5

votes

Trying new activities while on paleo--is it really better, or am I high on endorphins?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 26, 2011 at 2:09 AM

Two years ago I turned my lifestyle in the primal/paleo direction. One year ago I decided to start road cycling.

Some observations about discovering a new hobby while being primal/paleo:
1. It's incredible fun
2. I'm making rapid progress (speed, distance, etc.) with seemingly little effort
3. I'm reaching goals that I didn't even conceive of when I started. For example, I decided a few weeks ago that I wanted to ascend Mt. Mitchell, NC on a bicycle, and I've already done it.

Have you started a new hobby/activity/job since you've been paleo? Has it been more or less enjoyable than you expected? Do you think that paleo ramped you up the learning/training curve faster, or am I tripping?

0e395acc856e3353f3f5892e6b09b0e7

(1227)

on July 27, 2011
at 03:09 AM

Your welcome and "I thank you for your support." (As Bartles and James used to say) (anyone remember them)?

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 27, 2011
at 12:37 AM

Inspirational. Thank You!

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on July 26, 2011
at 10:43 PM

Ditto that! Thanks Doris!

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on July 26, 2011
at 09:16 PM

Wow, cool answer!

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on July 26, 2011
at 06:02 PM

I _feel_ like I can't swim worth a crap! I swam for a season of swim team and water polo WAY back in high school - 25 years ago - and was never very good. Then 25 years of crap health pretty much took away (and then some) any skill I might've had! :)

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on July 26, 2011
at 04:53 PM

I think you're on to something there, Joe--a subtle shift in "weltanschauung"

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on July 26, 2011
at 04:43 PM

Of course it counts, +1; that's an interesting point about SAD and simmering depression.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on July 26, 2011
at 02:57 PM

That's great Kent! I can't swim worth a crap. Maybe I'll do a duathlon some day.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on July 26, 2011
at 02:49 PM

Thanks Ed, I'm glad you found that useful :)

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on July 26, 2011
at 02:13 PM

Whoah, I was like - huh? Where's Kamal chiming in?

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on July 26, 2011
at 01:57 PM

@ JakeA, very insightful and well-written answer! I wish that I could give you more than 1 upvote.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on July 26, 2011
at 04:10 AM

The only way to test this theory is by trying a new activity while taking an opioid antagonist. Hey, you have prescribing rights...hmmm...

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on July 26, 2011
at 02:39 AM

@ Kamal, good point! I didn't explore all of the logical permutations. It could really be better, AND I'm high on endorphins.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on July 26, 2011
at 02:32 AM

Not mutually exclusive...it could really be better because you're high on endorphins.

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6 Answers

best answer

4
1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on July 26, 2011
at 01:22 PM

This is very hard to answer, and since you never tried the hobby pre-paleo there is really no point of reference.

1: You tried the sport of road cycling and discovered it is fun. That probably would have happened regardless, but your paleo leanings help you realize that you are exploring the world. Paleo is synonymous with thinking differently than most and going out and doing "new" things so it makes sense that you would like it. I would bet your mindset from paleo helps you think about it more like having fun than "oh man time to get this workout in"

2: The rapid progress is going to happen for any beginner, though one year in who knows if you're really a beginner still. Perhaps you are weight training too, or workout out smarter than a non-paleo would. I'd imagine that paleo foods, being highly nutritious, would help anyone make faster gains. In addition to the nutrition, most paleo-minded people like to work smarter (even if working harder) so perhaps you are doing better workouts than a long, slow, endurance racer eating breads and pasta.

3: Goals are meant to change. When you reach a goal it just means that you have the opportunity to make a new one. It's good that you have put effort in and achieved things you didn't know were possible for you! You have nowhere to go but anywhere you want. If you're interested in putting goals on paper make sure to have short-term (weekly/monthly) medium (three months) and long term (1-5 years.)

Congratulations on eating well and doing something you love! I believe your enjoyment of your activity is two-fold. Certainly better nutrition is helpful, but the paleo-mindset of trying new things and being adventurous is great too and is probably part of it. Better to go cycling for fun than to try and burn off donuts :)

Personally, I started Crossfit and Paleo shortly afterwards and I noticed huge improvements in my abilities. That lead me to heavier lifting and on to CrossfitFootball's programming. I love it and I'm glad that I can eat well and keep on adventuring!

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on July 26, 2011
at 01:57 PM

@ JakeA, very insightful and well-written answer! I wish that I could give you more than 1 upvote.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on July 26, 2011
at 02:49 PM

Thanks Ed, I'm glad you found that useful :)

4
0e395acc856e3353f3f5892e6b09b0e7

(1227)

on July 26, 2011
at 08:02 PM

A few years ago I took up Tai Chi, which I still practice daily. My motto before Tai Chi was "if first you don't succeed, Quit!" It was extremely hard for me to master the 24 moves of Yang style tai chi. I actually cried a lot. The Tai Chi was a gateway for me. It helped me recognize that I could do anything that I wanted to, in time. Paleo via PaNu took me into a bigger room. Recently I decided to learn how to juggle. I've got three colorful balls and some instructions. I'm sure I can do it. I'm now 69 and don't think I'll be hang gliding anytime soon, but you never know. I feel wonderful on this way of eating and living and the sky may not be the limit.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on July 26, 2011
at 09:16 PM

Wow, cool answer!

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on July 26, 2011
at 10:43 PM

Ditto that! Thanks Doris!

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 27, 2011
at 12:37 AM

Inspirational. Thank You!

0e395acc856e3353f3f5892e6b09b0e7

(1227)

on July 27, 2011
at 03:09 AM

Your welcome and "I thank you for your support." (As Bartles and James used to say) (anyone remember them)?

3
91d422b073139d35e0856967ba1c21d6

on July 26, 2011
at 04:08 PM

My hypothesis is that it's a lifting of depression. It's not uncommon for humans to experience some degree of depression (mild or otherwise) on SAD and with depression comes apathy, having low energy, or just not enjoying things that others love to do.

With a lifting of depression you are more able to be interested in trying new things, or finding newfound energy for and enjoyment in the hobbies you previously were trying to get into but just couldn't.

New activities aren't just restricted to "active" outdoorsy high intensity workout types of things, it could be knitting, reading books, etc.

For me it has been an increased interest in traveling with my husband, something I was so blah about before that we never went on a honeymoon (married 2 years ago). We're also increasingly interested in doing something crazy like buying a coconut farm in Hawaii and moving there. (Probably won't do that, but this type of thing never even entered my mind pre-Paleo.)

I've also come to realize that my job is boring and I want a new one, and have been actively pursuing finding the right job for me. Does that count?

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on July 26, 2011
at 04:43 PM

Of course it counts, +1; that's an interesting point about SAD and simmering depression.

2
A2fe5bbd09c7804fd321e9e9a9f9d199

on July 26, 2011
at 04:40 PM

I look at terrain differently, or back to the way I used to. I see a large rock or a cliff and I'll try to climb it, chaparral and cacti be damned. Haven't had that sort of adventurous spirit in over a decade. There's recently been an ongoing subtext in my outlook about testing and knowing how I negotiate different terrains, what my limits are and how I can improve. It feeds into a notion of optimizing flexibility to be at ease in a variety of environments, I suppose.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on July 26, 2011
at 04:53 PM

I think you're on to something there, Joe--a subtle shift in "weltanschauung"

2
07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on July 26, 2011
at 02:15 PM

I decided to start something I had always secretly wanted to do but never felt fit enough - participate in triathlons!

For having only been training for a few months, I feel like I'm doing pretty well, especially given how horribly UNhealthy I was for the last 20 years or so.

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on July 26, 2011
at 06:02 PM

I _feel_ like I can't swim worth a crap! I swam for a season of swim team and water polo WAY back in high school - 25 years ago - and was never very good. Then 25 years of crap health pretty much took away (and then some) any skill I might've had! :)

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on July 26, 2011
at 02:57 PM

That's great Kent! I can't swim worth a crap. Maybe I'll do a duathlon some day.

-1
5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on July 26, 2011
at 03:01 PM

Yes. Yes.

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