Exercise: What to Do
So here’s the deal with exercise- and I’ll tell you upfront that this is one of the main reasons I really like Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint- his take on exercise makes sense to me.
Mark (among others) propose that humans were not meant to puff away for hours at a time in the gym in order to be healthy. No stair-steppers, no ellipticals, no intimidating machines or endless hours on a treadmill.
There are essentially 3 things you need to remember:
Move Frequently at a Slow Pace: strengthens the cardiovascular and immune systems, promotes efficient fat metabolism and gives you a strong base to handle more intense workouts.
Lift Heavy Things: stimulates lean muscle development, improves organ reserve, accelerates fat loss, and increases energy.
Sprint Once in a While: stimulates the production of HGH and testosterone, which help improve overall fitness and delay the aging process – without the burnout risk of excessive prolonged workouts.
There are also numerous daily activities that meet these requirements: running to catch the bus, walking across the parking lot, moving those heavy boxes in the attic, etc. Heck, any mother of a 3 year old does these things multiple times a day! This doesn’t mean, however, that you don’t need to do anything but these three things.
The Conventional Wisdom approach to fitness is clearly not working! Stress is excessive, weight loss goals are compromised, and many are misguided to pursue narrow fitness goals that are unhealthy.
- Avoid Chronic Cardio (frequent medium-to-high intensity sustained workouts)
- Avoid Chronic Strength Training (frequent and/or prolonged sub-maximal lifting sessions ending in exhaustion)
- Avoid Regimented Schedules (instead, allow for spontaneous, intuitive variation in type, difficulty and frequency of workouts)
Exercise so that you can be better at playing, and playing will become better exercise.
When you do something physical that you enjoy and have fun with- dancing, basketball, rollerblading, soccer, Martial Arts, tennis, surfing, and the list goes on and on…you’ll do it longer and with more intensity- and it will not feel like a workout. Athletes exercise regularly to maintain good speed, agility, balance, strength, and endurance for their sport of choice, and with good reason- not only does it make them better at their game, they are less likely to get hurt and are more physically fit.
There are plenty of specific exercises that build on those three basic concepts of moving more, lifting heavy things, and sprinting once in a while (lunges, pullups, jackknifes, pushups, bike riding, squats, rollerblading, planking, etc).
So get off that dreadmill, find something you love, and get out there and have fun!
So that’s the down-low on the why and the what. How about Paleo and Primal for weight loss?
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