Category: Low Level Aerobic Activity

Primal Blueprint Law 3: Move Frequently

We know that our ancestors spent an average of several hours each day moving about at what today’s exercise physiologists might describe as a “low level aerobic pace.” They hunted, gathered, foraged, wandered, scouted, migrated, climbed and crawled. This low level of activity prompted their genes to build a stronger capillary (blood vessel) network to fuel each muscle cell, to be able to store some excess food as fat, but also to be readily able to convert the stored fat back into energy. Of course, they did all this without the benefit of paved sidewalks or comfortable shoes. Because every footfall landed at a different angle, every muscle, tendon and ligament worked and became stronger together in balance. Note that they did NOT go out and “jog” at 80% of their MAX Heart Rate for long periods of time as Conventional Wisdom suggests today!

Today we do some form of low level aerobic activity 2-5 hours a week, whether it is walking, hiking, easy bike riding or swimming. Ideally, and when possible, find time to go barefoot or wear as little foot support as possible. Low-level activity is necessary (especially if you find yourself chained to a desk every day). The combined effect will be an increase in capillary perfusion, fat-burning and overall integration of muscle strength and flexibility.

 

Further Reading:

The Definitive Guide to Low Level Aerobic Activity

The Definitive Guide to Walking

Why We Don’t Walk Anymore

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Should Athletes Go Keto?

The keto diet may have achieved mainstream popularity as a weight-loss strategy, but it has also piqued the interest of athletes looking to optimize performance as well as body composition.

As you might imagine, this has caused no small amount of pearl-clutching in sports circles. Keto diets require you to strictly limit carb intake—the antithesis of the standard sports nutrition advice. Fueling strength workouts and endurance training sessions without loading up on carbs?! Is it even possible? Safe?

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How to Train for Backpacking

June is National Get Outdoors Month. Here at MDA, we’re spending the next couple weeks teeing you up to have your best summer yet in the great outdoors with posts to inspire you to get into nature.

Today we’re talking about how to train for backpacking. Let’s start with the most obvious question: what IS backpacking? Backpacking is simply multi-day hiking where you carry all your gear on your back.

Say you’re going out for a day hike carrying water, food, and basic survival gear, but you return to your car the same day you set out. That’s not backpacking.

If you’re trekking across the country, but someone else is sherpaing your gear from one sleeping spot to the next, that’s not backpacking either.

In a nutshell, backpacking is essentially a long hike with more gear and more details to think about because you’ll be spending at least one night—but possibly many more—camping out. I think of backpacking as a kind of endurance sport. As with any endurance sport, you want to train for your event. You probably wouldn’t enter a half-marathon this coming weekend with minimal or no training. You could, but it would hurt a lot less, and your chance of success would be significantly greater, if you took the time to train. Same goes for backpacking.

The good news is, if you already have a solid fitness base, you are well on your way. Now you just need to tailor your training to get ready for your backpacking expedition.

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Benefits of Cycling for Health and Fitness

As a former elite triathlete, I’ve spent more time in the saddle (the bike saddle, that is) than I care to remember. Hour upon hour up and down mountains, through countryside and towns, cranking away on the pedals. That might sound like a cool gig—and it was for a time—but those training sessions slowly wore down my body to the point where I eventually had to walk away from triathlon.

It was a long time before I could enjoy being on a bicycle again. That’s a shame because bicycling is fantastic for many reasons. Commute or run errands on your bike, and you start and end your workday with physical activity, reduce your carbon footprint, and never need to find parking. Mountain biking gets you out into nature, hitting trails you might never reach by foot. Road cyclist ride in packs and then relax at the coffee shop or pub after, so they are getting social interaction along with exercise (the benefits of which are somewhat mitigated by the beer…).

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Sprinting, Jumping, Losing Body Fat, (And Cultivating Gratitude), Part Two

I hope you enjoyed part one of this presentation. I’d like to you pay particular attention to the four prerequisites in your diet and fitness program that must be in place before you can properly benefit from explosive sprinting and jumping workouts. They were detailed at the end of part one, and to briefly recap they are:

Diet. Ditch processed sugars, grains, and industrial seed oils
Movement. Increase all forms of general everyday movement
Avoid the chronic. Correct anything in your training schedule that gives off even a whiff of being chronic in nature
Do high intensity correctly. We’ll detail the workout templates here, but make sure that you only attempt explosive, high-intensity sessions when you are fully rested and energized to deliver a peak performance effort.

Increasing all forms of general everyday movement is a broad and non-specific recommendation, which makes it more difficult to integrate into daily life. It’s time to focus on a life-changing centerpiece to meet this objective: A morning flexibility, mobility, core & leg strengthening routine. I do this every single day immediately upon awakening. What started as a pretty simple and non-strenuous 12-minute session has progressed gracefully over the past four years into a quite challenging session that takes a minimum of 35 minutes every day to complete – by choice. You don’t have to make a big production out of it if you don’t want to.

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“Don’t Jog, It’s Too Dangerous.” Evolving Your Cardio for More Benefit, Less Risk

Mark’s Daily Apple veterans are familiar with one of the most controversial and impactful posts ever published to the site, Mark’s 2007 treatise called A Case Against Cardio. The article changed my life and caused me to rethink many of the flawed assumptions about endurance training that have been indoctrinated into conventional stupidity for decades. Follow up posts like this one dig deeper into the do’s and don’ts of cardiovascular exercise, as does the Primal Endurance book and online multimedia education program.

The title of this article is a quote from Paleo movement pioneer Dr. Art De Vany. Far from a tongue-in-cheek wisecrack, De Vany detailed in a 2017 podcast interview on the Tim Ferriss Show how steady state cardio is in conflict with your genetic expectations for health.

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