Thursday, 24 September 2015

Tips to get Paleo Fit

22:14 Posted by Dhaval Bhandari
WHILE THE BENEFITS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY have long been recognized, the modern environment tends to encourage a lifestyle of inactivity. Humans are lured by gadgets, transport options, laborsaving devices and technological solutions that have led us down a path of reduced movement. It's a temptation that's hard to  resist, and for many people, physical exertion is becoming increasingly optional, if not extinct. Recent research suggests that sedentary behavior is  a significant risk factor for chronic disease and mortality. A recent meta-analysis of 43 studies (amounting to more than 43 million people) found that significant periods of sitting were associated with a 21 percent increased risk of lung cancer and a 24 percent increased likelihood of colon cancer.

Tips to get Paleo Fit

This was independent of the quantity of exercise undertaken, meaning that high levels of activity alone do not cancel out the ill effects of extended periods of sitting for several hours a day. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) proposes reducing sedentariness for all, regardless of one's physical activity level, by interspersing intervals of standing with short bouts of physical activity between periods of time spent sedentary. In other words, doing a little bit more often and sitting less can be more healthful than one significant work effort at the end of the day after slouching at the desk for several hours. Most exercise programs target a few specialized areas; for example, we often just focus on doing cardio right, or resistance work. We may concentrate on a particular skill or movement alone, to the detriment of others. But these approaches have one fundamental flaw: They ignore our ancestral heritage and nature's prescription for adaptation that got us here. The human genome was not framed around enduring ultra-marathons or engaging in exclusive, repeated heavy lifting to develop fitness. Through natural selection, we thrived on a broad repertoire of activity and intensity; we were designed to be movement generalists, multi-skilled and multi-faceted, rather than specialists in one or two areas-and our training should reflect this. The types of exercise for which we are evolutionarily adapted include a variety of activities performed intermittently, at moderate intensities, for reasonable durations. This variety not only improves our physical capability, but it also lowers the occurrence of repetitive stress injury, provides inherent motivation and increases the likelihood of long-term adherence to exercise programs.

One possible solution is to get back to basics and reference the movement patterns of our huntergatherer ancestors, who were naturally lean and strong thanks to the activities they had to do daily. Tips on paleo fitness is a model used to tune in to how our bodies evolved and to get us to move as nature intended, by training above and beyond function to meet life's challenges.

Get Outdoors

TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY TO GO OUTSIDE TO TRAIN. Research tells us the profound impact that fresh air, grass, trees and colors in the natural environment have on mental health and physical well-being. A study at the University of Queensland in Australia found that people who exercised outdoors on a regular basis had higher levels of serotonin, a hormone that regulates mood, than those who exercised mainly indoors. The outdoor exercisers also had higher levels of endorphins, which cause the "rush" that occurs after exercise.4 Science even has a term for this: biophilia. It means "love of life," and it refers to our deep affinity for the natural world. We don't need science to confirm that being outdoors is good for us; most of us feel this instinctively. Evidence for biophilia demonstrates that exposure to and interaction with nature can have a profound effect on mental performance, selfawareness, vitality and appreciation of our environment and of others. Being outside more is also associated with higher levels of vitamin D thanks to additional sun exposure. This has significant health benefits, including boosting the immune system, improving heart health, improving calcium absorption and bone health, and preventing cancer.

Be Playful

MAKE ACTIVITIES FUN AS WELL AS CHALLENGING. Use your imagination to create scenarios that will make your workouts more enjoyable. For example, when doing a bear crawl, imagine you're crawling under low-hanging branches covered in thorns at varying heights. It sounds like child's play, but engaging the brain in this fashion will increase muscle activation and make you work harder. Athletes often use visualization when training to improve their athletic performance. Scientific studies demonstrate that visualization brings about quantifiable improvements as well as physiological changes. Research has also shown that using mental imagery for muscle movement can create similar electrical activity to that seen during actual movement. Imagination also helps to increase motivation, and allows us to create whatever environment we need to accomplish our goals.

Be Pratical

THINK OF FITNESS AS THE ABILITY TO IMPROVE WHAT YOU NEED TO DO DAY-TO-DAY AS WELL AS THE CAPACITY TO COMPLETE THE EXTRAORDINARY TASKS THAT LIFE SENDS OUR WAY. Make your fitness not just functional but practical. What does your fitness allow you to do? Are you strong enough to push a car, or would you rather wait for help? Quick enough to sprint for a bus, or would you just wait for the next one? Would you be able to climb to a position of safety or just succumb to the danger?

Integrate Movement

INTEGRATE MOVEMENT INTO YOUR DAY, EVEN WHEN YOU'RE NOT EXERCISING, BY AVOIDING SEDENTARY OPTIONS. Don't feel that your training needs to be specific to a time or place. Fitness regimens are often structured around a set place or time of day that may or may not be convenient, which can become another reason to avoid exercise. Integrating physical activity into your daily routine will reduce the need to fall back on the "lack of time" excuse.

Avoid segregating or isolating movement from your day-to-day life. If you treat exercise as a hobby, then you will fit it in only after all the other priorities-instead, make physical activity something you do all the time by avoiding sedentary options. This doesn't mean you have to dedicate all your time to movement. For example - begin to explore and expand the possibilities that you have to move. Run ( or even better, sprint) for the bus, take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to the local grocery store and carry back several bags of shopping, stand up when talking on the phone, and take movement "snacks"-engaging in brief periods of opportunistic, whole-body movement a couple of times an hour, to get you out of the chair.

Sleep More

JUST A FEW NIGHTS OF SLEEP DEPRIVATION CAN INCREASE THE LEVELS OF HORMONES THAT BOOST APPETITE AND REDUCE YOUR ABILITY TO REGISTER THE "FULL" SIGNAL. A lack of sleep increases the stress hormone cortisol, increases the risk of lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, and promotes fat storage especially around your middle. Don't let your training regimen get in the way of your sleep; aim for a minimum of eight to nine hours of restful sleep daily. And find time for rest and relaxation to ensure full recovery after physical exertion.

Avoid Overkill

REGULAR EXERCISE IS PROTECTIVE AGAINST CHRONIC DISEASE, BUT EXTENDED PERIODS OF INTENSE ACTIVITY CAN BE DETRIMENTAL. We were designed for routine light-intensity activity such as walking and carrying things for several miles a day, as well as intermittent moderate-intensity and duration activity, with very brief periods of vigorous, high-intensity activity. Extended periods of high-intensity exercise are associated with damage to the heart, joints and muscle.

Be Mindful

HOW OFTEN HAVE YOU EXERCISED AIMLESSLY AND MINDLESSLY, DOING AN EXERCISE WITHOUT PAYING ATTENTION TO WHAT, HOW OR WHY YOU'RE DOING IT? Instead, focus on the experience of the moment, and ensure a mind-body connection with everything you do. Move with intensity and purpose, as our ancestors did. Think less about exercise prescription, but dwell on your individual movement philosophy.