Quality vs Quantity

Sitting at the station, I was updating the roster for the year with the Assistant Chief, talking about the applicants we’ve had over the last few years. Who has stuck around? Who has become an asset to the department? Who needs a little more one-on-one training? I made the comment that it would be awesome if we had a full roster and ended up with a waiting list of applicants, but overall, I’m more concerned with the quality of members not the quantity.

This started me thinking about how often I used the phrase, “Quality over Quantity” or something similar to describe an aspect of life.

I think Dr. Mark Hyman, MD at the Cleveland Clinic, started me using quality over quantity in relation to food, specifically calories. When it comes to diet, it’s rarely about cutting calories – most people actually need to add calories to their diet. It’s about the quality of those calories you eat! You can eat 1,000 calories worth of take-out pizza, but you’re likely to feel sluggish, bloated, and soon be hungry again. Compare that amount of pizza to 1,000 calories of a Sunday, grass-fed roast with a plate full of vegetables and homemade bread from a nutrient-dense flour (like einkorn) spread with full-fat, grass-fed butter. Those are calories you want! Those calories are a better quality than the pizza, and you’ll probably have left-overs for lunch the next day, saving you money!

Let’s talk about quality over quantity when it comes to exercise. You can go to the gym or get a work-out in every single day, but if you have no idea what you’re doing you’re not only going to struggle to reach your goals, but you’re also putting yourself at increased risk for injury. Your body needs rest. You need to use proper form and mechanics for each movement. Those movements need to be purposeful. If your goal is to be able to have a 300# deadlift max, doing 3 x 10 of bicep curls followed by running a mile isn’t going to help you reach that deadlift goal!

Finally, let’s look at sleep. I think most of have been taught since we were little in school that adults need to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. However, most of us know from experience how elusive that 8 hours can be! Or, you’ll get that 8 hours, but it will be a restless sleep. Tossing and turning, maybe getting up for a drink or changing the thermostat. Even without research, I’ve found that I function better when I sleep as if dead to the world for even just 4 hours then 8 restless hours. Well, guess what! Research is now backing that style of sleeping. In this last week, several studies were published in credible sources that said breaking up those 8 hours into shorter periods of good quality sleep is better for you; it actually reduces the risk of high blood pressure and other cardiac problems. Obviously, more studies need to be done, but this is good news for those of us who don’t sleep well for 8 hours in a row!

I’ve cut out poor quality relationships in my life in favor of stronger, better quality relationships where we both grow as individuals, encouraging each other.


What other areas of your life can you work on quality over quantity?

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