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The Paleo Diet September 2020 Digest – Diet and Exercise

By The Paleo Diet Team
October 1, 2020
The Paleo Diet September 2020 Digest – Diet and Exercise image

The Paleo Diet® is not just a diet, it’s a lifestyle – and exercise is one of the key components of that lifestyle. On a daily basis, our Paleo ancestors performed moderate to difficult activities that required both aerobic endurance and strength. After particularly intense days of hunting and gathering they would rest.

Their exercise patterns have taught us a lot about how to optimize our workout routines and physical heath. To start, we know cross-training is one of the best ways to exercise. We also know it’s important to incorporate rest and recovery into our routine and we know our sedentary lifestyle is hurting our health.

Accordingly, our theme for September was how exercise fits into the Paleo Lifestyle.

Our first two articles, The exercise habits of hunter-gatherers and Tips for maximizing your exercise routine will provide more in-depth history of the active lifestyle of hunter-gatherers as well as how to mimic their movements in our modern lives. One important difference between their lifestyle and ours is how truly stationary we often are in modern times. The Paleo Diet’s Chief Science Officer, Mark J Smith, expands on this important difference, it’s impact on health, and why we should engage in more active “resting” positions, like squatting.

Of course, health doesn’t come from just exercise or just diet. The right combination is critical. For example, new research shows that the right combination can actually reverse type 2 diabetes.

We also have guest writer and former graduate student of Dr. Loren Cordain, Wendy Farrell, address the age-old debate of does sexual activity harm, enhance, or have no impact on athletic performance.

Finally, our recipe portfolio was jammed packed this month with suggestions that will keep you energetic during and after a workout. We have two recovery recipes: Pumpkin Pie Recovery Smoothie and Pomegranate Raspberry Recovery Gummies. We also offer a simple Mid-Workout Energy Bars. Plus, long-time lifestyle writer Nell Stephenson, discusses the benefits of bone broth including several recipes that use bone broth as a primary ingredient.

We hope you enjoy!

- The Paleo Diet Team

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The exercise habits of hunter-gatherers

By Emily Rumsey, B.A.

Hunter-gatherers did not exercise – at least, not in the modern sense of the word. In all aspects of hunter-gatherer life there was a reason for physical activity: finding food and water, escaping from dangers, building shelter, and caring for children, to name a few. By contrast, technology has all but eliminated the need for daily physical exercise in modern in humans. This has contributed to the obesity epidemic and a spike in chronic disease rates. The key to hunter-gatherer's health was that they were always moving. By studying the history of their exercise, we can learn how to replicate their physical routine to improve our health today.

September's Theme: Diet and Exercise

Tips for maximizing your exercise routine

By Aimee McNew

Everyone knows exercise is good for us, but when physical activity isn’t built into our daily lives the way it was for our hunter-gatherer ancestors, it’s hard to find the time for a proper workout. It’s important to follow best practices before, during, and after exercise in order to get the most out of a workout.

How to mimic our Paleolithic ancestors’ squatting habits to improve health

By Mark J Smith, PhD, chief science officer

There is a plethora of research demonstrating that a sedentary lifestyle is detrimental to one’s health and longevity. Chair-sitting postures lead to a decrease in muscular contractions, which, in turn, leads to a decrease in muscle metabolism. However, active “resting” positions, like squatting, seen in hunter-gatherers can reduce these negative health impacts of inactivity in industrialized populations. While some people can experience mobility and stability issues, practicing and keeping a more general consciousness to move during the day can start you on a road to better health.

Does sexual activity affect athletic performance?

By Wendy Farrell

It’s an age-old question; does sexual activity harm, enhance, or have no impact on athletic performance? Wendy Farrell, a former graduate student of Dr. Loren Cordain, aimed to answer this question in her master’s thesis back in 1987. She tested maximal grip strength, balance, agility, reaction time, lower extremity anaerobic power, maximal oxygen uptake, and aerobic capacity in men who were athletically fit and either married or cohabitating with one woman. Her study was just recently published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness.

How exercise and diet can reverse type 2 diabetes

By Aimee McNew

As of 2018, more than 32 million Americans were suffering from type 2 diabetes. This disease can erode the health of individual’s cardiovascular system, nervous system, circulation, weight, endocrine health, mental health, gut health, and beyond. While the medical community traditionally states that it is a life-long condition, new research has made it increasingly clear that this condition may be reversible with the right combination of diet and exercise.

Nell’s Corner: Why bone broth is the best recovery drink

By Nell Stephenson

The upward spending on vitamins and supplements by consumers in the United States demonstrates that many people believe that whole food alone cannot satisfactorily replenish lost nutrients, particularly after exercise. Followers of The Paleo Diet, however, know that food can serve as medicine. Case in point: Wholesome, all-natural bone broth is a rich source of anti-inflammatory glycine and proline, two amino acids that can help speed up the recovery process.

Recipe: Mid-Workout Energy Bars

By Jennafer Ashley

Athletes often need a little something extra to help them through their tough workouts. While we don’t typically endorse energy bars, this no-bake, Paleo-friendly snack made of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit held together with dates, almond butter, and a bit of coconut oil have our full support.

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Recipe: Pomegranate Raspberry Recovery Gummies

By Jennafer Ashley

Treat your body after a tough workout with these refreshing gummy treats made with healing gelatin. Or carry them with you for a long bike ride or team sport event. We use raspberries for its naturally anti-inflammatory properties, but you can use strawberries or other berries if you wish. Since they contain honey though, be mindful to consume these during your workout or in the 30-60 minute recovery window afterwards when your body can absorb higher quantities of mixed carbs.

Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Recovery Smoothie

By Jess Case

Enjoy your favorite autumn dessert guilt-free with this luscious pumpkin pie recovery smoothie. Packed with Vitamin A, potassium, antioxidant’s, and Vitamin C, you can easily replenish your body after a hard workout and stay true to the Paleo diet.

October at The Paleo Diet: Comparing Protein Sources

According to The Good Food Institute, investors have spent $13 billion in plant-based and cell-based meat companies in 2017 and 2018 combined. Further, in 2018, $673 million was invested into plant-based meat, egg, and dairy companies.

At The Paleo Diet we tend to separate our plant foods from our meat (and avoid dairy entirely,) but we recognize the ethical appeal that attracts people to vegetarianism and subsequently alternative forms of protein. Therefore, October is dedicated to comparing all protein sources, from meat-based to plant-based and eggs. We’ll address the questions of whether they’re good for you and which ones are best for you.

As always, our team appreciates your support for The Paleo Diet. We look forward to and encourage your feedback on our website and Facebook!


The Paleo Diet Team

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Paleo Leadership
Trevor Connor
Trevor Connor

Dr. Loren Cordain’s final graduate student, Trevor Connor, M.S., brings more than a decade of nutrition and physiology expertise to spearhead the new Paleo Diet team.

Mark J Smith
Dr. Mark J. Smith

One of the original members of the Paleo movement, Mark J. Smith, Ph.D., has spent nearly 30 years advocating for the benefits of Paleo nutrition.

Nell Stephenson
Nell Stephenson

Ironman athlete, mom, author, and nutrition blogger Nell Stephenson has been an influential member of the Paleo movement for over a decade.

Loren Cordain
Dr. Loren Cordain

As a professor at Colorado State University, Dr. Loren Cordain developed The Paleo Diet® through decades of research and collaboration with fellow scientists around the world.