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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Month: June 2008

10 Ways to Forage in the Modern World

We’ve all been there, said we’d bypass the appetizers at the annual office picnic or told ourselves ahead of time that we absolutely don’t need a slice of birthday cake, but before you know it you’re stuffing bacon-laden potato skins (potato – of all things!) into your mouth or reaching for yet another slice of Fudgy the Whale cake.

The bottom line is that temptation is lurking around just about every corner, and with the soon-to-come slew of summer barbeques (hello flag cake!) and other excuses to chow down, we figured you could use a few strategies to help you stay the course.

Just like last week’s post on foraging for food at junk food joints this post aims to provide some real world skills that would make your Primal ancestors proud. The dietary landscape may have changed, but the need to forage has not.

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Drink Less Water?

Dear Mark,

I always hear that I should be drinking eight glasses of water a day, but it takes a lot of unnatural effort to get close to that. Is it just me? What’s your take on the water rule?

Best,

Jaime

As you know by now, my job is to question Conventional Wisdom. One of the classic health paradigms I’ve always had a problem with is the blanket recommendation by the general health community that we all should be consuming copious amounts of water. It just doesn’t make sense to me and it never has. Face it, Grok did NOT walk around with a canteen or an Evian bottle affixed to his loincloth. He and the Grok family thought Nalgene was the name of the tribe across the valley and they never owned a sippy cup with which to gulp down mass quantities of H20. Day after day it was a drop here and a mouthful there – if a source of water other than a dewy leaf was even available. Since Grok and his cadre probably didn’t spend too much time hanging around the water hole. (All those predators you know…) 8 glasses of water a day is unlikely a physiological necessity, not to mention an evolutionarily relevant model. Grok obtained most of his water directly from the food he ate, and I believe that we probably should, too.

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Video Proof You Can Exercise Outdoors

Hate trying to find a parking spot at the gym? Waiting in line for a treadmill? Navigating the meat heads in the free-weights section?

Then you might like this video, which proves that you can get a great workout, no gym required.

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Weekend Link Love – Edition 1

60 in 3 shares healthy ideas for how to spend your weekend.

I ate a pie offers up the good, the bad, and the delicious on fruit treats to enjoy this summer.

The IF Life explains why you can healthily (and naturally) skip breakfast.

Modern Forager dishes up ten common/uncommon cooking oils (and how to use ‘em!).

Conditioning Research suggests some great alternatives for full contact twists.

Fitness Black Book rants on “core” obsession.

Robb Wolf highlights paleo diet vs. multiple sclerosis.

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Some Very Intense News

A study (abstract here) published online in the American Journal of Physiology, Regulatory, Integrative & Comparative Physiology suggests that short but intense bouts of exercise can confer the same health benefits for the heart as longer, less-intense activities.

For the study, researchers from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada recruited 20 healthy but untrained individuals and assigned them to perform a six week series of either low-volume sprint interval training (SIT) or traditional high-volume endurance training (ET). Specifically, the SIT group performed between 4 and 6, 30-second “all-out” Wingate Sprint Tests separated by 4.5 min of recovery, 3 days per week. The ET group, meanwhile, completed 40-60 min of cycling at moderate intensity, 5 days per week.

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Primal Lifestyle Good for Your Heart?

Following a primal eating plan rich in meat, vegetables, berries and nuts may reduce the risk of heart disease, according to a small study published this month in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
For the study, researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden recruited 14 healthy volunteers to ditch their normal diet in favor of a Paleolithic diet. As such, volunteers were restricted from consuming cereals, bread, sugar, milk, butter and cheese.

Over the course of the three week study, the volunteers lost an average of 2.3 kg (roughly 5.5 lbs), reduced their waist circumference (a key indicator of abdominal adiposity as well as potential cardiovascular risk according to this Journal of the American Medical Association study) by 0.5 cm and reduced their body mass index (which, admittedly, is not an accurate indicator of health) by 0.8. In addition, systolic blood pressure was reduced by 3 mmHg and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (high circulating levels of which may be associated with increased heart disease risk) were reduced by 72%.

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