Walking...with a Purpose
Exercise doesn't always mean your heart has to be pounding through your chest or sweat dripping on the floor. As with many things in life, sometimes the simplest tool can be the most effective. Walking should be the foundation of your exercise strategy, not the health club. Long duration-low intensity Cardio makes up the base of my Fitness Pyramid
and should be performed 3-5 hours per week. Seems like a lot, but really it isn't.
The health and fitness industry has created a bunch of methods, diets, exercise classes, and machines which have confused the human body pushing it further from natural movement and health. Performing fundamental movements like walking, running, jumping, twisting, throwing, climbing, on a consistent basis are essential for the human skeleton and its components to function effectively. Using machines like treadmills, bikes, and ellipticals as your sole source of exercise is a mistake which can cause Biomechanical faults and limitations to progress. Human Gait is a marvelous synchronization of many moving parts or: "How individual joints and muscles function in an integrated and coordinated fashion to produce motion of the body as a whole." -Joint Structure & Function by Norkin and Levangie
Tools to Make Walking More Effective
Having drive and pushing your body to move forward is one of the major differences between a natural surface and the treadmill. Dig in, reach for heel strike, and push forward.
Taking in a lot of air, expanding the rib cage, and expelling the air with force is a great way to drive much needed oxygen deep within the body's tissues.
Mechanics of Motion
I'm sure you've noticed, but when the front leg is forward, the arm on the same side is back. This natural rotational motion between the upper and lower extremities is a functional and efficient mechanism to get us from point A to point B. Don't get carried away with swinging your arms but rather become aware of your rib cage and pelvis rotating as your leg progresses forward.
The Real Detox
Getting out early on an empty stomach with a warm cup of green tea, taking in a lot of air, and enjoying the scenery is a great way to get your circulation moving, tissues oxygenated, and major organs rebooted. There are many tea concoctions with herbs that aid in the detox protocol: licorice root, ginger, mint, etc., check out the Yogi brand.
Change Your Venue
Pull over to the high school track, a new park, or even a challenging hill instead of the same old route through the neighborhood.
Wiggle your toes inside your shoes, squeeze your butt as you extend your back leg, your quads as you straighten your knee, or pause to swing your legs front and back or side to side. Reach arms overhead and out to the side to regain range of motion in the upper extremities.
Developing Purpose with your Walking
Rather than just sauntering along and enjoying the view, find a route which offers terrain, turns, and a change of scenery. Since you spend most of your day with numbers, let this form of exercise be about enjoyment with movement of your body. If you have an hour to walk, great, only 20 min, don't sweat it and add more the next time you go out. Knowing time, distance, and pace are important for measurable goals, sure, but don't let them be a sole measure of progress.
Using Fat as Fuel
On an empty stomach your body will naturally pull fat from its stores and convert it to fuel. This process is called Ketosis
. I plan a large post on this topic alone soon, but know that it is a natural biological tool humans have developed over millions of years to survive and provide fuel going long times between meals. If you want to burn stored fat and get lean, limit carbohydrates, and walk long distances on an empty stomach.
Not to get mystical, but aligning yourself the daily rhythm of sunrise-sunset is a great way to fine tune your senses, sleep better, wake better, improve Biological functions, and psychological awareness. Early morning walks with the sunrise rock, and there's always time for a nap later in the day, isn't there?
Eggs are a great source of protein, amino acids, fat,
and other goodies such as choline, phosphorous, and potassium. They're also easy to cook, inexpensive, and pretty easy to tote around. Scare tactics such as 'Don't eat the yolk!' and 'They're too high in cholesterol!', are garbage. The fact is dietary Cholesterol
has nothing to do with the stuff swimming around your veins getting stuck on arterial walls, and cholesterol is essential for the human body: hormone manufacture, cellular construction, and bile for digestion being three absolutely necessary functions.Try to source Eggs from a local farm with integrity. Pastured means a lot, cage-free and organic are becoming deceptive terms getting you to think the eggs and chicken are more humane when most of the times they are not.
The old standby, yes, but try and cook them in coconut oil, Ghee ,olive oil, or butter for beneficial fat...and flavor. Don't overcook eggs! If you see any browning on them, chances are you have denatured the proteins.
Chicken Sausage Scramble
Slice up a chicken sausage, tear up a piece of kale, sauté in coconut oil for a couple of minutes, and add 3 beaten eggs.
Nope, no crust. Just pick your favorite ingredients, such as bacon, green pepper, onions, sauté for a few minutes, a little grated manchego cheese, whip them together in a bowl, and pour into a glass pan coated with olive oil, bake for 30-40m. Quiche is great because you can refrigerate for days and pull out a slice and reheat it when you're hungry. Great for breakfast, lunch, a snack or dinner.
Great to have around in the fridge as a quick snack. Terri, my wife, always has it on hand. Make your mayonnaise
from scratch in minutes since all commercial stuff has canola or soybean oils in it. Add some celery, walnuts, pickles, or whatever else tickles your fancy. Try wrapping some in romaine lettuce leaves since bread is out.
| Thoughts on CrossFit
I get a lot of questions about CrossFit, dozens each week: what it is, what it does, and if it's a good form of workout to take up. So, here's my take.
CrossFit, along with P90x and others, are the relatively newest crazes, or should I say, branded forms of Crosstraining to hit the exercise world. Circuit Training and the exercises performed in it are nothing new, but the level of intensity, popularity, and devoted culture CrossFit has created is.
Working out hard is great. And, there's no getting around it CrossFit is a hard workout. Weightlifting, (esp. Olympic-style lifts: squat, deadlift, snatch, clean), pulling, pushing, jumping, swinging, throwing, combined with high repetitions and little rest is intense. The CrossFit website will tell you that. The CrossFit participants will tell you that.
With intensity must come caution, or more accurately, if performed in a workout center, be monitored by a fitness professional who can objectively provide an assessment of individual capabilities, limitations, and appropriately implement basic exercise principles such as Progression and Variation. A 'Just do it' attitude doesn't wash well for the human body and instructing clients without addressing such concerns and strategies is a recipe for disaster. So, in this 'balls-to-the-wall' environment, knowing when to tell people to put on the brakes is imperative. As my colleague Chris Chilelli puts it:
"CrossFit is the latest entrant into a long line of exercise philosophies that are big on rules and programs but short on basic anatomy."
That said, with any craft that is taught, it always comes down to the quality of the instructor for client success and safety.
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Just to clarify, Beef or any other red meat, is not bad for you. Co
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Read more Top Health Lies HERE
| See you next month|
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-Bill The Urban Caveman