When people think of good habits in the realm of health and fitness, they often associate this with struggling, suffering, and sacrifice. They might think: “I want to lose weight, therefore I must eat less and work out more.” But if you look at the evolution of our species dating back some 2.5 million years, you gain some interesting insights. Understanding the lifestyle patters of thousands of generations of our hunter-gatherer ancestors will make you question a lot of the typical advice offered by conventional wisdom.
In a nutshell, our bodies are meant to use fat as a primary energy source, not merely store it. Doing lots of light, easy movements throughout the day (such as hiking a slow pace) with occasional and brief high intensity efforts such as sprinting or lifting heavy things are habits that make us lean, fit, strong, and energetic. If, on the other hand, we keep engaging in chronic cardio patterns when following the typical recommendation of working out an hour at medium to high intensity nearly every day of the week, we are overdosing on stress hormones and teaching the body to burn the sugar (glucose), not the fat we’re trying to get rid of. This leads to cravings for sugary beverages and meals high in carbohydrate, so weight-loss efforts stall. Repeating this process for a long enough time eventually leads to burnout, especially if we are constantly depriving ourselves of sleep and are doing all of this on top of an already stressful lifestyle. So rest, recovery, and even engaging in various forms of play (preferably out in the sun or in a natural setting) regardless of age are highly important factors in this context.
If any of this resonates with you and you’d like to learn more, I’d encourage you to first check out the following blog page as an introduction to Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint:
Mark’s strength lies in taking scientific concepts and principles and translating them into simpler, easier to understand pieces of information that the lay person can apply to their own lives. After having followed Mark Sisson for such a long time, and having read his books and his blog, I decided to become certified in his health coaching program (“Primal Health Coach”), giving me a much deeper understanding of the concepts. Part of this certification program was also training on how to coach clients in applying these principles to their own eating and exercise habits. Combined with implementing this into my own life over the last few years, I have come to appreciate how valuable customized and timely information can be, especially when dealing with all the constraints we often face in modern life – be it through work, our family, or location/travel related.
Investing in a coach can be one of the most life-changing decisions you can make. You can create a lot of change over the course of years by reading books/blogs and continuously implementing habits and routines little-by-little. Of course this echoes the Good Habits Plan ethos, so I recommend this regardless. Consider though that coaching can really accelerate your progress and help you identify important factors that may have gone unnoticed or been underutilized otherwise – all of this is especially relevant in the context of health.
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To your health,