Category: Recent Articles

Winter Camping 101

You might be wondering why any sane person would want to try winter camping. The apparent negatives are myriad: It’s cold, wet, snowy, windy, and miserable. Why would you want to experience that? Well, the positives are also that it’s cold, wet, snowy, windy, and miserable. The positives are the negatives.

Everyone’s been on a vacation that was “ruined” by bad weather or crazy bad luck befalling them, only to have it become one of the most vivid, best memories of their lives because it was so intense, difficult, and out of the ordinary. It becomes a story you can tell for years after. Even though it’s “bad” in the moment, it’s a source of joy for the rest of your life.

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Active Recovery Workouts

Back when I was competing at an elite level of marathon and triathlon, we paid lip service to rest and recovery, but recovery looked mostly like lying on the couch for hours on end with a gallon of ice cream resting on my chest. I poured all my energy into training sessions such that I had nothing left in the tank on off days. Even basic household chores were a big ask. 

If I knew then what I know now, I would have made more of an effort to move on my off days, incorporating more active recovery instead of the passive, frankly slothful recovery I favored at the time. 

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New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week—Edition 198

Research of the Week

A personalized strength training program using genetic data is very effective.

Compared to real meat, fake meat doesn’t trigger the same rise in essential amino acids when eaten.

Belly fat and death in Europe.

Low light during the day and bright light at night increases the risk of psychiatric disorders.

Exercise remains the best remedy for Alzheimer’s.

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{CLOSED} Cold Plunge Sweepstakes Celebrating 16 Years of MDA

This sweepstakes offer has expired.

A Primal lifestyle is all about giving your body the inputs it needs to thrive. I intend to stay vibrant, strong, and active well into old age, and I want the same for all of my readers as well. 

Appropriate hormetic stress is one of those crucial inputs. Hormetic stressors are things like exercise, sun exposure, intermittent fasting, and mild caloric exposure. They tell the body, “Hey, life is full of challenges. Better get as strong and nimble as possible so we can face whatever the outside world throws at us!” 

Hot and cold therapy are also hormetic stressors that have become an indispensable part of my routine. They both offer an impressive array of benefits, including improved cardiovascular function and insulin sensitivity, but I appreciate them mostly for the mental boost I get. With cold exposure in particular, I feel a noticeable increase in focus and acuity after a plunge. Nothing beats cold water immersion for the rush you get from making yourself do something that’s difficult in the moment but that feels so good afterward.

I’ve recently stepped up my cold water immersion game with the addition of a Plunge (cold tub) from the company of the same name. This technology allows me to regulate the water temperature to my exact specifications. I like a little cooler in the morning and warmer (but still plenty cold) in the evening. Because it’s at my house, there’s no excuse for not getting it done. 

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The Past, Present, and Future of the Primal Mission

Mark’s Daily Apple turns 16 today. I guess we could say it’s officially “come of age.” It was the platform that launched the primal mission, and I couldn’t have spread the word without it — and without you, my dedicated readers, of course. So let’s get a little reminiscent, shall we? After all, that’s what birthdays are for. 

Many of you are familiar with my personal journey. A career as an endurance athlete left me sick and injured, making me acutely aware that the standard health and nutrition advice I’d been following was misguided at best and destructive at worst. I’ve always loved challenging my brain as much as I do my body, so I dug into all the science available and began experimenting with a more evolutionary approach to food and fitness. I noticed the benefits right away and wanted to document my journey and help other people reclaim their health as well. I started Mark’s Daily Apple for that very reason, with a measurable goal in mind — to change the lives of 10 million people.

I soon discovered just how many people out there are sick of being failed by mainstream dietary and fitness advice. Visits to Mark’s Daily Apple skyrocketed as more people found their way to the blog, many of whom encouraged me to consolidate my research and way of life — which I call the primal lifestyle — in a book. And so I did.

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Reflecting on 16 Years of Mark’s Daily Apple

17 years ago, my friend and mentor Art Devany asked me to write a couple fitness articles for his website. I did. “Escape from Vegan Island” and “The Case Against Cardio” got such huge responses from his readers that I decided to start my own blog.

16 years later, I’m still going strong. I’m not really a sentimental guy, but I’m feeling very emotional right now. This blog was a personal revelation for me.

I’d spent my entire life as an entrepreneur of many coats: mowing lawns, painting houses, grilling chuck steaks out of my dorm room, opening frozen yogurt shops in Palo Alto, training triathletes and marathoners and wealthy socialites in LA, selling supplements on TV and later the Internet. I was always pretty successful, but eventually I knew I’d have to move on to something else. I had to keep moving at all times. Always on the prowl. And I was always selling.

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