I was talking to Cole “The Machine” Anderson a couple days ago and he told me about an article he was reading about “primal workouts” which I found pretty amusing and I only imagined lads and lasses running around in loincloths. Naturally I decided to check it out and, sure enough, it is a fitness philosophy based on the genes that have kept our species alive and thriving since we first made fire.
Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint, outlines the ten Primal laws on his blog, Mark’s Daily Apple. He created this set of guidelines to allow us “to control how your genes express themselves in order to build the strongest, leanest, healthiest body possible, taking clues from evolutionary biology.” Makes sense right? Sisson’s modern interpretation of these laws is pretty simple, and I’ll just pretty much list them here; more information is available on his website:
1) Eat lots of animals, insects and plants. Eat protein, colorful vegetables, fruits and healthy fats and avoid sugars and hydrogenated fats. (If you’re wondering about the insects bit of this rule, I’m with you.)
2) Move around a lot at a slow pace. Engage in low-intensity level aerobic activity every day.
3) Lift heavy things. Try a weight workout that works your whole body.
4) Run really fast every once in a while. Get a solid sprint workout in a couple times a week. Try it barefoot when you can if you don’t have a previous injury. It strengthens all the little tendons and ligaments in your tootsies and there’s something so exhilarating about sprinting barefoot across a grassy field.
5) Get lots of sleep. Keep your energy up and your immune system strong.
6) Play. Yay!
7) Get some sunlight every day. Bust out those fab new shades.
8 ) Avoid trauma. Eliminate self-destructive behaviors like sketchy drugs or not looking both ways before crossing the street.
9) Avoid poisonous things. Basically go organic, when you can.
10) Use your mind. Read! Break out the Sudoku!
When you put it all in list form like that, it really does seem too easy at first. The more I think about it though, the more understandable it is that these guidelines are a bit of a challenge to apply to our lives, especially if so much of our lives is spent at a desk. I guess that’s when we can get creative (See Rule 10) and eat an organic green salad with avocado and olive oil for lunch, then buzz up and down the 16th Street Mall for 30 minutes. When you get home, maybe actually play with your dog outside instead of just letting him out to do his business. It’s a cool concept, that’s for sure. And it seems totally doable, so maybe I’ll see what happens. I wonder if my new ankle boots will match my loincloth…