me of the value of play, being kind and not taking life too seriously.
Take it slow, but keep moving forwards. Throw yourself into exploring the things that you're passionate about. Keep connecting with others. Opportunities will come from some of the work that right now may seem somewhat fruitless. Oh, and maybe buy some Bitcoin…
From a health and fitness standpoint, investing time into mobility and movement quality has been invaluable. I feel like this is the foundation for performing well, being able to move freely and get the most out of the physical activities you enjoy most in life - whether that's hiking in the mountains, surfing, or playing with your kids/grandkids.
Organic Spring Salad Greens Mix - I eat so much of this. It makes preparing salads so easy, has a lot of flavor, and is highly nutritious. It can be used as a salad as part of a "bowl" or even in smoothies for a greens boost.
I’m not sure if it's a hack, but getting a full night of good quality sleep is a gamechanger. For me, that’s ideally 8-9 hours. When I can do that on a consistent basis, everything is better.
The three-part breath: Inhale through your nose, directing the breath first into your belly, then allowing your ribs to expand in three dimensions, and finally filling the chest. Reverse and repeat. A great way to calm the nervous system and bring yourself back to now.
In the movement space, I admire what Kelly and Juliet Starrett have done to raise awareness and provide education around movement quality and mobility. Rich Roll was also someone I was influenced by a fair bit early on in my own journey as a creator and coach.
Right now, Heatwaves by Glass Animals. I listened to it a lot while running and training in lockdown and somehow haven’t got sick of it quite yet.
We’ve had some lovely trips to Italy and a few nice ones to Tenerife. Generally, I like chasing the coast, sunshine and ideally some mountains too.
Buying lots of stuff. Don't get me wrong, there are certain things that can provide us with a lot of value and enhance our quality of life. But as a general rule, I like the idea put forth by the Minimalists: "Love People, Use Things".
A small bowl of porridge oats and various seeds, topped with berries and dark chocolate, served with a protein shake and a big cup of green tea.
Heather Wilkinson is a globe-trotting content creator and PR enthusiast who’s finally put down roots in her native UK. When she isn’t working, you’ll find her pretending to care about Minecraft for her son’s sake, while secretly reading the latest Ace Atkins novel (or sleeping – her second favourite past-time).