First thing’s first. Mark himself (at 55 years and going strong) is a proud member of this group, and he knows many of you are too. Art De Vany, good friend to Mark and fellow Primal practitioner, is a hearty 71. In truth, there’s no shortage of exceptionally fit, strong and seasoned men and women out there, some of whom can hold their own with the fit thirty-something set.
We think being older and wiser doesn’t preclude anyone from the best of Primal living. Granted, many MDA readers in their sixties, seventies or eighties might not be up for the plyometric and sprint routines we suggest. (We’ve gotten and appreciated your emails to this effect.) Though our suggestions for Primal exercise don’t change much with age (Grok’s not letting anyone off easy here!), we freely concede that variations can offer useful alternatives for healthy later decades.
As Primal enthusiasts, we owe it to ourselves to spend time in the great outdoors – early man’s original stomping grounds. Sadly enough, the increasing encroachment of civilization upon nature’s boundaries makes it easy for most people to forget about the wilderness. Opting for the mall or the TV is simply easier and more convenient than making the trek out to the woods and connecting with our Primal roots. But mimicking Grok has many health benefits. We are products of Mother Nature. This idea forms the backbone of the Primal Blueprint. We’ve since moved onto condos and white bread, but that doesn’t erase the fact that our bodies are attuned to living in the wild (and all that such a life entails). Which is why we highly encourage you to “get Primal” in the great outdoors. In this PB adventure not only will you be getting away from the city for some fresh air and a stress-free experience, but you’ll also be moving your body like Grok for natural fitness gains and soaking up some valuable rays for the all-important Vitamin D in the process.
Reader Peter emailed this new study today after he saw a discussion in which I was participating on Rusty’s site (fitnessblackbook.com) regarding the Maasai diet. Investigators in this new study suggested that one reason that the Maasai (African nomadic cattle farmers) have lower rates of heart disease, despite a high fat diet, is the amount of low-level aerobic activity they do on a daily basis. Many of you will recognize this as rule #2 of the Primal Blueprint, “Move around a lot at a slow pace.” Seems the Maasai take that to the extreme, burning 2500 calories a day in excess of their basal metabolic rate by walking. The fact that they have a fairly low carbohydrate intake simply reaffirms that most of their energy demands are coming from the high amount of animal fat in their diets – and that at low level aerobic activity carbs are simply not necessary. Don’t think that doesn’t mean they can’t sprint occasionally or lift heavy things though (Blueprint’s 3 and 4), because we know they are able to produce enough glycogen each day from this same high-fat, moderate protein diet to fuel those all-out short bursts.
The marathon. An epic struggle of the individual against his/her own body. A kind of “Mt. Everest” for athletic practice, it exacts a sizable toll on anyone who dares attempt it. (The first marathon man died after all.)
The seasoned athlete knows and respects the physical claim of a marathon, and it is substantial even for the best trained. But marathons are becoming increasingly popular in the last few years. Once limited to the athletic elites and diehards, marathons are now the stuff of social events and charity drives. We’re all for the social element of sport, and we’re suckers for a good cause like anyone. But this recent popularity has changed the face (and emergency support requirements) of marathons. While we believe that everyone’s got to start somewhere, we definitely believe this ain’t the place.
A study presented Wednesday at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting suggests that regular physical exercise may offer a protective benefit against mild cognitive impairment.
How cognitively impaired are we talking here? Think forgetting where you left your keys, remembering events, appointments, or to check Mark’s Daily Apple every day (as if you could ever forget that!) or recalling the details of a conversation.
Conducted as part of an ongoing study of aging, researchers from the Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic surveyed 868 people ages 70 to 89 about their exercise habits between ages 50 and 65. Researchers also screened all participants for signs of mild cognitive impairment.
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