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Friday, July 14, 2017

When NOT to Work Out!

A really big lesson that needs to be learned about health, fitness, and wellness is to not work out sometimes!

I know, for me this was a hard, hard lesson to learn, and actually internalize.  If you are motivated to change your diet to a paleo path, eliminating grains and vegetable oil, and replacing them with good meats and seafood and a green smoothie loaded with veggies and coconut milk, spices, green tea and berries- why, then you are highly motivated indeed.  Just like me!

And diet is definitely the number one thing most folks need to change.  There is no reason to go “by halves” here- clean up your diet- it is all positive!  No downside whatsoever.

But, here is the thing: exercise is different.  The big thing is this- everyone thinks that more is better!  

It’s not.  It seems as if it is at first, when you make great gains in musculature, endurance, and everything else.  
“Let’s just keep this going forever,” you think, “ I will exercise myself into a superman or woman!!”  You envision yourself getting bigger, leaner, and stronger forever, and eventually wearing a cape or carrying a golden lasso…

It doesn’t work that way.  At least not in the real world.  

Especially as you age.  And although I am now 65, I don’t mean that you have to be that old to change your exercise protocol- even if your are 30- well, you are no longer 20!  

The better your diet, actually, the less you NEED to exercise!  Diet is by far the most important element of fitness and health, and although I personally exercise every single day if I can- diet trumps exercise!  Exercise simply stimulates the body to use the good nutrients you have eaten, and takes advantage of the good rest and sleep you have had to utilize these nutrients to build your body into the healthy, wonderful shape that you want.

The takeaway here is this: if you feel you have to exercise every day, no matter what-

You don’t.  

Relax.  Chill out.  If your diet is good, if your home life is largely stress free (no one’s is, entirely!), and you have slept a good eight plus hours per night for a while-

Exercise is a good “plus” for you!  Do it, and go at it Perfectly Paleo Exercise style: hard, intense, and briefly.  This will stimulate muscular building, and also cardio improvements- but don’t forget stretching.  Stretching is almost as important as building muscle and endurance, and as you get older, it is even more important!  

Get on the floor, squat down for time, and STRETCH every day of your life.  And the older you are, do it more and more, not less and less as most do!  

And while you are young: don’t think you have to exercise to failure.  (EVER)  Don’t think you have to exercise every single day, although if life lets you, why do it, because it feels good and natural.  

But, if you are writing a list for your daily chores, DO write this: 

1. Exercise 1st thing, unless you really can’t- then don’t, and don’t worry about it
2.  Eat Paleo, meaning real food
3.  Rest well, avoid stress, and cultivate your “tribe”, facilitating family relationships
4. Get to bed early, so you can wake up and exercise without conflict from more important things

THIS is Perfectly Paleo Exercise in a nutshell!