Exercising the primal way!

When I talk about exercise some people will think "Exercise? What's that?" and others will say, "Yeah I exercise. I go the gym 3-4 times a week and work myself into a good lather on a treadmill or stationary bike and doing reps on a Nautilus fitness machine."


This type of exercise is not what our bodies were evolved to do. Let's go back a few years like 150,000 years ago where it is generally accepted that humans from this era were not all that different than humans of today. If you took a person from that time period that mysteriously appeared in our time they would look quite similar to humans in today's world. A good hair cut and new clothes and they would look like an everday person of today.


Back 150,000 years ago our distant ancestors were hunter gatherers, always on the move looking for game or edible plants, vegetables and fruit to eat. If they were out hunting game they would form a hunting party and search out some animal they could kill and bring back to the tribe. Close your eyes {after reading this...:)} and imagine yourself as part of this hunting party. We would walk or trot for miles perhaps before sighting some game. Our hunting party would stealthily surround the game animal at a distance and then slowly close in until by a series of gestures and signals everyone knows it is time to rush in and kill the game animal. Sometimes we would be successful and sometimes not, but let's assume we were successful. We would bring the game animal back to our tribe where everyone would eat. A successful hunt.


Now let's dissect the activity necessary to achieve our goal of killing a game animal to survive another several days. We walked quite a while and then in one all-out burst of energy we rushed the game animal. So we had a period of mild excercise (walking or trotting) to get to where we needed to be and then a burst of energy to surround the game animal and kill it.


Now let's come back to today's world. Most people work at jobs that require none of these skills so we join gyms to get our workouts to "stay in shape." We spend countless hours on treadmills and stationary bikes thinking we are exercising properly but are we? The answer is a flat out NO! That is not what our bodies have evolved to do. Where is the flat out burst of energy that our distant ancestors used to achieve their goals?


This is just my opinion but jogging for long distances is not good for you. Your ankles, knees and spine are taking a constant pounding. This is why joggers who have been at it for quite sometime will eventually end up with back problems because the cushion between the vertebrae get damaged from all the pounding. The best way to exercise is long "speed walks" with speed sprints every so often as our distant ancestors did. You will notice that these all out sprints are not as hard on the back as jogging. Running flat out is a fluid motion with long strides and the effort spread out over more of the body instead of the constant pounding of jogging. I do a fair bit of bicycling and do this on the bike. I'll pedal at a comfortable pace and then go flat out in a higher gear until my legs are burning and then slow down to my comfortable pace. When my legs have recovered I'll do it all over again.


Since cancer cells do not like an oxygen rich environment then a little exercise and fresh air won't do any harm. A brisk walk while swinging your arms will also exercise and cleanse your lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a network of vessels that extend from the neck down to the groin. The lymph system is responsible for disposing of toxins and fighting disease. Here is a short article that explains all about the lymph system and why exercising it is important. The lymphatic system does not have a pump like the blood system in our bodies. Lymph fluid needs motion to move it around.


Meet one of my mentors, Mark Sisson, who advocates a Primal Lifestyle to eat correctly and exercise our bodies the way they have evolved to do. There will be links at the end of this page to his web site. We STILL have the same bodies as these Paleolithic era humans. So spending hours on a treadmill or stair stepper or whatever is NOT what our bodies have evolved to do.


Here is exercising the Primal Way. Moderate exercise on a treadmill and then after a while a flat out run or a good fast pace where you have to run, if your treadmill will allow that. Then a "cool down" period of walking on the treadmill until you have regained some strength and feel your muscles returning to normal. Then after this brief rest period, a flat out run again.


This type of exercise can also be done on weight machines. Find a weight that is comfortable with a bit of resistance and do several reps to warm up. Then add on as much weight as you need so that it is a real effort to lift. Be sure its manageable so you can do at least three "power lifts" that will push your muscles to the limit then take a break. Repeat as necessary with these power lifts. You should be able to do three of these three-session power lifts. Adjust the weight accordingly. You will find that it will become easier over time and you will have to add additional weight.


You will find that after a while your exercise routine is cut in half or more timewise and you won't be so bored as I am sure you feel after spending hours plodding along on a treadmill and doing the same weight training over and over again doing endless reps with the same weight with gradual increases. Repitition is NOT the answer, its pushing the limit over a short period of time that will build muscle mass faster. You will feel better because you are exercising your body the way it was evolved to do.


I have a friend who used to be a power lifting champion. His workout took maybe 15 minutes tops. He would load up the weight bar so much the bar would actually bend when he did his power lifts in training. After a time he added cardio exercise at the urging of his wife and doctor. He ate several times a day using protein rich foods and protein drinks to repair and build muscle. He would rest for a few days to allow his muscles to repair and build and then do it all over again. One of the events he used to compete in used two V8 engine blocks suspended from a bar. The competitor would RUN a short course while this bar and engine blocks were across the shoulders. He always won. :)


If you are using the Ketogenic Anti-Cancer Diet you will have to increase your intake of protein. The easiest way to do this is to drink a protein shake at least a couple of times a day because your new exercise regime will need this added protein to repair and build muscle. Even if you are NOT exercising the Primal Way extra protein will be necessary. Also you will have to increase your good fat intake because your body will need the extra fat to increase your bodies increased need for ketone bodies for cellular energy. Remember that you are on a sugar free and low carb diet that produces no glucose so you will have to make adjustments. This where your scales will be necessary to keep track of your weight. If you see your weight dropping and you are ingesting extra good fats to produce ketone bodies then you will have to increase your protein. Trial and error will eventually find the correct balance.


If you want to know more about The Primal Lifestyle see Mark's site by clicking here for the Daily Apple web site and click here to fast track to Mark's Primal Blueprint 101. You can also sign up for Mark's Daily Apple newsletter where he gives tips on exercise and great "Primal Living" recipes. He also has several books for sale to help fill in the gaps. Enjoy!!









Meet Grok, the Paleolithic hunter-gatherer that is the symbol for Mark Sisson's trademark image.