Move like a caveman/woman; Top Paleo Exercise tips
Exercising like a caveman doesn’t mean punishing yourself in the gym for hours. Keeping fit like our ancestors is all about incidental exercise – incorporating movement into every aspect of life and by doing this, strengthening and supporting your body to meet real-world day-to-day physical challenges.
The good news is you don’t have to go to the woods to get chased by a bear for an authentic Paleo workout. That’s why we have put together some top tips for our modern day hunter-gatherers based on Mark Sissons Primal Blueprint philosophy. They’re fun, engaging and don’t cost a thing – winning!
#1 Move Around A Lot at a Slow Pace
This involves anything that keeps your heart rate below 80% max.
This can be walking, hiking or kayaking. Head outdoors to your closest nature trail, hill or lake. Don’t forget to take some Tigernuts for a sneaky snack session!
#2 Avoid Chronic Cardio
Chronic cardio keeps you in a constant “fight or flight” mode, which can increase cortisol levels and inflammation. On this note some people find a 3-hour jog or bike ride a walk in the park since they have the genetics and composition to exercise above the 80% heart rate threshold without doing any damage.
#3 Lift Heavy Things
There is no one approach or official Paleo fitness program. Rather than machine-based exercises, Paleo emphasizes natural movement of intense strength training. In a natural setting, this can involve using free-weight objects like rocks, tires or branches. If you don’t have access to these, try heading to a park using simple bodyweight exercise such as push-ups, dips, squats and lunges. These exercises will develop a functional strength rather than ’glamour’ strength.
#4 Sprint Once in a While
Our fellow caveman had times when they did have to use maximum effort when either on a hunt, or were being hunted.
To replicate this, try some form of sprinting once a week, or if you enjoy it, 3-5 times. This involves 100-400m interval-running sprints or if you’re cycling sprinting at a maximum effort for 1-2 minutes up a hill. When swimming try sprinting 1-2 laps. Ensure you’re recovering between each sprint.
Your Paleo workout should leave you feeling strong and energized not sore and exhausted. You shouldn’t feel as if exercise is a cruel form of torture you have to force yourself through. Rest and recovery are of high importance, alongside maintaining a wholesome, plant-based, nutrient rich diet.
Paleo-man loved Tigernuts
Our Paleolithic ancestors were big fans of Tigernuts and used them to supplement the meat in their diet. Tigernuts are extremely high in Potassium – higher in fact than bananas or coconut water. Potassium is an electrolyte. It helps conduct nerve impulses and muscle contractions, regulates the flow of fluids and nutrients into and out of body cells, and helps keep your blood pressure in check—partly by countering the effects of sodium.
Tigernuts are also very high in magnesium. Magnesium is required for energy production and is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation [1-3]. Magnesium also plays a role in the active transport of calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes, a process that is important to nerve impulse conduction, muscle contraction, and normal heart rhythm – hence it’s importance in our diet, especially if you are a frequently out hitting the pavement!
So stay fit, keep your body well fuelled and (hopefully) lead a long, pain-free life.
Love TFF xx