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

Archive for the ‘ Personal Improvement ’ Category

23 Jun

From Float Tanks to Silent Retreats: Why Are People Looking for More Extreme Forms of Sensory Deprivation?

I’m thinking about a Philip K. Dick story, never published, perhaps never put down on paper or even imagined. In this story, which might only exist in my mind, the world is awash in sensory stimuli. Bright lights, flashing signs, an endless cacophony. A world of quick jump cuts. It’s like the Khaosan Road at 11 […]

21 Jun

What is the Experience of Awe and Why Does it Matter?

I camp mostly for the stargazing. Everything else is important, of course. The campfire, the smoky bacon, the muddy coffee. Trees, fresh air, endless trails. All great. But what I look forward to most of all is slipping out of my tent on a dark, moonless night, finding a clearing in the trees, looking up at […]

16 Jun

How Defining Moderation Can Help You Reach Your Health Goals

We’ve heard it a million times: “Eat a well-balanced diet with everything in moderation.” After all these decades of clear failure, it’s a hazy cliché still delivered by physicians, dietitians and nutritional “experts” with earnest assurance. The same goes for exercise and stress. Moderate amounts of stress are okay, moderate cardiovascular work is good, etc. […]

26 May

Humility: A Primal Virtue with Modern Value

I’ve gotten a lot of feedback about my leadership post earlier this year—particularly from people who connected with the humility aspect. It’s a characteristic I think most people would agree is in short supply these days, but most of us still admire it when we see it. In truth, little in our culture today encourages a humble disposition, […]

12 May

How to Have a Civil Discussion About Divisive Issues

I made the decision long ago to slash my media intake, and I’ve never looked back. It’s not that I abstain entirely. Since my chosen professional and family obligations meant I never had a ton of time for it to begin with, I simply became much more selective. In particular, I had no patience for the […]

11 May

10 Ways to Treat Burnout (and How to Avoid It Altogether)

This year it was all over the headlines that what we typically call “burnout” just might be depression. Beyond the vagueness such wording introduced (another way to push anti-depressants?), the actual research further affirms burnout as a genuine psychological and physical experience. The study confirmed that those who suffer from job “burnout” also experience the onset […]

5 May

How to Stop Using Food Like a Drug

You might be hard-pressed to find many people who never take advantage of the “elixir” effects food can have on us. For instance, I’d venture that the majority of us start our day with a cup of coffee or caffeinated tea. Some of us wind down after a long week with a glass of wine […]

28 Apr

Why Weight Loss Doesn’t Promise Happiness

There are any number of amazing reasons to lose weight that will offer incredible benefits in the long- and short-term. You’ll be in better overall health. It’s very probable that you’ll live longer and have more vitality in those years—particularly if getting in shape was part of your weight loss strategy. You’ll enjoy more energy […]

21 Apr

Why Saying “No” Is So Important

In the health and fitness arena, taglines often sell the idea of “accept no limits.” After all, we’re supposed to believe in ourselves, push through boundaries, improve exponentially and show them all, right? Dramatic images, big numbers and extreme makeovers get the spotlight. And when people work hard for what they achieve, I think it’s […]

14 Apr

Why Hobbies Are an Important Part of Primal Living

“So, what do you do?” We’ve heard the question (and likely asked it) a million times over when meeting people. It’s the standard line for small talk, but it’s always rubbed me the wrong way. Admittedly, the question itself isn’t the problem. I personally love hearing what people are up to, but the assumption behind […]

5 Apr

How to Get Organized and Stay Focused in a Modern World

Getting organized used to be a whole lot easier. As nomadic hunter-gatherers, we only had to keep track of the things we could carry because that was all we owned. As members of a tribe of extended family members, we could lean upon others for assistance with day-to-day tasks and trust they had equal skin in […]

31 Mar

How to Develop Emotional Resilience in the Modern World

Job stress, social conflict, illness (sometimes serious illness), financial hardship, our children’s struggles, a move across country, a divorce, a death of a loved one…they’re all events that can test our mental fortitude or—in more extreme cases—leave us emotionally adrift. Some people turn into a puddle during a critical emergency, while others jump in the […]

24 Mar

How a Primal Lifestyle Can Help You Find Your Passion

I saw someone wearing a t-shirt the other day that read “Do More of What You Love.” It was a simple message but a welcome shift from the deluge of difficult news and negative media we’re often met with. I wasn’t in a hurry that day and let my mind wander with it while I […]

17 Mar

How to Handle Constructive Criticism as a Primal Advocate

It’s a role that’s probably more often thrust upon us than one we individually choose—that of Primal advocate. There we are minding our own healthy business, and somebody’s question or comment fixes the spotlight (or interrogation light) on us. Why do we eat “so much” protein? What could possibly be wrong with bread? Why do […]

10 Mar

9 Primal Ways to Become a Better Communicator

Eons ago, an evolutionary shift took root that would change the human story. In fact, it would write it. I’m talking of course about the capacity for complex language. The development spurred collaborative ability and, as a result, social organization. Where visceral reality once ruled, other conceptual layers came into play—cosmological narratives, genealogical stories, inter-band […]

8 Mar

Minimalist Living: Is It Primal?

In Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Philip K. Dick imagines a world overflowing with “kipple,” useless objects like junk mail, paperclips, empty matchboxes, old lightbulbs, depleted batteries, and gum wrappers that reproduce when no one’s around. It’s a drab, dreary, depressing vision of the future. It’s not that bad yet, but we definitely have […]

3 Mar

7 Primal Ways to Be a Better Leader

Everywhere you go these days it seems like there’s big talk about leadership. Schools build curricula around it. Businesses feel the need to train their employees in it, including those who aren’t in management roles. Whereas leadership used to be seen primarily as a function, it’s now touted as a virtue. We’re told everybody should […]

25 Feb

Primal Rage: How to Manage Unproductive Anger

If you ask the average person on the street to list “primal emotions,” I’d venture that anger would be one of the first examples they offer. I think we automatically connect a primal state with anger because anger’s power is more reminiscent of instinct than sentiment. It’s an emotion that can instantaneously engulf our entire […]

18 Feb

10 Ways to Encourage Primal Body Positivity

Standing in the checkout line of your average grocery store is a telling cultural experience. For the few minutes it takes for the checker to ring the person in front of you, there you idle with your cart—surrounded by the ironic juxtaposition of junk food aisle caps and fashion/fitness magazines. The images of impossibly smooth or […]

16 Feb

How I’d Change Grade School

Research indicates that the growing emphasis on academic rigor in grade school is ineffectual at best and counterproductive at worst. Several months ago, a pair of studies threw early education enthusiasts into disarray. The first compared the subsequent achievement of kids enrolled in an academic pre-k program to kids who were not (PDF). By first grade, the kids who’d […]

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