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: Personal Improvement

The Health Paradox Paradox

A paradox is an observation that contradicts a previously-held assumption about reality. But assuming the observation is true, a paradox isn’t really a paradox. It’s not the new observation that’s wrong or faulty or misinterpreted; it’s the assumption that contradicts reality and needs reworking. The history of science is littered with paradoxes that dissolved when previously held assumptions were modified under the weight of new observations. The health, fitness, and nutrition spheres are rife with presumptions, conventional wisdom that pretty much everyone—from authorities and experts on down to laypeople—holds to be true. But we’re finding that these presumptions are increasingly challenged by the steady onslaught of new observations. Some of the most notable presumptions include but aren’t limited to:

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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, and I think that’s a relatively new development. More than ever it seems to be the loudest, boldest, and (often) most obnoxious voices that garner our attention. Brashness somewhere along the line became an asset rather than an irritation. We’re told we need to do more, be more, have more, “fight” for what what we presumably deserve, and push our way to the front if we want our good in life. Put yourself out there, talk yourself up, and—above all—look out for number one. Is anyone else exhausted by these instructions? The key (and related) question of the day, however, is this: what would Grok have said about this social shift?

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8 Essential Tips for Primal Men

Men I know. I am one, after all. Have been for many years. For the most part, I enjoy it. It’s worked out really well for me. I don’t find it particularly difficult to be a man. Once I dialed in the basics of this Primal stuff, my health improved and my fitness became more well-rounded and applicable to the things I enjoyed doing. I haven’t struggled much. But many people do. And while the majority of Primal advice is geared toward humans in general, I’ll just get this out of the way early: These “men’s tips” all apply to many women, too. And many of the “women’s tips” from last week’s post also apply to men. But ignoring the gender-specificity of general trends serves no one. Everyone has the capacity for competitiveness; men tend to have more. Both genders can benefit from fasting, but women are more likely to have negative responses. Men and women both need sleep; lack of it hits women harder. That’s all. As always, if you recognize yourself in these tips, go for it!

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6 Reasons to Look Forward to Growing Old

As someone in his early sixties, I feel like I’m sometimes asked to be a spokesman for those in the “older” generations who are adamant (or even defiant) about staying smack in the center of life. I make no bones about my “live long, drop dead” philosophy (I even made accessories to the effect.) Numerous times I’ve shared that in some ways I’m just reaching what I consider my peak. There are days I genuinely think I’ve never had more fun, contentment and satisfaction in my life than I do right now. Unfortunately, the dominant culture pushes a different message for those of us over 50 (and definitely over 60). I’m talking about the message that these decades inevitably put us on the sidelines, ushering in an inevitable fade-out of all our faculties and enjoyments. But guess what? I’m here to tell you some good news: that doesn’t have to be your destiny. In fact, there’s a whole lot to look forward to as you grow older.

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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 irate, drama-inducing screaming matches that had begun taking over the airwaves. For years now people have bemoaned the coarsening of public discourse (and with it, general behavior), and experts have been analyzing its cause. Jonathan Haidt in his book, The Righteous Mind, is a clear example. How did we come to a place of perpetual mouth foaming? While I won’t delve into that particular swamp, I will take up the flip side of that coin today, which has been on my mind lately (maybe on many people’s minds). What primal principles can help us remember how to have a civil discussion about divisive issues?

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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 of key depression symptoms, something of little surprise to anyone who’s ever been through it. Yet, as an earlier study suggests, burnout is its own animal. Symptoms are largely linked to “atypical” depression, which behaves differently and can more readily suggest situational origins. It’s something I’ve been saying for years—certain elements of the modern (unmitigated) experience promotes neurosis more than we’d like to admit. Burnout is one common example.

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