Walk Like a Neanderthal

Did you know that tomorrow is National Start! Walking Day? The American Heart Association is encouraging folks take up daily 30 minute walks in an effort to fight and prevent heart disease. I really enjoy walking, for many of the same reasons that I like yoga -- it helps ground me, gets me moving mindfully, taps into my spiritual self, and gets me outside (okay, yoga really doesn't do that last one, but you get the idea).

I'm particularly fond of hiking, especially if the pup(s) I take are obedience during the climb. One of my favorite local climbs just opened up a few weeks ago. During the winter the city asks hikers to only walk to a certain point to preserve the rest of the area for deer and elk herds to graze undisturbed. From March until December (I think), though, you can hike to the top. So last week Jackson and I made our first peak trek of the season. It was glorious, if chilly.

It's interesting that Start! is kicking off tomorrow. I have been reading about the benefits of extended low intensity exercise (like walking) combined with weight/strength work and a diet that's lower carbs and higher animal fats. Fellow bloggers Heather, Maggie, and Polly already follow a similar health "plan," for lack of a better word.

Heather is a particularly strong supporter of this type of diet and exercise routine. A recent post of hers lead me to like-minded websites whose authors point to evolution as an ideal guide for modern fitness and health. Mark Sisson of Mark's Daily Apple calls it "primal living" while Dr. Kurt Harris of PaNu prefers "paleolithic nutrition." What does it look like? Sisson says that the rules of living 10,000 years ago remain the same today:
  1. Eat lots of animals, insects, and plants.
  2. Move around a lot at a slow pace.
  3. Lift heavy things.
  4. Run really fast every once in a while.
  5. Get lots of sleep.
  6. Play.
  7. Get some sunlight every day.
  8. Avoid trauma.
  9. Avoid poisonous things.
  10. Use your mind.
(From Definitive Guide: The Primal Blueprint)
That all boils down to doing large amounts of "easier" exercise, doing weight/strength training, doing a small amount of high intensity training (like intervals), and eating like early humans ate (i.e., almost no carbohydrates/grains + more animal fats). Is your head spinning yet? Mine is . . . but I can see more than a little validity in what these guys are talking about. I encourage you to visit the above sites for more information, as well as check out Girl Gone Primal's science page. All of these pages offer a remarkable wealth of information on the subject.

What do you think? Are you ready to go primal -- or have you already? I can't say I'm ready to give up my grains completely, but I do see the value in swapping out carbs for fats. Maybe after Om This! is over, we can do a primal living challenge together . You down?

Speaking of Om This!, how has it been going? In spite of feeling sick yesterday, I did 20 minutes of Wii Fit yoga and felt better afterward. Don't forget to comment here with any yoga-like activity you do (plus your other methods of entry like Twitter, Facebook, etc.) for more chances to win a fabulous elite membership to YogaDownload.

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