9

votes

Importance of physical activity understated by most?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created October 01, 2011 at 12:55 PM

I find that a lot people tend to focus on dietary choices over physical ones when it comes to the paleo lifestyle. I've even seen recommendations to cut back or stop exercising all together. The more I read though the more I begin to wonder that maybe a lot of the health benefits HG's have is because they live such a physical lifestyle?

According to current data our paleo ancestors burned ~1k cals daily(source), modern sedentary people burn 1/4 or less that amount. HG's also tend to have much higher levels of physical fitness-

alt text

We know from numerous studies that exercise protects against degenerative diseases and a lot of people can avoid a ton of health complications associated with the SAD if they exercise more.

So do people in the paleosphere emphasis physical activity enough? Do they put too much weight on dietary choices? Is 3 hours of crossfit(or similar training) a week enough? Should we all be walking 10 miles a day? burning 1k cals?

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on December 25, 2011
at 10:47 AM

@cliff : that's an empty statement. Are you saying I should do something I don't like to feel better?

35a8b223ae5d863f17a8c9e3a8eed5eb

(571)

on December 09, 2011
at 10:31 PM

i dance at night, 2-3 times a week

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on November 16, 2011
at 04:01 AM

i feel great with heavy exercise: i lift 3x/wk, box 2x/wk, sprint 1x and take a long walk the remaining day. Of course i worked up to this without stress, don't suddenly read this thread and go apesh!t. I'm also 23

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on November 16, 2011
at 03:59 AM

i dont think introversion is the problem. No interaction is an issue but not giving yourself your own time because you want to imitate the most extroverted is actually a disaster. I was extremely outgoing and active in college and if anything, it increased my overall stress and cortisol. The key is social balance, within your own personality.

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on October 21, 2011
at 11:54 PM

I think Quilt's answer is best, what serves a hormetic function is essential, anything extraneous in terms of exercise will probably have diminishing returns on health, if not counterproductive. ps. all I know is i couldn't lose any weight exercising like a maniac while eating a mediterranean diet to satiety. i CAN maintain a lean physique eating Paleo while studying on my ass 10hrs a day in medical school. so Greyman's response seems to validate my experience

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on October 21, 2011
at 11:45 PM

cmon cliffy just come out and say it, "a calorie is a calorie". cliff is bro-science 2.0

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on October 21, 2011
at 11:42 PM

HIIT/heavy weights are a sure-fire way of wearing you down if you do it everyday for more than 30min. even young athletes can't keep up without drops in testosterone/mood and increased injuries. as for slow fat-burning exercise, i'm all for it but thats the type of exercise thats the LEAST hormetic. you're just burning fat

F40555b9be81e12c2fc460e6fa7d097c

(692)

on October 03, 2011
at 04:20 PM

I don't think that's the implication, but okay. I kind of see what you're saying. You could walk to work, though, couldn't you? Or ride a bicycle? Or engage in adequate activity before/after work?

669790861549f3c6d54d88a65296ed19

(452)

on October 03, 2011
at 12:25 PM

Well it's being implicated here,that eating Paleo is not optimal alone for health&leaness. One should also do CF or LH/HITT and lots of lowlevel activity. How would that be combined with a sitting job?That would mean,one has to constantlt keep on moving&exercising after their job in order to make up to the hours sat down.....What a fun way to live! How about disabled people in wheelchairs?

7b11ed525ffa23bc7257684e27488a6a

(366)

on October 03, 2011
at 01:28 AM

As a black belt martial artist, I agree from experience that too much intense exercise can be problematic in terms of stress response. But walking can be not enough of a stimulus for muscles or other systems either. Strength training does really nice things for the body in so many ways. Leptin and insulin sensitivity are increased, skeletal growth, body fat burning and so many other benefits are realized. So many reasons to exercise. But the way in which it is done is really important. Sisson's suggestions look sound, but like anything, there may be different strokes for different folks.

5b69a02dadcae753771921d913909215

(1457)

on October 02, 2011
at 11:54 PM

That's a lot of caves... When was the last time you wandered around grasslands or wetlands?

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 02, 2011
at 11:54 PM

did you even read my post? We have real estimates of paleo daily physical exertion. You underestimate how much they walk, fidget and are generally active. Your anecdotes mean nothing.

485bcefe7f1f7a6df1a293a826bf6137

(2191)

on October 02, 2011
at 11:37 PM

I believe most people lived in caves--they are the same temperature all year round. And even if you built shelter, it wouldn't be every day. None of those other things would require that much energy or take that long to do. It would have been foolish to expend so much energy when food was often scarce. And yes, I think they were layabouts for much of the time.

F40555b9be81e12c2fc460e6fa7d097c

(692)

on October 02, 2011
at 11:30 PM

What does this have to do with the question?

F40555b9be81e12c2fc460e6fa7d097c

(692)

on October 02, 2011
at 11:29 PM

What about butchering killed animals? Tanning skins? Building/defending shelter? creating tools? These are all work intensive activities that would expend a great deal of energy. I'm sure they probably did sit out the hotter parts of the day, but I doubt our ancestors were a bunch of layabouts. Survival is a fairly difficult task without all of our modern conveniences and promises of safety.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on October 02, 2011
at 11:01 PM

I live on a farm so I am constantly walking, when I lived in the city I was all cooped up in my dark room.

Medium avatar

(2169)

on October 01, 2011
at 09:05 PM

I define paleo as ancestral diet + intelligent self experimentation + exercise + responsible / ethical food choices. I think anyone who as you say "is fooling themselves" become more obvious if you spend time with them. All thise fake-ness and people being disingenuous is because they want to fit in, they want something they see as unattainable, or they're just too lazy to give up what they need to in order to get the result- so they take the easy road. This used to anger me. Now, I use Mark Twight of Gym Jones: "talk-action=0 The goal is not the thing itself. Broadcasting it is not execution

Medium avatar

(2169)

on October 01, 2011
at 08:55 PM

I can't agree more. I worked some at an outdoor retailer, and 90% of our customer base were people ages 30-50 with desk jobs and college students. Once I sold a $500 gore-tex rain jacket to a rich woman to wear at ECU football games. It made me sick. I'm an outdoor guide, I actually need and appreciate high-end gear, but can't afford the pricey stuff. Our society is rampant with this kind of "posing." People buy fake designer stuff to look rich, Patagonia + TNF to look outdoorsy, John Deere/ Carhart to look country. It's obvious the person with the fake handbag isn't rich.

D7ec5ab98a0b971f9e24b4e654abfa7d

on October 01, 2011
at 07:47 PM

I'm a nurse -- work 2 12-hr (more like 13-hr) shifts a week on a busy inpatient that consist of being on my feet at least 75% of a shift, moving/boosting/assisting patients (some of whom weight 300+ lbs), lots of bending, stretching & reaching. Unfortunately, when I ate my "old" (just over 3 weeks ago!) diet, I was so wiped out and sore after this stretch, that I basically slept or laid or sat for 24-36 hrs afterwards. Now I've got the energy/motivation to be active on my days off too!

Medium avatar

(2169)

on October 01, 2011
at 04:30 PM

+1. chopping wood is great physical activity and stress relief!

Medium avatar

(2169)

on October 01, 2011
at 04:30 PM

I have a labor intense job- wilderness guide. When I'm working I'm very active and outdoors. I probably get between 4 and 6 hours of low to moderate exercise 6 days a week. When I work more sedentary jobs in the off season. (like right now, I'm busy making custom leather belts and other items for my parents' leather shop) I get depressed, anxious and gain weight. I think this is due to the combination of decreased physical activity and dramatically lower sun exposure. It is a tragedy that we're forcing our youth to live sedentary lives through an institution whose goal is to better them.

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on October 01, 2011
at 04:25 PM

@ben and korion I think it depends on the city, as far as walking. I find Manhattan very walkable myself. Moreover, people like Mark Sisson and other good sources really advocate incorporating exercise. While diet is a huge part of it, factors like good sun exposure (for vitamin D) and being up and moving really help. Personally, I've found the exercise components of paleo easier to adapt to. I gave up some of the heavy lifting in favor of more walking and endurance, and a focus on overall fitness. Just my two cents.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:53 PM

of HIIT, Crossfit, etc. coupled with a "paleo" diet, and then sedentarism the rest of the time is likely a recipe for failure. A large amount of general low-level activity (walking, getting up and down, dancing, building, working, etc.) coupled with intermittent bouts of high intensity (weights, Met Con, etc.) AND an optimized diet is what I am advocating.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:50 PM

"Farming" is too general a term. Indigenous farmers, like those living in Papau New Guinea, and the Yanomamo of South America straddled the line between hunting-gathering and intensive agriculture. Their lifestyle was very active and they also consumed a diet that was consistent with our biology. A modern farmer, waking up at 4am to milk the cows, eating a large breakfast of sugared coffee, toast, etc. is very much at risk for DOC (diabetes, heart disease, etc.) and the incidence of such conditions in rural communities is evidence of that. I do think that 30min 3x a week...

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:23 PM

I would love if you answered the question and explained your reasoning greyman

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:08 PM

Because more would probably put too much stress on your body. Like I said it is like trying to lose weight by eating less and less. The extra stress is not good.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:08 PM

Indigenous farmers had no degenerative diseases for the most part, just check out WAP book. The original farmers had declining health at first due to nutritional deficiencies but were comparable to HG's in regards to health once they figured it all out.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:05 PM

To each his own. Carb reduction got me part way, but activity got me home, and stopped any regain. Eating is an hour a day, but living a paleo lifestyle is 24/7.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:04 PM

"If you need more of anything it is not crossfit or similar exercise." Why?

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:01 PM

I gave crossfit as an example too. If you need more of anything it is not crossfit or similar exercise. Just be more active. That is my point. A lot of us (including myself) always think we should do more of something and that always translates to better.

3432683fc74c2d2a40efe1e8f16ac1f6

(1130)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:01 PM

I don't agree that the movement is more important than the diet. In my experience and also from studying the subject, diet is much more important that the movement.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:59 PM

Calories burned? This is about a lifestyle, not a dietary obsession.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:59 PM

More to the point of your question though: yes I agree that PA is not focused on enough in paleo and in the US in general. While many can eat well and not move much and maintain health just fine, many can eat poorly and be active enough and maintain health just fine. All my friends are pretty much that. I think that combining both is the best choice. I think that if more paleo folk really emphasized living an active, aggressive lifestyle and ate really well they'd get by all this "I hit a plateau!" stuff. I maintain that our bodies "want" to be lean and able to move well given the opportuni.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:57 PM

I hated the day Eddie Bauer became Eddie Spiegel. The connection between the real EB with a skein of fish on Steamboat Island was lost when it became a marketing bonanza.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:54 PM

@cliff, I agree with your comment. But I kinda think that if an average fat dude used to a life of sitting on the couch started walking 10ish miles a day they would not feel well. This would lead them to stop the healthful practice and go back to the couch. Now I think if they read Gokhale's book, took the time to think about their steps, etc it'd be a different story.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:53 PM

Exactly my thinking.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:44 PM

I focused on calories because thats the only measure we have.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:44 PM

I don't think you get my question, i gave crossfit as an example.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:43 PM

@ben I disagree, you don't get better posture or less obese by sitting there

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:42 PM

@korion its only annoying if thats your mindset, i have no problem walking in LA

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:36 PM

I walk all over our small city! I often walk 4-5 miles a day, but I like my modern lifestyle--no need for Paleo re-enactmant here.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:33 PM

@Cliff, I share your suspicion regarding the fear of cortisol. Acute cortisol rises are natural and fine. We are supposed to have that occur in our bodies. Professor Layne Norton has repeatedly stated that resistance training that produces the most cortisol release also produces the greatest hypertrophy gains, if that matters to you.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:33 PM

Exactly, I just don't have the time to walk that much. If I lived in nature, I would constantly walk, but I live in the city. Walking in a city is annoying.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:32 PM

My comment on Crossfit is based on how many Crossfitters here & on the MDA forum complain about hitting a fat loss plateau. Just anecdotal.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:30 PM

certainly walking 10 miles a day would be great. I don;t see many people being able to logistically do it though. Plus, with poor footwear and obese bodies, poor posture etc maybe that amount of walking would hurt most in the US.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:30 PM

It's enough for this 48 year old 5'6", 125 lb woman to maintain enough fitness to do contact improv dance with lifts on a weekly basis.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:26 PM

If it was move slowly 5-7hours a day it would be more inline with paleo levels of PA

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:17 PM

is that enough though? With those guidelines you could potentially not even exercise that much. 1 hour of walking isn't very much. "I think too many folks raise their cortisol unnecessarily by doing too much Crossfit" What is this based on? Do they raise cortisol because of crossfit or because they restrict carbs?

  • E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

    asked by

    (12857)
  • Views
    3.2K
  • Last Activity
    1406D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

12 Answers

8
44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on October 01, 2011
at 03:06 PM

I think healthy social life is understated the most. It was great that robb wolf really made a point about in his video. Maybe its selfevident. I have been very introvert personality, and i believe thats the cause of my health problems.

I think an relaxed hour or two of walking a day and doing some heavy chores like chopping wood and gathering stuff from forest is all the excersice you need to stay healthy. Atleast my grandfather did.

Medium avatar

(2169)

on October 01, 2011
at 04:30 PM

+1. chopping wood is great physical activity and stress relief!

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on November 16, 2011
at 03:59 AM

i dont think introversion is the problem. No interaction is an issue but not giving yourself your own time because you want to imitate the most extroverted is actually a disaster. I was extremely outgoing and active in college and if anything, it increased my overall stress and cortisol. The key is social balance, within your own personality.

8
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:08 PM

I think too many folks raise their cortisol unnecessarily by doing too much Crossfit & not enough gentle walking.

I like Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint Fitness program as a guide to "exercise" for the average non-athlete. It's a free pdf file.

Basically: lift heavy for 20-30 min twice a week, sprint 1x/week for 10 min, move slowly for 5-7+ hours/week, play & rest.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:30 PM

It's enough for this 48 year old 5'6", 125 lb woman to maintain enough fitness to do contact improv dance with lifts on a weekly basis.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:33 PM

@Cliff, I share your suspicion regarding the fear of cortisol. Acute cortisol rises are natural and fine. We are supposed to have that occur in our bodies. Professor Layne Norton has repeatedly stated that resistance training that produces the most cortisol release also produces the greatest hypertrophy gains, if that matters to you.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:26 PM

If it was move slowly 5-7hours a day it would be more inline with paleo levels of PA

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:17 PM

is that enough though? With those guidelines you could potentially not even exercise that much. 1 hour of walking isn't very much. "I think too many folks raise their cortisol unnecessarily by doing too much Crossfit" What is this based on? Do they raise cortisol because of crossfit or because they restrict carbs?

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:32 PM

My comment on Crossfit is based on how many Crossfitters here & on the MDA forum complain about hitting a fat loss plateau. Just anecdotal.

7b11ed525ffa23bc7257684e27488a6a

(366)

on October 03, 2011
at 01:28 AM

As a black belt martial artist, I agree from experience that too much intense exercise can be problematic in terms of stress response. But walking can be not enough of a stimulus for muscles or other systems either. Strength training does really nice things for the body in so many ways. Leptin and insulin sensitivity are increased, skeletal growth, body fat burning and so many other benefits are realized. So many reasons to exercise. But the way in which it is done is really important. Sisson's suggestions look sound, but like anything, there may be different strokes for different folks.

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on October 21, 2011
at 11:42 PM

HIIT/heavy weights are a sure-fire way of wearing you down if you do it everyday for more than 30min. even young athletes can't keep up without drops in testosterone/mood and increased injuries. as for slow fat-burning exercise, i'm all for it but thats the type of exercise thats the LEAST hormetic. you're just burning fat

5
Medium avatar

(19479)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:02 PM

Farming is much more labor intensive than hunting-gathering and the "diseases of civilization" arose in spite of this dramatic increase in activity levels.

Of course, with the stratification/specialization of our species, the percentage of individuals engaged in the laborious creation of food has dwindled and many of our jobs now require little or no physical effort.

Exercise, therefore, is absolutely important, albeit in combination with an individually optimized diet.

I personally "exercise" (everything from yoga, to boxing, to weight lifting, to walking) 2 hours a day. I pay attention to my body and make sure that I finish feeling good rather than completely wiped out.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:53 PM

of HIIT, Crossfit, etc. coupled with a "paleo" diet, and then sedentarism the rest of the time is likely a recipe for failure. A large amount of general low-level activity (walking, getting up and down, dancing, building, working, etc.) coupled with intermittent bouts of high intensity (weights, Met Con, etc.) AND an optimized diet is what I am advocating.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:08 PM

Indigenous farmers had no degenerative diseases for the most part, just check out WAP book. The original farmers had declining health at first due to nutritional deficiencies but were comparable to HG's in regards to health once they figured it all out.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:50 PM

"Farming" is too general a term. Indigenous farmers, like those living in Papau New Guinea, and the Yanomamo of South America straddled the line between hunting-gathering and intensive agriculture. Their lifestyle was very active and they also consumed a diet that was consistent with our biology. A modern farmer, waking up at 4am to milk the cows, eating a large breakfast of sugared coffee, toast, etc. is very much at risk for DOC (diabetes, heart disease, etc.) and the incidence of such conditions in rural communities is evidence of that. I do think that 30min 3x a week...

5
D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:49 PM

Patagonia clothing and North Face did studies of their customers and found that the majority of their customers do not lead an active lifestyle, but they enjoyed looking like the lead the active lifestyle. I can't remember exactly the percentage, but even the self-described active people wearing Patagonia clothing were not very active, although they thought they were.

I often wonder how many people on paleohacks are actually active and follow the lifestyle compared to how man are fooling themselves.

The point of the above is those that don't stress activity are probably not and never were active and like to say they are paleo without being paleo. You can't live paleo without both activity and diet.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:53 PM

Exactly my thinking.

Medium avatar

(2169)

on October 01, 2011
at 08:55 PM

I can't agree more. I worked some at an outdoor retailer, and 90% of our customer base were people ages 30-50 with desk jobs and college students. Once I sold a $500 gore-tex rain jacket to a rich woman to wear at ECU football games. It made me sick. I'm an outdoor guide, I actually need and appreciate high-end gear, but can't afford the pricey stuff. Our society is rampant with this kind of "posing." People buy fake designer stuff to look rich, Patagonia + TNF to look outdoorsy, John Deere/ Carhart to look country. It's obvious the person with the fake handbag isn't rich.

Medium avatar

(2169)

on October 01, 2011
at 09:05 PM

I define paleo as ancestral diet + intelligent self experimentation + exercise + responsible / ethical food choices. I think anyone who as you say "is fooling themselves" become more obvious if you spend time with them. All thise fake-ness and people being disingenuous is because they want to fit in, they want something they see as unattainable, or they're just too lazy to give up what they need to in order to get the result- so they take the easy road. This used to anger me. Now, I use Mark Twight of Gym Jones: "talk-action=0 The goal is not the thing itself. Broadcasting it is not execution

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:57 PM

I hated the day Eddie Bauer became Eddie Spiegel. The connection between the real EB with a skein of fish on Steamboat Island was lost when it became a marketing bonanza.

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on November 16, 2011
at 04:01 AM

i feel great with heavy exercise: i lift 3x/wk, box 2x/wk, sprint 1x and take a long walk the remaining day. Of course i worked up to this without stress, don't suddenly read this thread and go apesh!t. I'm also 23

4
Medium avatar

on October 02, 2011
at 08:25 PM

I couldn't agree more.

I endeavor to walk as much as possible every day and am a bit startled when I count up the miles. A few miles a day feels like a lot when you're out of shape and your feet especially aren't used to it, but after a while 8-10 miles a day is nothing. It's not strenuous and I at least enjoy it. Maybe all paleos need to give a big, goofy dog at a shelter a good home and walk 'em miles every day. It'd be the best thing for both parties.

At the very least, people should put an exercise device in front of their television and use it at a low to moderate intensity instead of sitting there passively.

There is no evolutionary precedent for sedentary living and no way to eat your way around that fact.

4
2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:27 PM

I think you might be focusing on the wrong thing. First off, I do not view exercise as a way to burn off calories. It's like trying to lose weight by thinking the lower amount of calories I consume the more I will put off. Instead I see it as a way to get my body going (boosting hormone levels, good for the heart, boosting my overall mood, etc) and giving it a little healthy stress, and to improve my fat metabolism.

I think the paleo community has emphasized that we need to be active in our world. Stop sitting on the coach all day online, or watching TV. Go outside, keep your HR around 50-55%. But this does not have to be exercise as you describe it. Go play with the kids, go dance, try to drive your car less and take your bike, or walk into town, etc. Does not mean do crossfit everyday.

If you think the more the better, than need to understand hormesis. Too much stress is bad, a little is good for you (I'm not saying all stress is hormetic, just that exercise is).

Diet is important, but I agree not the only thing. Exercise, sleep, stress levels or all important and part of the big picture. So go out and have some fun.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:59 PM

Calories burned? This is about a lifestyle, not a dietary obsession.

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:08 PM

Because more would probably put too much stress on your body. Like I said it is like trying to lose weight by eating less and less. The extra stress is not good.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:44 PM

I don't think you get my question, i gave crossfit as an example.

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:01 PM

I gave crossfit as an example too. If you need more of anything it is not crossfit or similar exercise. Just be more active. That is my point. A lot of us (including myself) always think we should do more of something and that always translates to better.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:04 PM

"If you need more of anything it is not crossfit or similar exercise." Why?

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:44 PM

I focused on calories because thats the only measure we have.

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on October 21, 2011
at 11:45 PM

cmon cliffy just come out and say it, "a calorie is a calorie". cliff is bro-science 2.0

3
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:39 PM

Shortest answer may just be yes we should be moving far more. I'm just curious, does no one on this forum have a labor intensive job? I mean construction workers, carpenters, maintenance, even various mechanics? This obviously would count toward your physical activity particularly doing these activities 40+ hours each weak.

To be honest if you have a sedentary job then focusing on physical activity is going to be far more important than to that of a person whose living already provides at least a moderate amount of activity. Heck even a busy health care professional would do quite a bit of walking and movement day in and out. It all counts in my book. So at the end of the day its not just how much cross-fit you did...its how you spend each waking moment. Wrestling your kids? It counts! Take the stairs instead of escalator? It counts! You get the picture.

Oh, and this is also a huge problem I have with our current school structure. Its like forcing young people into a sedentary job, especially when they cut gym and recess. The kids need more time off their butts. The book "Spark" is a good read.

D7ec5ab98a0b971f9e24b4e654abfa7d

on October 01, 2011
at 07:47 PM

I'm a nurse -- work 2 12-hr (more like 13-hr) shifts a week on a busy inpatient that consist of being on my feet at least 75% of a shift, moving/boosting/assisting patients (some of whom weight 300+ lbs), lots of bending, stretching & reaching. Unfortunately, when I ate my "old" (just over 3 weeks ago!) diet, I was so wiped out and sore after this stretch, that I basically slept or laid or sat for 24-36 hrs afterwards. Now I've got the energy/motivation to be active on my days off too!

Medium avatar

(2169)

on October 01, 2011
at 04:30 PM

I have a labor intense job- wilderness guide. When I'm working I'm very active and outdoors. I probably get between 4 and 6 hours of low to moderate exercise 6 days a week. When I work more sedentary jobs in the off season. (like right now, I'm busy making custom leather belts and other items for my parents' leather shop) I get depressed, anxious and gain weight. I think this is due to the combination of decreased physical activity and dramatically lower sun exposure. It is a tragedy that we're forcing our youth to live sedentary lives through an institution whose goal is to better them.

1
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:08 PM

1
Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:50 PM

It goes without saying that hunting and gathering requires movement. I think it's more important than the diet, which is at its best opportunistic. [I'd like to think that it included a lot of mollusks, which for me are very rewarding to catch, prepare and eat.]

So as I gather the pork chops I've walked 10 miles to get, I think about the benefits of doing this daily for over 4 years. My HDL is sky high, blood pressure low and weight normal. I often have my best insights for work while walking, and am better able to organize my thoughts. Walking makes me hungry, and after eating I want to walk again. For me this what defines paleo lifestyle: hunger motivates activity to find food.

As an aside, I do almost all of my walking in town and city, usually in 3-5 mile segments spread through the day.

3432683fc74c2d2a40efe1e8f16ac1f6

(1130)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:01 PM

I don't agree that the movement is more important than the diet. In my experience and also from studying the subject, diet is much more important that the movement.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:05 PM

To each his own. Carb reduction got me part way, but activity got me home, and stopped any regain. Eating is an hour a day, but living a paleo lifestyle is 24/7.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 01, 2011
at 02:23 PM

I would love if you answered the question and explained your reasoning greyman

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on October 21, 2011
at 11:54 PM

I think Quilt's answer is best, what serves a hormetic function is essential, anything extraneous in terms of exercise will probably have diminishing returns on health, if not counterproductive. ps. all I know is i couldn't lose any weight exercising like a maniac while eating a mediterranean diet to satiety. i CAN maintain a lean physique eating Paleo while studying on my ass 10hrs a day in medical school. so Greyman's response seems to validate my experience

0
485bcefe7f1f7a6df1a293a826bf6137

on October 02, 2011
at 11:26 PM

Other than hunting, which involved hiking, some sprinting, and throwing, I can't imagine what else prehistorics would have been doing. Yes, probably some playing, but no doubt a lot of sitting around. Based on that I think the emphasis should be on activity over "exercise," but even then, I believe diet is the answer to good health. ALL studies on exercise are done on people eating the SAD or what they perceive to be healthy, which leans toward vegetarian. When the time comes that I see a study done on paleo people, half of whom exercise, and half of whom do not, that proves that "exercise" is beneficial then I'll believe it. And you know we won't see that study. I know several fit people who have either had heart attacks or dropped dead young and couch potatoes who live far longer than you'd think they should.

Also I hear this nonsense about how people were so much more active in the past and how work was so much more physically intensive. Remember telephone operators? How about the millions of clerks who were later replaced by automation? Elevator operators? Hardly laborious work. The exercise craze began in the late '70s and was a concoction of the low fat and calories in/calories out proponents. When they saw people becoming fatter and less healthy, their paradigm wouldn't allow them to believe it was the diet, so they had to come up with something else, and voila...exercise.

5b69a02dadcae753771921d913909215

(1457)

on October 02, 2011
at 11:54 PM

That's a lot of caves... When was the last time you wandered around grasslands or wetlands?

485bcefe7f1f7a6df1a293a826bf6137

(2191)

on October 02, 2011
at 11:37 PM

I believe most people lived in caves--they are the same temperature all year round. And even if you built shelter, it wouldn't be every day. None of those other things would require that much energy or take that long to do. It would have been foolish to expend so much energy when food was often scarce. And yes, I think they were layabouts for much of the time.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 02, 2011
at 11:54 PM

did you even read my post? We have real estimates of paleo daily physical exertion. You underestimate how much they walk, fidget and are generally active. Your anecdotes mean nothing.

F40555b9be81e12c2fc460e6fa7d097c

(692)

on October 02, 2011
at 11:29 PM

What about butchering killed animals? Tanning skins? Building/defending shelter? creating tools? These are all work intensive activities that would expend a great deal of energy. I'm sure they probably did sit out the hotter parts of the day, but I doubt our ancestors were a bunch of layabouts. Survival is a fairly difficult task without all of our modern conveniences and promises of safety.

0
F40555b9be81e12c2fc460e6fa7d097c

on October 02, 2011
at 09:46 PM

Cliff, I've wondered this too. I myself don't seem to get much out of paleo without an adjacent raise in activity. Paleo has given me the energy required to up my activity level, increase my strength, and work hard. I also happen to enjoy crossfit and endurance running, which I've gotten a fair amount of finger-wagging on this forum for. I understand your frustration. Diet alone simply isn't enough for me, without regular activity I get fat, even on strict paleo. Regular strenuous activity is a stress-release for a lot of people. I work with teenagers all day, if I didn't get up every morning and lift heavy or run hard I would probably kill my students in a fit of pure stress.

I think the "so-and-so raises cortisol blahblahblah" excuse is bull. Daily living increases cortisol too. The only way to not increase your cortisol is to lay down and die, which I'm not willing to do.

I've seen a lot of people on this forum getting frustrated because they aren't seeing the results they want and I really do think the end all be all of it is that you have to move more. The diet will provide what you need for energy and recovery but the work is necessary.

0
669790861549f3c6d54d88a65296ed19

(452)

on October 02, 2011
at 09:12 PM

So,basically I'm F*ed wanting to become a tattoo artist.... Nice.....might as well go back to SAD since Paleo is giving me lots of 'mental issues'.

F40555b9be81e12c2fc460e6fa7d097c

(692)

on October 02, 2011
at 11:30 PM

What does this have to do with the question?

669790861549f3c6d54d88a65296ed19

(452)

on October 03, 2011
at 12:25 PM

Well it's being implicated here,that eating Paleo is not optimal alone for health&leaness. One should also do CF or LH/HITT and lots of lowlevel activity. How would that be combined with a sitting job?That would mean,one has to constantlt keep on moving&exercising after their job in order to make up to the hours sat down.....What a fun way to live! How about disabled people in wheelchairs?

F40555b9be81e12c2fc460e6fa7d097c

(692)

on October 03, 2011
at 04:20 PM

I don't think that's the implication, but okay. I kind of see what you're saying. You could walk to work, though, couldn't you? Or ride a bicycle? Or engage in adequate activity before/after work?

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!