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

Mark's Daily Apple

8 Aug

Exercise Variety is Key

BoredomBoredom. Monotony. Tedium. The same day after day. Dull as tombs. Nothing new under the sun. As fun as watching paint dry. While we hope these phrases don’t apply to any part of your life, we definitely hope they don’t describe, above all things, your workout! We’re half-kidding, of course. Nonetheless, variety is definitely the proverbial (and, we’d argue, essential) spice of a fitness program.

Of course, there’s the issue of motivation. If you’re schlepping yourself to the gym with the look of the “Time to make the donuts” guy, it’s time to shake things up a bit. And, wouldn’t you know it, research out of the University of Florida in Gainesville suggests the same. The study divided 114 men and women into three groups. The first group was given specific exercise instructions for their workouts that incorporated frequent variety. The second group was also given instructions for their workouts, but they were the same for each session. Researchers did not give the third group any guidelines regarding workout schedule or specific exercises. The study period lasted eight weeks, and those in the first two groups were instructed to exercise three times a week throughout the duration of the study. The group with the best retention and most reported satisfaction was – as I open the envelope – the first group that incorporated both structure and variety.
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7 Aug

What’s Wrong With The Zone Diet?

The ZoneDear Mark,

I just watched your video about the 2 minute salad; simple, fast, and no measuring. I agree with the primal way of eating and I’m torn between the freelance style of PB and structure of The Zone. What is your opinion of The Zone?

First, let me thank Rob for his question. I’ve had a lot of conversations about The Zone and other heavily publicized diet plans. It’s fair, I think, to look at the good and the bad of the diet. Unless you’re talking about the grapefruit diet or similarly comical fad, diets generally have to have at least some positive point(s) to gain a decent following, as The Zone has. Nonetheless, what can initially look like a rational foundation begins to show cracks when you look at how the philosophy actually plays out.

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6 Aug

Insects: Not Just for Breakfast Anymore

Eat Insect BugFor many of us, it’s the stuff of childhood dares and fraternity hazing. In many cultures around the world, however, they’re considered fine delicacies or just regular daily fare. We’re talking insects or the more vaguely inclusive “bugs”: grubs, worms, grasshoppers, crickets, spiders, scorpions, beetles, termites, worms, ants, and other varieties in the vastly underappreciated gastronomic world of insects. “What could be more primal than eating insects?” you might ask. We would agree. Thanks to reader Tim for the suggestion.

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5 Aug

10 Questions with MizFit from MizFitOnline

MizFitMark Sisson

Thanks to MizFit from MizFitOnline for the interview! If you haven’t checked out her blog do so immediately. She is at the hub of a wonderful community of people and offers great advice on everything from nutrition to weight training to workout gear. Thanks, MizFit!

Everyone has a personal health story. What is yours?

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4 Aug

Dear Mark: Fiber, Fat and Fasting

EnvelopeWeekly Reader Mail

Dear Mark,

I have two questions. My first regards training and rest days. Simply, how many days of complete rest should I take for an entire week? I someone who’s been overweight for most of his pre-teen and teenage life, and who was able to lose that excess weight at 17 (I’m 20 now). My current goal is to “look fit” (and be healthy), which primarily entails eliminating the stubborn fat on my body that have refused to go away. If I’m doing three days of high-intensity interval training, for around 15-20 minutes per day, and three days of 1 hour lifting, for a total of 6 days per week with one day of rest, is that doing too much?

Secondly, where do I get most of my fiber on a primal blueprint diet if most high-fiber vegetables can only be attained sparingly (I’m a poor college student)? I’ve been looking around your site for the answer, and the only thing I’ve read mentioned in passing was flaxseed. If that is your suggestion, where can I buy it? I couldn’t find it in the cereal aisle of my local grocer.

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