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Thread: Can't exercise... can I still go Primal?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Can't exercise... can I still go Primal?

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    Hey everyone,

    After a solid year of a close girlfriend extolling the virtues of going Paleo (not Primal, mind you) AND the past couple of months of my boyfriend transitioning into Primal, I'm feeling on the verge of taking the plunge. The evidence is undeniable... and frankly, the idea of having a killer looking body vs. the idea of bread is starting to really win out. (The body, not the bread.)

    But here's my question... and I have read the FAQs and tried to find similar info to this question in the forums but I haven't gotten my question answered. So, I'll put it here. I'd LOVE to hear from Mark (!!) but I know the forum folks are probably exceptionally versed in the specifics of the PB so here goes:

    For the past 2.5 years, I've been dealing with heavy metal poisoning and a whole list of symptoms and side effects (Candida being the most significant but also a laundry list of other bizarre, rotating, often temporary but reoccurring symptoms.) Although through the help of a phenomenal Naturopathic doctor and an incredible Homeopath, I'm finally seeing improvements... unfortunately, I still have some pretty bad symptoms that pop up whenever they wish.

    One of the worst symptoms is a combination of fatigue/flagging blood pressure/overall weakness that makes exercise nearly impossible. There are days when going for a 10 minute walk is too taxing to even think about. (Then again, there are other days when a 2.5 hour Ultimate frisbee game is a breeze... it's really crazy.)

    I'm on the road to better health and working bloody hard at it... and I would say I'm about 75% of normal again. But when the 25% rears its head, it's overwhelmingly bad.

    So, all of that preamble leads me to this question:

    What if I can't exercise as much as the PB prescribes?

    Because, while there are days that I can do it... there are days, sometimes a couple of weeks at a time, when exercise is absolutely not possible. Then I'll magically wake up one morning and feel fine again. For a while. Etc. You get what I'm saying.

    I know the exercise component is vital to the plan... so... what if I can't do that part right now? Can I still do this? Should I modify it?

    It seems extremely counter-intuitive to start eating all that fat if I'm not exercising at all.

    Interestingly, after reading what feels like a zillion Daily Apple posts on the website, I have a sneaking suspicion that my body might be more willing to start to heal itself if I do this diet -- nay -- lifestyle. Though that remains to be seen.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Edmonton, Canada
    The exercise is only meant to be done when you feel you are able to do it.

    Can you walk 2-5 hours/week? It can be done all at once or spaced out over the week.

    Even if you can do that (the minimum, or less, even) you will benefit from some exercise. Your body will heal and you will have more and more energy as time passes. You'll get there eventually. It's a continuous healing process.

    Best of luck and stick around so we can help whenever you need it.
    There are two wolves fighting within a man's heart, one is Love, the other is Hate. The one that wins is the one you feed.

    My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world. - Jack Layton

    The Primal Adventures of Griffin - Huzzah!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    SW Ohio
    I honestly don't do the body weight exercises. I just walk 2+ miles per day, and I am losing weight every week. I plan on getting back into the body weights at the beginning for next month, but for the time being I perfer to just walk.

  4. #4
    Paleobird's Avatar
    Paleobird Guest
    The Primal Blueprint Fitness program which you can download on this site as an ebook, is meant to work around you. Mark even says, if you just aren't "feeling it" that day, take a day off.

    I predict also that, as you spend some time eating PB, you are going to be having fewer and fewer of those days where you just can't think about exercise. Your body will be given the tools it needs to heal itself and get rid of anything poisonous inside.

    What do you have to lose. Bread? Meh!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    I didn't actually exercise until I'd been eating this way for months. (No medical reason - just idleness.) But the weight still came off and my health improved just from changing how I ate.

    Also, is there an 'amount of exercise prescribed', really? Isn't it relative to your own strength and capacity? 'Lifting heavy things' for me = trying to get to 2 press-ups .

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Topeka, Kansas
    Well its been said that the key to becoming healthy is 80% diet and 20% exercise. So If you absolutely can't exercise you can expect 80% results. What are your goals?
    Primal Chaos
    37yo 6'5"
    6-19-2011 393lbs 60" waist
    current 338lbs 49" waist
    goal 240lbs 35" waist

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Northern NJ
    You can absolutely benefit while doing minimal exercise.

    From a nutritional stand-point, think of it like this: You're going from banging your head against the wall 5 times a day to only once or never. You're going to feel much better.

    If and when you feel you can do some exercise, do so, it's better to do so than not to, but in your situation you have to approach it lightly. It may also benefit you to seek out the "best bang for your buck" types of exercises. In my opinion, strength training is the way to go. Find and lift the heaviest weights you can lift, safely and with good form, getting as strong as your genes allow will do wonders for your body comp. Women especially, get in GREAT shape when they put away the thought that heavy weights will make them look like Arnold.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Phoenix, AZ
    Do it, do it, do it! The food is the biggest factor, especially at first, for helping your body heal itself. Eating paleo/primal will help you get over your health issues faster.

    Just exercise when you feel up to it and don't sweat it if you are too sick on a given day. That's your body telling you to sit tight and heal.
    Today I will: Eat food, not poison. Plan for success, not settle for failure. Live my real life, not a virtual one. Move and grow, not sit and die.

    My Primal Journal

  9. #9
    I have a severe physical disability, and I still find ways to stay active and to exercise to the extent that my strength permits. Primalizing my diet has absolutely helped me in many ways -- I even started having dreams about walking and running normally within a few days of giving up grains, while those dreams had been quite rare before that. It's as if my subconscious is aware that my body is healing. I highly recommend going primal, and just doing whatever form of movement you're capable of on a particular day.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    North Queensland
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    Of course! Go for some small walks when you feel capable, and your good to go. You might even start feeling better once you start eating 100% primal.

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