Guest Post By: Greg, Home Fitness Talk 16th June 2016
The Paleo diet is a great start but the best way to achieve significant and long-lasting weight loss success is to change all your health habits and move to a complete Paleo lifestyle.
A Paleo lifestyle takes a radical approach to exercise: it’s all about incorporating movement into every part of your daily life and moving the way your body was built to move. Weight loss is a primary motivator and benefit for most people but the Paleo lifestyle isn’t about looking good, it’s about improving your ability to complete everyday tasks and even participate in sports.
So How Does Someone Living The Paleo Lifestyle Exercise?
Living the Paleo lifestyle is about finding ways to exercise that make you feel more connected to your body. Get away from the cardio machines and go for a long walk or test your tree climbing skills instead. Relearn how to swing from the monkey bars at your local playground. Go for a swim. Learn how to dance or play a new sport (or one you haven’t played in years).
It’s also about getting more movement throughout your day, even when you’re not actively working out. Once an hour get up and stretch for 5-10 minutes. Take the stairs instead of the escalator. Park your car in the spot furthest away from the office. Find ways to get a few minutes of exercise here and there to keep your metabolism steady throughout the day.
What About Strength Training?
By far the most popular strength training regime for the Paleo lifestyle is CrossFit, a program centered around physically demanding 30-minute workouts. CrossFit gyms tend to be more expensive but you can do the Workout Of the Day or WOD from home as well a different one is posted on the site each day. You will need some heavy duty strength training equipment to follow this program at home.
Looking for something a little less intense? The Primal Fitness Blueprint by Mark Sisson is essentially an adaptable CrossFit program that anyone can use to achieve their fitness goals. It’s also designed specifically for people on the Primal diet, which is quite close to the Paleo diet.
Of course, you can also create your own strength training program based on a variety of resources and the equipment you have access to if you go to the extent of setting up a home gym. Resources like Nerd Fitness can help you learn more about overall fitness and how to build your own workout routine. If you have the resources you may even want to pay a personal trainer to create a personalized workout regime for you.
If you want to take your strength training to the next level you can go for a Paleo-friendly program like Stronglifts or Starting Strength. These programs use compound lifts and small sets using heavier weights to build your muscle mass.
Buying the equipment to start one of these programs at home may seem overwhelming but you can often find gently used high-quality gear at extremely affordable prices and some gear is easy to make yourself. And even if you do spend a significant amount of money on this gear it will be less expensive than a gym membership in the long run.
Rest And Recovery
More work is not necessarily better, especially when it comes to working out. All the programs linked to in this article incorporate designated rest days so your muscles have time to recover. Skipping rest days means your muscles don’t have enough time to build themselves up properly. It also dramatically increases your risk of injury.
What you need to remember is that ‘rest and recovery’, doesn’t mean sitting on the couch watching TV all day. The only time you should spend an entire day on the couch is when you’re sick and you need intensive rest. Otherwise, you should still be getting up every hour to move around and stretch at least.
The Bottom Line
Choosing a Paleo lifestyle doesn’t necessarily mean picking one of the exercise programs on this list but it does mean making a commitment to exercise and movement. Try different things until you find an exercise regime you can actually stick with and remember that there’s no wrong way to exercise everyone has their own way and that’s all right.