Primal Action Point: Move Frequently

Inline_Fitness_Live-Awesome-645x445-02Exercise isn’t about calories burned, but about movement. It’s imperative now to discover ways to simply move around more—even if only for brief periods—throughout your day. Make it official personal policy to take stairs instead of elevators, park at the furthest spot in parking lots instead of always angling for a closer one, and generally prioritize pedestrian movement over sedentary options. Here are several tips to add more movement to your daily routine:

Wake-Up Stroll: Grab the dog and take a lap around the block to gradually build energy and prepare for a busy day. Even if you only have 5-10 minutes to spare in the morning, it’s well worth the effort.

Brief Work Breaks: Mounting evidence suggests that work productivity, mental health, and stress management can improve significantly when you moderate digital stimulation and take frequent breaks away from focused, sedentary tasks to engage with fresh air, sunlight, open space and physical movement. Get outside and stroll around the office courtyard, up and down the building stairwell, or otherwise make do with whatever your surroundings. When you sit back down at your desk, you will have a perceptible improvement in energy and focus.

21day_bk_400pxStroll Before Arriving Home: When you pull into the driveway after a day behind the desk, behind the wheel, and behind in paperwork, hit the road for 5-10 minutes before you kill the momentum by opening the front door.

After-Dinner Stroll: Regular 10- to 20-minute outings will establish a wonderful tradition of winding down the evening, and will present an appealing alternative to going from the dinner table straight into the TV or computer room.

Grand Weekend Outing: Take a trail hike at a regional party or an urban journey downtown to the farmer’s market and back home. Set a reasonable goal based on your existing fitness level. Most everyone can walk or bike for at least an hour at a comfortable pace, and many can enjoy a two-or three-hour hike.

— From The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation: A Complete Step-By-Step Gene Reprogramming Action Plan 


About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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5 thoughts on “Primal Action Point: Move Frequently”

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  1. Great inspiration! Living awesome everyday…Strolling is so refreshing and peaceful.

  2. Any solutions for a long commute? It’s not really changeable right now and not only does it mean a lot of time in the car doing nothing but growing new fat cells, it also means I’m constantly drained and don’t have time to do the basic things that need to be done in life already. My job also entails lots of time behind a desk or in meetings and is probably more stressful than usual.

    1. When I transitioned from teaching to a desk job a few years ago, I was concerned about all of the sitting time so I made a few changes. I fashioned a standing desk at work out of boxes and tried to stand at least 4 hours a day. I walked to my car instead of taking a shuttle. I also “did a lap” every hour or walked to colleagues’ desks instead of emailing…those steps add up in a day. When I added a long commute into the mix with a new job, I actually got myself a fitness tracker to keep an honest tally of my steps each day. I made sure to get some nice long workouts on the weekend. Now that I work from home, it’s a lot easier, but I still find I have to be really intentional about movement. I finally bought a standing desk for my home office and continue to use my Fitbit. In the office, people got used to me being the walking/standing person, and we joked about it, which made it seem less weird. 🙂

    2. If I can, I stop midway at a park and go for a wander. To make the ride more bearable, I listen to stories (often ZBS Foundation radio dramas, profound and silly), learn a language (anishinaabemowin), sing.
      At work, depending on the job, I’ve used my lunch break to work out. At my present job, with no lunch break, I get up and move around every hour. I scope out an empty space to dance, do burpees, shadow box, skip rope for a bit. Maybe some coworkers would go along with walking meetings.
      I know. it really sucks to have a long commute. The eight hour day is too damn long to begin with. How can we be good citizens and family members and friends if all we ever do is work?

  3. sound advice! Please work with governments to make them use your guidelines rather than their usual non-sense… In France, the national program of that kind is called ‘Manger-Bouger’ and ‘5 fruits et légumes par jour’ (5 a day); it isn’t too bad but it kind of sucks too… MDA-inspired guidelines would be so much better! The advice from Chris Kesser are so useful too… I wish advice from national governments , the UN and the mass media were as insightful and actionable…
    Mark please become an advisor to governments and Policy makers…