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

Archive for the ‘ Personal Improvement ’ Category

30 Sep

9 Ways to Restart Your Primal Lifestyle

It happens to the best of us. You start sneaking a few more bites of bread when out to dinner and trying your buddy’s delicious-looking pizza. Your workouts trickle to once a week, sometimes none. You walk less, couch more. And then one day, you realize you’ve gone off the wagon. You’ve gained belly fat. […]

17 Sep

Why These 10 Famous Thinkers Napped

A few months ago, I wrote a guide to napping that included how, why, and when to flop down for a spell. That wasn’t a random throwaway post. It was the first salvo in a new war. I’m on a mission to legitimize the nap, to destigmatize the siesta for the average working human. And it’s […]

10 Sep

Why Camping Is So Great: The Benefits of Spending Time in the Great Outdoors

I’ve always loved to camp. From my early days as a kid growing up in Maine (where it seemed like everyone camped), to my death-defying adventures with Outward Bound in the wilds of New England as a teen, to my current setup running a business in the Malibu hills, I’ve been a camper. Even when […]

2 Sep

Why Getting Fit Isn’t the Best Exercise Motivation (and 10 Better Reasons to Move Today)

We’re told time and again that in order to get healthy we need to let go of our “lower” instincts (e.g. conserving energy on the couch or preferring to go out and have fun) and embrace future goals. We need to take things seriously – have concrete objectives and clear steps to execute them. It’s […]

25 Aug

How to Create a String of Success

It’s always interesting to be in this business and read the health headlines. So often, they seek to hook us with the promise of ultimate clarity: “Rehabing Health: Diet or Fitness First?” or “Should I Sleep or Exercise?” The underlying assumption is that there’s a conclusive rule to this – that we all conform to […]

5 Aug

How Important Is Consistency in Fitness?

Time to take an informal poll. Who here fits in two strength training sessions, 1-2 sprint/interval sessions and 3-5 hours of walking or low level cardio on top of ample play time – every single week? I’m betting there’s still a lot of hands raised in this crowd, but I’m going to wager I lost […]

30 Jul

Great Expectations: Why Good Health Is Awesome (but Not a Panacea)

How often do we bemoan people’s lack of expectations around their health? Their passivity. Their inertia. Their apathy. (Perhaps our own.) They just don’t seem to care or even expect that good health would offer them enough to justify the effort. I can feel heads shaking out there. Personally, I don’t get it either. On […]

14 Jul

Take the 1000 Day Challenge!

First off: This isn’t the start of a new longer-term Primal Challenge. 1000 days would be fun, but I’m pretty sure we’d run out of ideas — and sponsors. Apologies to everyone out there chomping at the bit for a few years straight of new contests and prizes. You’d get sick of it yourself; trust me. […]

30 Jun

Precommitment Is Powerful, or Why You Should Be Like Odysseus

Most of the time, we wield willpower like a holstered gun with the safety off. Temptation rears — an ice cream bar, perhaps — and we whip it out, firing blindly and wasting more than a few bullets in the process. The temptation is beat back, and the ice cream goes uneaten, but the willpower […]

25 Jun

7 Ways to Use Stoic Philosophy to Improve Your Health and Happiness

A few weeks ago, I shared some thoughts on one of my favorite books of late, A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William B. Irvine. I appreciated the comments from folks who connected with the central message: how to cultivate a life with the most peace and contentment possible. […]

28 May

What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self?

It’s a question I’ve posed to clients and seminar attendees in the past: what direction or wisdom would you share with your younger self if you could go back ten, twenty, thirty years (or more)? The idea obliges us to think about the whole of our journey thus far – how we’ve viewed health or […]

27 May

How Does Ancient Wisdom Intersect with a Primal Perspective?

I spend a lot of time talking about evolutionary blueprints, primordial logic and genetic instinct because I happen to think there’s value in it. We live today with the belief (or maybe bluster) that we’re “evolved” beyond our evolution. Too often there’s a resistance to scrutinize our innate responses to the world, to question our […]

14 May

Food Shame: The Morality of Eating

Last week in my Paleo f(x) post, I shared that my favorite presentation I did at the event, “Tweaking the Recipe to Create an Awesome Life,” discussed my evolving philosophy on moderation for the sake of the bigger life picture. Mark’s Daily Apple reader His Dudeness commented that it’s becoming more common to conflate morality […]

30 Apr

The Importance of Non-Negotiable, “No Matter What” Rules

Behind all good intentions – the long-range vision, the ultimate goals, the short-term strategies or daily routines – is our bottom line. What is the least we are willing to accept from ourselves in a given day? This question is probably the most important you will ever ask yourself. Experience tells me the biggest obstacle […]

23 Apr

How to Get Your (Health) Groove Back

Maybe it comes in a heavily mirrored changing room as you wonder when you developed back fat. Perhaps you notice that you can’t keep up with your kids on a bike ride around town anymore. You might see it when you have a hard time moving or carrying things you used to. Maybe you wake […]

7 Apr

Do You Value Experiences Over Things?

When I look back on my life and take stock of the things that have made and make me happiest, I don’t think about the material objects I’ve procured. I don’t think about the money I’ve made or the cars I’ve owned or the possessions stashed away in my garage. I think about the experiences. […]

2 Apr

Self-Control: The Ultimate Exercise of Freedom

I’ll admit I’ve come to significantly edit my environment over the years. I work largely from home and have my favorite haunts and destinations as well as a close circle of like-minded family and friends. The nature of my work automatically puts me in touch mostly with those who have similar goals and lifestyles. Even […]

26 Mar

How to Overcome Inertia and Get Yourself Unstuck

The 17th Century physicist Isaac Newton observed in his famous laws of motion that objects at rest stay at rest and objects in motion stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. You’ve perhaps experienced this phenomenon as you chase your kids’ baseball while it rolls for a block and a half as […]

3 Mar

Are You Suffering From Decision Fatigue? (Plus What to Do About It)

The world is a maelstrom of choices. From smartphones (iPhone or Android?), diets (Primal or Paleo or vegan?), cars (electric or gasoline, SUV or sedan?), health plans (PPO, HMO, or health savings account?), to entertainment (TV or Twitter or YouTube or Xbox or Netflix), we’ve never had more options from which to choose. This is […]

19 Feb

6 Foreign Health Concepts from Around the Globe

Maybe it was running across the word Kummerspeck (literally translated from German as “grief bacon,” meaning weight put on through emotional eating). A strange term if there ever was one… The fact is, I’ve always been fascinated by how languages can reflect particular feelings or phenomena most of us would never think to put a […]

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