Tag Archives: paleo exercise

Running in the snowWith the holidays behind us, you may be rethinking those excuses that it’s “too cold outside.” We’ve all been guilty of using the dark morning and the bone-chilling weather as an excuse not to workout during the winter. You’re not alone, but that doesn’t mean you should go with the flow.

Studies (1) show that  not exercising in winter leads to:

  • A 20 percent decrease in cardiopulmonary fitness within just three to eight weeks of not exercising
  • A loss of whatever advantages they gained over time
  • A Higher rate of reverting to a sedentary lifestyle within three to six months of not exercising
  • Difficulty losing the winter weight gained even when they start exercising again

Now that we’ve covered why not to cease exercise let’s talk about some innovative ways to get a move on when your normal go-to might not be the most appealing:

  • Start small with a goal of just trying something once: get up early, dress warmly and go for that jog or take your dog for an early morning run around the neighborhood. Or try that new spin class you typically avoid in the summertime when you’re too busy outside running on the trails.
  • Rather than fight the climate (a losing battle), use the climate to your advantage! Embrace the cold snowy weather and learn to snowshoe or cross country ski. Not only will you keep your mind busy, your body will respond well to the opportunity to cross train.
  • Be creative. One client who was snowed in and couldn’t get to the gym opted to make snow shoveling the driveway his workout for the day, rather than using the family’s snow-blower.
  • Challenge yourself. Don’t let fear of getting too cold allow you to skip your workout all on its own. Invest in some of the great new gear out there that will keep you warm while wicking away moisture, keeping you dry and warm even while you sweat!
  • Don’t forget the small stuff. That 15 minute walk you do around your office building in both the morning and afternoon can add up to 10 miles over the course of a work week and 10 miles is far from nothing!

Don’t forget the extra benefit we get when we exercise in winter compared to when it’s oh so easy to hop out of bed in the summer to workout; as many people report feeling that they have a touch of the blues during this time of the year, either due to a post-holiday lull or lack of sunlight, exercising can help boost our mood and set the day off on the right foot.

Studies (2) have shown that exercise can be more effective than prescription anti-depressants; not to mention, exercise doesn’t have any side-effects!

By allowing ourselves to be a little less regimented in our typical exercise routines, we open up the possibilities of how to keep fit all winter long.

So, bundle up, get out there and go!

 

References

1) “REGULAR EXERCISE PARTICIPATION MEDIATES THE AFFECTIVE RESPONSE TO ACUTE BOUTS OF VIGOROUS EXERCISE, JSSM-2010, Vol.9, Issue 4, 629 – 637

2) Publishing, Harvard Health. “Exercise Is an All-Natural Treatment to Fight Depression.” Harvard Health, www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/exercise-is-an-all-natural-treatment-to-fight-depression.

3) Blumenthal, PhD James A. “Effects of Exercise Training on Older Patients With Major Depression.” Archives of Internal Medicine, American Medical Association, 1 Oct. 1999, jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/485159.

 

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By living a Paleo lifestyle, you have taken control of your mind, your body, and your health. The next component of a healthy lifestyle, and one that goes hand-in-hand with The Paleo Diet©, is physical activity. And while many of us have concrete exercise regimens that we adhere to religiously, there are scores of people who, at this point in their lives, don’t have the time to spare.

And that’s okay!

On The Paleo Diet, there are plenty of ways to incorporate activity into your day. While hitting the gym or the studio is a wonderfully effective form of exercise, there are other methods to move your body that will be just as effective, but more convenient for those of us who are crunched for time. What’s more is that even if you are a regular fitness buff, these practices can be worked into your daily routine to ramp up your activity levels even outside of the gym. Here are three easy ways to stay fit while maintaining your Paleo lifestyle that don’t involve hitting up the gym.

 

Just Walk It.

We’ve all heard this tip before, but it bears repeating. Park a little further away and walk to your destination. Opt for the stairs instead of the elevator. Any chance you get to take a few steps in your day is going to help boost your fitness levels. For those who don’t have the time for daily runs or cardio machines, pedometers are an excellent way to log mileage without devoting a specific block of time to exercise. While it’s recommended that you aim to get about 10,000 steps in each day, this figure is mostly presented to introduce a challenge, as there is currently no scientific evidence to support this magic number’s efficacy. It’s just a good challenging goal for most of us. And once you’ve met this challenge, try to top it! How many steps can you take in a day? In a week? In a month? How many miles can you walk this year?

 

Just Carry It.

That’s right. Carry it. Your toddler, the watermelon at the farmer’s market, the latest shipment from your favorite online store… if it’s safe for you to lift, pick it up properly and carry it for awhile. While, as a busy parent, you may not have time to lift weights, you certainly have time to pick up your young children while walking from your car to the grocery store entrance. New mom? Into attachment parenting? Even better! Who needs the gym…you’re basically lifting all day long! Did someone at work forget to refill the copy machine again? Volunteer to get a box of printer paper and carry it to the copier. Maybe add a few squats for good measure. You’ll work your body and get points with the boss. Is your buddy moving this weekend? Help him out! (Just insist he skips the beer and pizza and takes you for a Paleo-friendly dinner in return!) The idea is to look for opportunities to lift things in your everyday life. While lifting weights is great, you may not have the time to spare. By looking for opportunities to lift things in your day-to-day existence, you are effortlessly adding activity to your Paleo lifestyle.

 

Just Move It.

Salsa dancing lessons on Monday with your partner? A Tuesday night concert with friends? An impromptu living room dance party with your kids on a Wednesday morning? It doesn’t matter how you move, just move it! There are plenty of active things you can do each day that are not your garden-variety forms of exercise. As long as you’re working up a light sweat, you’re incorporating meaningful activity into your day and you can feel good about it. So get your heart rate up, have fun and find enjoyable ways to move that fit within your daily lifestyle. (And, since you’re already on the boss’ good side for refilling the copy machine, why not join the workplace softball team and get even more bonus points and bonus exercise?)

 

When you’re living a Paleo lifestyle, you’ve already made a huge commitment to your health and well-being. Try taking it to the next level by incorporating some activity into your day. You don’t have to join a gym. You don’t have to wake up daily at 5 am to stream a fitness class. You don’t even have to carve out time exclusively devoted to fitness. Our paleolithic ancestors never joined the gym or followed dedicated workout regimens; the physical activity occurring in their everyday lives was enough to keep them fit. So, like they did, shun some modern conveniences and get active naturally. Just carry it, walk it and move it and marvel as the results accumulate.

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