Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.

Archive for the ‘ Fitness ’ Category

5 Nov

The 10 Rules of Successful Exercise

Regular physical activity is important, and everyone pretty much agrees, but life gets in the way. Most of us end up trying to fit exercise in around a busy schedule rich in sedentary behaviors. We’re sitting all the time. We’re spending countless hours at jobs we may not necessarily love. Responsibilities pile up and time slips away before […]

3 Nov

Dear Mark: Oxidized Coffee Oils, CrossFit or PBF After Injury, Enduro Mountain Biking, and Pressure Cookers

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got a four-parter. First, is it a problem if the oils in coffee beans are oxidized? Should we avoid them altogether? Is coffee coffee? Next, what should a guy who just recovered from an injury do for exercise: CrossFit or Primal Blueprint Fitness? After that, an enduro mountain […]

29 Oct

Better Than a Marathon: The 1 Mile Challenge

If you wanted schoolyard acclaim at my middle school, you didn’t bother with how much you could bench, how many pullups you could do, or how far you could throw a football. And you certainly didn’t bother with running a marathon. The true path to lasting seventh grade athletic immortality ran a mile in length. If […]

22 Oct

Are Elite Athletes Inadvertently Training Like Grok?

Modern elite athletes have different goals than our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Their training loads are higher and their physical activity is contrived and somewhat artificial. But for the most part, elite athletes are working with the same metabolic and neuromuscular machinery as Grok. The activities and movement patterns that benefited and shaped the evolution and performance of […]

7 Oct

Have You Checked Your Heart Rate Variability Lately?

People are always looking for that one biomarker to rule them all, the number on a paper that absolutely determines your health, longevity, fitness level, sex appeal, happiness, and productivity. Throughout the years, it’s bounced around as researchers think they’ve found “IT” – from cholesterol to LDL to BMI to small dense LDL to CRP to […]

6 Oct

Dear Mark: CrossFit and Carbs; How to Lose Weight as a Teen

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got two questions. First, I handle one from Heidi, a full-time CrossFitter with low body fat, a love for carbs, and a desire to burn more fat than sugar. Find out whether her love of CrossFit is compatible with her desire to stick to a low carb Primal way […]

24 Sep

Why Exercise Feels Like a Drag (and What to Do About It)

Sometimes while working out at home I catch Buddha (my lab) just kind of watching me doing squats or pushups or pullups or burpees with this look on his face that says, “You feed me, walk me, scratch me, and water me and I love you for it, but what in Dog’s name are you doing?” […]

11 Sep

How Exercise Makes Us Feel

How did you feel after your last workout? (Apply as many adjectives as fit the occasion.) Now think about how others perceive exercise. Let’s say you stop a random hundred people on the street and ask them how exercise makes/would make them feel. I’m going to guess you’d get an interesting cross-section of answers, likely […]

9 Sep

Rajio Taiso: Why You Should Start Doing Light Morning Workouts

In the early 1920s, MetLife Insurance sponsored daily 15 minute calisthenics programs to be broadcast over the radio to American audiences in an effort to make them healthier and fitter. It didn’t catch on here, but visiting Japanese officials loved the idea enough to bring it back to Japan. To commemorate the coronation of Emperor Hirohito […]

21 Jul

Dear Mark: Growing Appetite, Boxing as Cardio, and Ammonia Sweat

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m covering three questions from readers. First, how does a Primal family handle the growing appetite of a growing prepubescent without resorting to cheap fillers? It may involve reassessing our definition of “filler,” for one. Second, does boxing – an intense, demanding sport by any measure – qualify as […]

18 Jun

Have You Had a Breakthrough Workout Lately?

Yesterday, we discussed the importance of finding immediate value in your workouts. This makes exercise more enjoyable and more effective, and it also makes us more likely to want to do it. When we find intrinsic value in our workouts as they’re happening, exercise stops being a chore that we have to do to achieve some far […]

17 Jun

Do Your Workouts Feel Like a Chore?

Evolution tends to reinforce healthy, beneficial behaviors that improve the survival of members of a species by making them enjoyable. Sex, sleep, socializing, and animal fat either feel good, taste good, and sometimes feel and taste good at the same time not “just because” but because they are necessary components of a healthy, (re)productive lifestyle. And it’s not just […]

2 Jun

Dear Mark: Young Guy, Low Testosterone; RS for Babies; and Sprints vs Tempo Runs

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I answer three questions. First up is a young guy with low testosterone. He eats the right foods, does the right exercises, and has lived the right number of years, but he’s saddled with the testosterone of a much older man and wants to know why. Next, I discuss […]

15 May

Improve Your Workouts with This One Simple Trick

Every once in a while I run across a study that makes me laugh even as it makes me think. Such was one in a gaming journal (admittedly unfamiliar territory to me). The study assessed the comparative impact of varying degrees of “human-like, software-generated” workout partners (e.g. “a nearly-human-like, humanoid partner (NHP), a hardly human-like, software-generated […]

1 May

Does the Placebo Effect Apply to Exercise?

A couple weeks ago I highlighted a nutrition study that suggested even the body’s hormonal responses (not just self-reported “feelings”) could be impacted by how we perceive a particular food we eat. It’s the kind of thing that I feel like opens up life and health in an amazing way. Let me be clear that […]

28 Apr

Dear Mark: Leg Fatigue, Too Much Muscle Meat, Starch Persorption, and Hadza Study Author Responds

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got four questions. First is a question from a reader who exemplifies the “between a rock and a hard place” situation inherent to chronic cardio. Second, I address a reader who worries that I’m not worried enough about exclusive muscle meat consumption. Third, I give my thoughts on whether […]

1 Apr

11 Surprisingly Effective Exercises You Can Do Without Being “That Guy” in the Office

By now, the call for lots of low level activity has seeped into the mainstream. Every other week, it seems there’s an article in Slate or the Atlantic or your local news explaining how sitting is bad for us, or puttering around in the garden is good for you, or simply exercising a few times […]

25 Mar

Why Squatting Is So Important (plus Tips on How to Do It Right)

Just as we should eat the foods our bodies were designed to eat, we should move our bodies the way they were meant to move and impose the stressors they were meant to bear. That means squatting, and squatting often. Our hips flex, knees bend, and ankles dorsiflex so that we can rest comfortably in a […]

12 Mar

Are Bodyweight Exercises Alone Enough?

In my Primal Blueprint Fitness eBook, I promote a bodyweight training program. Though it can be modified with weight vests, at its core it is comprised entirely of exercises that use your own bodyweight as resistance – pushups, pullups, planks, rows, squats, and sprints. For the majority of people who try it, it works great […]

29 Jan

19 Tips for Avoiding Injuries During Sprint Sessions

Sprinting is a powerful asset to any training program. It’s brief and effective and long-lasting and reverberates throughout multiple aspects of health and performance. If you sprint regularly, you’ll likely improve your body composition, strength and fitness levels, metabolic flexibility, stamina, and explosiveness. Since sprinting is “going as fast as you can,” it’s infinitely and […]

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