I have some really good news!
Getting fit and staying fit does NOT mean toiling away doing endless cardio. Though it may be difficult to believe, achieving optimal health does not mean you have to be an exerholic. Since adopting the Paleo lifestyle I have embraced the “less is more” idea with regard to exercise. My new-found common sense approach to fitness is inspired by Mark Sisson. When I began gathering information about the Paleo Diet I started by researching the differences between the Paleo Diet and the Zone Diet. Having read “Mastering the Zone” by Dr. Barry Sears in the late 1990’s I was well-acquainted with the idea of eating more lean protein and good fats, keeping insulin levels in check, etc… But I wanted to know how the Paleo Diet and the Zone Diet differ and why I should follow one versus the other. The website that came up in my searching was Mark Sisson’s blog www.marksdailyapple.com. After reading about the dietary aspects of Paleo (or as Mark calls it, Primal) I began to explore more of Mark’s site and was immediately hooked. Mark is a former world-class marathoner and Ironman triathlete who has created what he calls the “Primal Blueprint” as a way to health and wellness. Included in the Primal Blueprint is what he calls Primal Blueprint Fitness. According to Mark Sisson, following this “blueprint” leads to “functional, diverse athletic ability, and a lean, proportioned physique”.
Primal Blueprint Fitness recommendations:
- MOVE frequently at a slow pace: walking, hiking, cycling, easy cardio at 55-75% of maximum heart rate, 2-5 hours per week.
- LIFT heavy things: Brief, intense sessions of full-body functional movements, 1-3 times per week for 7-60 minutes.
- SPRINT: “All out” efforts < 10 total duration, once every 7-10 days.
Using this as a guide, I have attempted to find the most efficient, effective (and fun!) exercise regimen for myself. Right now the following activities comprise my weekly workout routine:
- 1 hour willPower & grace
- 1 hour Zumba (Play!)
- 1 hour yoga or “yogalates”
- 1-3 hours walking or hiking
- 20 minutes of sprinting, once a week
- 20 minutes weight-lifting, twice a week
That adds up to 5-7 hours per week but according to Mark’s Primal Blueprint, it could be as low as 3 hours per week. If I have the energy, opportunity, and desire for more physical activity I will most likely put in additional time in the “Move” category. For me, that would probably include walking, hiking, or yoga. I try to stay away from too much high-intensity cardio or “Chronic Cardio” which “requires huge amounts carbohydrate (sugar) to sustain, it promotes hyperinsulinemia (overproduction of insulin), increases oxidative damage (the production of free radicals) by a factor of 10 or 20 times normal, and generates high levels of the stress hormone cortisol in many people, leaving them susceptible to infection, injury, loss of bone density and depletion of lean muscle tissue – while encouraging their bodies to deposit fat.”
I would add it also leads to a misperception that fitness can only be achieved by those who have the time and will to put themselves through an intense workout schedule. My husband, G, because of work commitments and a significant commute, simply does not have the time in a given week to follow the standard “Chronic Cardio” method. He has lost weight and feels great following this more manageable fitness program in his relatively limited time. We have both gone from discouraged to ecstatic that we do not have to kill ourselves to be fit.
In future posts I will go into more depth about what I have discovered in my search for the most effective and efficient way of exercising. I will also get into more detail about my own experiences with my current regimen. Until then, I’m going for a walk with my boys, SP and BB!
This is a brilliant blog Lea!
Thank you so much for putting this out there so that more people can learn what you have taken from your research and how you are incorporating it into your active life.
I can easily adhere to the blueprint you’ve laid out and am excited to do so!
Thanks Jennifer! I’m so glad you like it. Following these principles has really made staying in shape so much easier for me and the G Man. I have the luxury of more time now than I had when I was working full-time. But as you know, taking care of kids and a house and hubby doesn’t always leave us enough time for ourselves. I find this way to be much more manageable than what I was doing before.
Hi Lea, just found your website this morning while looking for a biscotti recipe, have it cooling right now for the hour…. can’t wait to try it.
I too am a avid follower of Mark Sisson and also of Dr Mercola and have been following them for over a year now and have lost 25lbs and am almost at my pre-pregnancy weight of 150lbs (5 more to go) without doing much except following Paleo principles. I’m healthier and more active than ever and am so so thankful. I have moderate scoliosis and was in a lot of pain after my second child, for years. But now with a healthy diet and active lifestyle I’m 44 and healthier or as healthy as I was as a teenager, and pain free. Anyway I just wanted to thank you for your lovely website, I will visit often.
I really appreciate your “recipe” of what you do each week for fitness as I am always looking for ways to incorporate more fun “play” activities. You have made me think of Zumba. HAHA …just maybe….
take care – H
Apologies for the delay in responding. I hope you liked the biscotti. That’s great to hear that you are feeling so well. I hope you like the website. It is currently being redesigned so it will soon be better than ever.
I’ll immediately snatch your rss feed as
I can’t to find your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service.
Do you have any? Kindly allow me recognize in order that I could subscribe.