A couple weeks ago, I received an enthusiastic email from a group of Aussies. They were planning on competing in the World’s Toughest Mudder (WTM), a perversely-warped, extreme version of the regular Tough Mudder that has contestants complete as many 8-10 mile circuits as they can in a single 24-hour period. To get the spot in the WTM, their four-man team had to place in the top 5% of finishers in the Melbourne Tough Mudder, so they aren’t physical slouches by any means. They’re also Crossfitters, rugby players, and avid Primal eaters. Simply put, these guys make us real proud.
Many of us enjoy exercise, probably more just tolerate it, but have you ever known someone to detest it with every fiber of their being? Today, we have a question from a reader with precisely that issue. She hates exercise, and even feels near to tears when she has to do it. Moreover, she doesn’t get the “high” that many of us – even the ones who would rather be doing something else – enjoy after a workout. Well, she’s not alone. Regular exercise is a major stumbling block for many of us, so let’s take a look at some general strategies those that hate exercise can employ, as well as new ways to think about and approach exercise. I don’t have any end all, be all answers, but I do have some good ideas. First, the question:
In previous installments, I’ve discussed the powerful effect of fasting on weight loss, particularly with respect to adipose tissue. I’ve explained how intermittent bouts of going without food have been shown to increase cancer survival and resistance and improve patient and tumor response to chemotherapy, and I went over the considerable evidence suggesting that fasting can provide the life extending benefits of caloric restriction without the pain of restricting your calories day in, day out. And last week, I highlighted how fasting may have protective and therapeutic benefits to the brain.
As such you might be thinking that I only recommend fasting to the sedentary, the aged, and the infirm. Surely I wouldn’t go so far as to recommend to the active, the athletic, and the jacked that they engage in vigorous physical activity without having eaten a solid square meal beforehand – right? I mean, no good can come of a fasted training session, as the gym bros with the sweet ‘ceps are so quick to intone.
This is a guest post from Al Kavadlo of AlKavadlo.com.
If you’re like me, part of the appeal of Primal living is the simplicity of it all. Modern society has a funny way of making things more complicated than they need to be. In studying the intricacies of healthy eating and proper exercise, we often get lost in the details and miss the big picture. You don’t need to know about antioxidants in order to know that blueberries are good for you. Likewise, you don’t need a degree in anatomy or kinesiology in order to implement a safe and effective fitness program. Unfortunately, much of the fitness industry is designed to make you feel like being healthy is a complicated and difficult objective. Modern gyms are equipped with lots of expensive, high-tech machinery in order to give the illusion that complicated exercise contraptions are more effective than timeless bodyweight movements requiring only minimal equipment. The irony is that many of these facilities, in spite of having three different types of elliptical trainers, dozens of different selectorized strength training stations and (my favorite in terms of the dollars-to-dumbness ratio) the vibrating power plate, lack the one piece of fitness equipment that I actually deem essential: the humble pull-up bar.
People often write in with questions about raising kids Primally. And you might find this surprising, but the plurality of kid-related questions I receive pertain to exercise. Not food – though I do still receive a lot of questions about feeding kids Primal food, I guess people are finally realizing that babies don’t have to be weaned with grain mushes and that kids can actually thrive on the foods their parents eat – but fitness. So I’ll go through two of the most common queries, paraphrased, and answer them, then follow up with my recommendations for ideal – but totally achievable and realistic – kid fitness.
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