Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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Category: Fitness

11 Physical Challenges to Take This Month

Some people don’t need any help finding physical challenges. They naturally and intuitively figure out ways to engage physically with the world and test their prowess. But that’s not everyone, or else we’d see people sprinting down the street, hurdling park benches, climbing flagpoles, and swinging from tree branch to tree branch. It’d be a cool world, to be sure. It’s just not the one we live in.

In this world, where physical challenges are usually optional, we have to go looking for them.

What are some fitness challenges to try? I’ve got 11.

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How Long Does It Take for Fitness Benefits to Show?

A big reason most people never stick to a serious exercise routine is that the benefits most people are interested in take a while to appear. Fat loss, muscle gain, boosts to strength, speed, and stamina—these physical manifestations of training adherence can take weeks and even months to show. That’s plenty of time for folks to give up, convinced exercise is just not for them.

I get it. I do. But that’s not a valid excuse for not exercising. You know it’s important, you know what the benefits are, and I’m not going to sugarcoat things: training is not optional.

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Dear Mark: Your Challenge Questions Answered

Last week, you guys asked me a ton of questions as part of a contest. Today, I’m going to answer an initial batch. (If you don’t see yours, check back on Mondays to come when I’ll take up others.) First, can excess fat be stored as body fat? If so, how? Second, can this way of eating help with seasonal allergies? Third, what’s the proper pushup progression for someone who can’t do a full one? Fourth, when should I take my probiotics, vitamin D3, and fish oil? Fifth, is canned fish a viable way of obtaining omega-3s, or does the canning process damage the fats? Sixth, is there a trick to beating a weight loss plateau? Seventh, is there a way to make sardines palatable? And eighth, if you can’t walk one day, can you make it up the next?

Let’s go:

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The 2017 Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge Begins Now

If you want to lose weight, gain muscle, reduce stress, increase energy or just generally look and feel healthier you’ve come to the right place. Oh, and you can win lots of cool Primal gear, too. That’s right, it’s the annual Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge!

Before we get to all the details, let’s kick things off with a simple contest. Click on over to this page and register for the free Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge in the Vimify app. That’s it! I’ll explain more about the app below, but rest assured that you’ll be entered to win a $100 gift certificate to PrimalBlueprint.com if you register for free.

This contest ends at 8 pm PST tonight, January 9. A winner will be selected at random and everyone around the world is eligible, including people that registered before today.

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Dear Mark: Right Leg Balance Issues, Plastic Wrap Flattened Meat, Vaporizing Cannabis

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering several rapid fire questions. I’ll be concise and clear. I’ll be quick. First, what can someone do if they can balance on the left leg but not the right? What might be responsible? Second, am I worried about Martha Stewart pounding on turkey breast laid between two pieces of Saran Wrap? Third, what’s different about vaporizing cannabis? Is it better than smoking it?

Let’s go:

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The Importance of Balance—and 15 Ways to Enhance and Preserve It

Everything in the world is conspiring to make you fall over. The ground can be slippery, slick, and studded with protrusions. The earth can move under your feet. The discarded banana peel is an ever present threat. Gravity itself exerts a constant downward pull, and any tissue straying from perpendicularity with the ground feels the pull that much more. That we manage to stay upright at all is impressive.

Not all of us do.

For youngsters, balance is something you actively practice in certain situations: it’s what you do when walking along the top of the monkey bars or ride a surfboard/skateboard/snowboard. You only think about balance when you decide to test it. Good balance enhances your ability to move through and interact with the world. It’s essential for all of us—and especially for athletes whose feats put them at regular odds with the forces that threaten to throw us off balance.

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17 Gifts That Will MOVE You

Today’s guest post is by Katy Bowman, biomechanist and author of the bestselling Move Your DNA and a new release, Movement Matters, which examines our sedentary culture, our personal relationship to movement, and some of the global effects of outsourcing movement. I’m happy to welcome her back to Mark’s Daily Apple.

Ancestral health models have begun reaching beyond diet and have expanded to include sleep, stress, parenting practices, and movement. This leads to the question, “Can we better incorporate the ideas of ‘natural health’ into our holidays?”

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How to Feed, Train and Care for Your Cartilage

Most health and fitness writers don’t spend a lot of time on cartilage. As tissues go, it’s fairly isolated. It doesn’t contain blood vessels, so we can’t deliver blood-borne nutrients to heal and grow it. Cartilage has no nerve cells, so we can’t “feel” what’s going on. Doctors usually consider it to be functionally inert, a sort of passive lubricant for our joints. If it breaks down, you’re out of luck, they say.

But that’s what people used to think about bone, body fat, and other “structural” tissues: that they are inert rather than metabolically active. The truth is that bone is incredibly plastic, responding to activity and nutrition, and that body fat is an endocrine organ in its own right, secreting hormones and shaping the way our metabolism works. What about cartilage? Can we do anything to improve its strength and function?

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Can Endurance Training Ever Really Be Primal?

For over a dozen years, I’ve railed against what I call “chronic cardio“—the excessive, unrelenting endurance training I did for the better part of three decades. Most of my health issues cleared up when I stopped stopped running and training for marathons and triathlons, removed the refined grains and sugar I ate to support my endurance training, and began taking it easy. Explore the MDA archives and you’ll read all about the downsides of chronic endurance training, as well as my experiences in that world. Next to Primal living, most people probably know me best for being against “chronic cardio.” It’s kinda my thing.

As a result, a lot of people have this idea that any type of endurance training is verboten and totally antithetical to the Primal way of life.

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Dear Mark: IGF-1 and Fasting, Ex-CrossFitter Fitness Maintenance, and Barre Training

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions from readers. First, what’s the deal with IGF-1, growth hormone, and intermittent fasting? Some people say fasting increases growth hormones, while others say it decreases them. Who’s right? And what’s it all mean for our health? Next, how can a former CrossFitter ensure she’s maintaining her former fitness levels? And finally, what’s my take on Barre training and other “feminine” training schools?

Let’s go:

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