I just joined a new gym a few months ago and it’s kind of been a weird transition for me. I went from a gym that focuses on functional movement, interval fitness and lifting heavy things to the stereotypical lines of “cardio” equipment. You know, the ellipticals, the treadmills, stair climbers.
In fact, every time I’ve been to this new gym I’ve seen numerous guys, doing curls for the girls.
So if I think really hard, maybe I could envision one of our ancestors standing up after a nice meal of some kind of mammal and saying…ok girls, watch me flex my biceps for you. I don’t think that’s practical or paleo exercise.
So if you’re attempting to live a paleo lifestyle it will definitely include exercise. So if you follow these 7 rules you can live closer to how our ancestors would have lived which is of course, congruent with our genetics.
- Lift heavy things—Our ancestors would be required to lift, pull, push, carry large, heavy objects just to maintain their existence. Since it’s quite likely you won’t have to put a deer over your shoulder in order to eat tonight, perhaps at least you could put a bag of dog food over your shoulder and walk around the block. You might as well bring your dog with you too so he can get healthier too.
- Sprint—The only reason our ancestors would have ran was to go somewhere, fast. If they were successful they lived. If not, they would have ended up as another predators lunch. Their life depended on their ability to go fast for short periods of time. Both to eat and to not get eaten.
- Hike—Our ancestors would sometimes travel for days in search of food to bring back to the fam. So go on a good hike with your kids and let them experience the fresh air and keep their brains from turning to mush from the video games.
- Functional movement—I’m just guessing that little Johnny Paleo probably climbed a few trees in order to eat or keep from being eaten. So try doing some pull ups, push ups, squats, jumping or numerous other body weight exercises.
- Do enough—Many people that I see at the gym do something on a “cardio” machine for 30-45 minutes, the whole time reading a magazine. Look friends, you gotta sweat.
- Don’t over do it—Then there is another class of people that are literally killing themselves in the gym 5-6 days a week. Every day they attempt to set a new PR. High cortisol and adrenal fatigue is on the way baby!
- Rest—it’s ok to take days off. Our ancestors did. They made a kill, sat, ate and socialized for days. Give yourself a break.
So with these 7 rules of Paleo exercise you can start looking and feeling like our healthy ancestors.