Exercise like a caveman – Part 2
In these posts (Exercise like a caveman Part 1 and 2) , I have attempted to summarise the important points from Mark Sisson’s book, The Primal Blueprint. I can highly recommend his book and his blog as excellent reads covering the primal lifestyle.
Ok – so let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. How should we be exercising to reap all the benefits of optimum primal fitness?
1: Move frequently at a slow pace
Our cavemen ancestors used to have to walk and hike for kilometres to find water, food and shelter. This is classified as low intensity exercise . At this pace you break a light to moderate sweat and can easily talk without getting short of breath. Your heart and lungs have to work a little harder than usual but not enough that you become over stressed.
Low level aerobic exercise helps balance blood sugar levels and regulate appetite. It also strengthens your bones, joints and connective tissue . It also boosts your immune system and leaves you energized and refreshed.
For example: Walking, hiking, easy cycling and swimming.
Recommended frequency:3 to 5 sessions per week. Could be short 30 minutes sessions during the week and a longer hike on the weekend.
2: Lift heavy things
The lives of our primal ancestors demanded frequent bursts of intense physical effort, such as climbing rocks and trees to scout and forage and lifting heavy boulders to build their shelters. Unless your job requires a fair amount of lifting, we have to make more of a concerted effort to incorporate this type of exercise into our week. Following a strength training routine helps you to develop and maintain lean muscle mass, increase metabolism and bone density and prevent injuries. You can also enjoy accelerated fat loss as well as balanced hormone and blood glucose levels.
For example: Natural total body-movements such as squats, lunges, push-ups, pull ups and planks. Or you can use weights, kettle bells, gym equipment etc.
Recommended frequency:1 to 3 times per week for 7 to 60 minutes
3: Sprint once in a while
If caveman want to eat, caveman must run after food fast! Or maybe he had to run to avoid BEING the food. Fortunately we don’t have to run after our food today and there aren’t any lions roaming out in the streets who would want to eat us. These maximum effort sprints help to increase energy levels, improve athletic performance and help to minimise the effects of aging by promoting the release of testosterone and human growth hormone (beneficial for men and women).
For example: Sprints on hills, grass or beach or intervals on a stationary bike or sprint laps in the pool.
Recommended frequency:Once every 7 to 10 days go all out. Ten minutes total duration.
What I love the most about Mark’s take on exercise is that it doesn’t have to involve an expensive gym membership, fancy equipment or personal training fees.
You don’t have to dress to look the part in high-end active wear – unless you want to of course. All you really need is a floor, your own body and the beautiful outdoors.
So what do you all think? Want to give it a go?
Reference: The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson