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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Paleo Evolution- Incremental Improvement Through Ritual

Every now and then, it is a good idea to "mix it up" with your training!  I love the idea of a morning ritual, and follow a pattern on most days:

I get up, do my easy mobility movements first thing (about 2 minutes worth), then toddle on down to the kitchen.  I like to get up before anyone else, and so am completely undistracted, and focused on the good feeling of accomplishment that, when I'm done with my "morning ritual", stays with me for the rest of the day!

I start off by heating the water for my green tea and coffee on the stove.  While this water heats in the kettle, I assemble all the ingredients for my Paleo Smoothie, from kefir to green tea, and from spinach to cinnamon...Paleo Smoothie ingredient list is here, and I am always searching for variations on the theme of maximum nutrient density/health.  But, your own variations are not only possible, but desirable!  Just keep the Paleo Template in mind, and add in whatever is in season, on sale, or just sounds good to you.

It takes about 5 minutes of so to assemble my Paleo smoothie, and another minute or so to blend it... Now, I start my coffee!  I have written before about the fabulous Aeropress, and recommend you make your coffee with one of these little devices...  I dissolve a little coconut oil into the coffee; really, that makes it for me!  Also, it "jump starts" my system with a strong dose of ketones to kick-start my upcoming workout.

Then, my smoothie, coffee and tea all ready, I go into the living room and work out.  I really enjoy this part of my day, gradually moving through the visualized resistance moves I outline in my ebook Perfectly Paleo Exercise... I kind of think of this as a sort of moving meditation, although I do generally have the television on as I work out.  I almost can't watch TV anymore when I'm not exercising- it seems like a waste of time!  But, when I am exercising, especially with visualized and self resisted exercises, it is not distracting at all to do both.

But that is my daily ritual- once per week I go into my basement, and do my intense weekly workout- chins, pullups, dips, kettle bell swings, leg raises- stuff like that for 30 intense minutes- followed in warm weather by barefoot sprinting for about 10 more...

But now, see what I've added?  For several weeks now I have been doing pushups, dips, chins and more with these gymnastic rings, and they are great!  Really makes all of those exercises more intense, and used more stabilizing muscles as well.  I hang them from my old power rack from my misguided weight lifting days of years ago- it does work well for that, as well as chins and such.  Also great for isometric work!

Easy to set up, cheap, easy to move outside come summer to hang from a tree limb or swing set; what's not to love?  I heartily recommend a set of rings!  Kind of fun, too...

So, I guess the moral is this: rituals are great, and to have a daily ritual is essential.  But, it's also important to make minor changes and tweaks on a regular basis, while keeping the bulk of your routine the same.  The body and mind thrive on regularity: good, predictable sleep, highly nutritious food devoid of "anti-nutrients" like that in grains and legumes, and good "tribal" relations with friends and family.

But, just as our Paleo ancestors did- WE NEED TO EVOLVE!


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