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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Tag: Aging

10 Primal Skin Care Ideas

Morning, everyone. Hope you all enjoyed a happy and safe holiday. I’m turning over the reins to one of our Worker Bees today as I spend some time on a book project (more to come on that). I know many of you have asked about natural skin care ideas in the comment board, and we’ve got some great suggestions today. I hope you’ll welcome our Worker Bee to the fold (she just joined us recently) and offer up your own ideas below. (And for those who may have missed it, I shared several of my own favorites last spring.) Have a good end to the week. 

Spend any amount of time perusing the shelves at your local supermarket or beauty supply store and you may notice that all the skin care products have something in common: a long ingredient list. I’m afraid to say most commercially-packaged bottles, jars, and tubes contain potentially harmful ingredients in the form of preservatives, stabilizers, artificial colors, and/or added fragrances, which could have negative long-term health effects when absorbed through the skin.

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How I Supplement For Training…And a Contest

This morning I shared how I’ve changed my approach to stress over the last couple of decades. For me, this meant first addressing the toll of my training. It’s how the Primal Blueprint, in fact, was born. In today’s feature and in this video (with my long-time friend and co-author, Brad Kearns), I talked about how adaptogenic herbs made a difference for my recovery. I formulated my own supplement to literally help myself first. Fellow athlete friends wanted to try it, and that’s how Primal Calm (now called Adaptogenic Calm) came into being. The fact is, like everything I’ve chosen to sell, my interest in the product sprung from my own story.

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Supplements For Brain Health: What Nutrients and Supplemental Foods Make the Most Difference

As humans, our most important bodily endowment isn’t our claws, sharp teeth, powerful haunches, iron grips, prehensile tails, venomous secretions, or aerosolized musk. It’s the brain. We use it to shape the world around us, to bend physical reality to our will, to manipulate matter and create powerful technological terrors. These days, the human brain is more important than ever. If you want to enjoy life, pursue and succeed at your passions, to conquer your little corner of reality—you need a healthy brain. Brain health is key to total health—and quality of life.

By some analysis at least, however, neurogenerative diseases remain on the rise and take an ever more extreme emotional and economic toll. So, how do we keep our brain health intact? While much of it comes down to doing the things that keep your brain healthy and avoiding the things that harm it—exercising instead of sitting on the couch, breathing exclusively fresh air instead of tobacco smoke, sleeping instead of staying up—another big variable is the food we eat.

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Gaining (and Maintaining) Wisdom From Life Experience

My staff and I are quite close. Things stay busy these days, so there isn’t a lot of downtime, but I’ve worked with some of these folks for over a decade. We don’t discuss every grisly detail of our lives with each other. But we do share. We care about each other.

So when one of the Worker Bees mentioned he was having some potentially serious medical issues, I asked for details. Turns out he went to his doctor for a hard lump on his throat that was getting progressively bigger. Initial pokes and prods were inconclusive. An MRI led to a biopsy, which led to an email in the middle of the afternoon with the results and a hell of an opener: “This may be a cancer.” May helped. It wasn’t a sure thing yet.

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Intermittent Fasting for Women: What We Know Now

This is an updated version of a Dear Mark column from 2012. You can find the original version archived here. The below has been completely updated for 2018.

The blank slate hypothesis has fallen. Everyone comes into this world imbued with attributes, characteristics, and predilections that are uniquely theirs. We’re all humans, but we’re a diverse bunch, and that makes it interesting. And though it also makes giving cookie cutter health advice impossible, I just take that as an opportunity to stand out from the crowd and provide actionable advice that genuinely helps real people.

A perfect example is biological sex. Anyone who’s lived with the opposite sex, been married, or had kids of different sexes knows that males and females are different—on average.

There’s a ton of overlap, don’t get me wrong.

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Dear Mark: Power Yoga, Pelvic Floor, Keto Reset and Osteoporosis

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions. First, is power yoga—a more “intense” version of yoga that includes strength exercises—a suitable alternative to strength training for aging women? Probably not, but that doesn’t make it bad or wrong to do. Second, what’s the deal with pelvic floor dysfunction after menopause? What’s the best way to improve that situation? And third, is the Keto Reset right for older women with osteoporosis?

Let’s find out:

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Women’s Fitness: Should It Change with Age?

Generally speaking, the basic Primal Blueprint for fitness and physical activity applies equally to men and women of all ages. Lifting heavy things works in everyone. Sprinting is a fantastic way—for anyone who’s able—to compress workouts and improve training efficiency. Improving one’s aerobic capacity through easy cardio doesn’t discriminate between the sexes. And everyone should walk, hike, garden, and perform as much low level physical activity as possible. These basic foundations—the 30,000 foot view of fitness—don’t really change across age or sex.

But the details do, especially for women.

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Primal Starter: Living Purposefully

Living life on your own terms isn’t just a quaint turn of phrase. It has huge effects on your health. A large body of research shows that the less control you think you have over your life, the higher your mortality risk. That persists even when you control for other health variables and biomarkers. It’s even true for animals. Self-agency—or even the illusion of it—appears to be a requirement for healthy, happy aging.

And unlike some of the characteristics shared by centenarians, like good genes, control is malleable. You can’t change the structure of your DNA. You can, however, wrest control over your own life. Despite whatever challenges present themselves, you get to decide what purpose you contribute to each day.

How?

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Slow Moving Training: Yoga

I like intensity when I train. Lifting heavy, running sprints, playing Ultimate Frisbee. I keep it brief, and the foundation is always a lot of slow movement throughout the day—easy runs, long walks or hikes, rarely sitting—but I go hard when I “work out.”

What if you were to go slow, on purpose?

Entire schools of physical culture are founded upon slow, deliberate movements. They squash momentum and lambast rapidity. They’re difficult in a different way. They require patience and fortitude.

Take yoga.

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Primal Reflection Point: How Are You Playing?

“Insufficient play is another major disconnect in modern life, causing reduced productivity, increased stress, and accelerated aging. Stuart Brown, author of Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul and one of the world’s leading experts on play, calls play a ‘profound biologic process.’ He explains that play, across the span of a lifetime, promotes the development and maintenance of a ‘cognitively fluid mind.’

“Cognitive fluidity—being able to go with the flow, think outside the box, process what-if scenarios, and react quickly and effectively to changes in our environment—is believed by anthropologists to represent one of the most profound breakthroughs in human evolution. This breakthrough in brain function, probably emerging 60,000 years ago, meant that humans’ brains could link knowledge from different domains. The way humans understood and approached the world became both more flexible and more expansive. This enabled more creative use of technology, better transfer of knowledge between generations, and a resultant spike in human longevity. Cognitive fluidity is still essential today, helping us adapt and thrive in a complex, high-tech society. When we get stuck in patterns of overwork and overstress, we lose that important connection with our creative, intuitive, playful selves. Our work suffers and so does our happiness.”

—From The New Primal Blueprint

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