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Is physical inactivity paleo?

Commented on April 23, 2014
Created April 21, 2014 at 3:50 PM

Over the last century with the industrial revolution our modern lifestyles have given us the resources to lead the most inactive lives in known human history.

  1. Is physical inactivity paleo?
  2. How many hours per day are you physically inactive?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 23, 2014
at 12:01 PM

It makes more sense than eating gelatin, or blood in milk, or being in ketosis. Paleo is cultural.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 23, 2014
at 11:59 AM

It was the comment on the overweight Texas scholarship runner that made me think that it was cultural. I don't want to use the D word, because it's clearly not evolution. But why just one tribe, in the land of Mau Mau? The idea that they have a tradition of cattle rustling makes more sense.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on April 23, 2014
at 11:36 AM

All of those factors are not unique to the Kalenjins. However, the brutal beatings and torture is., methinks their aversion to pain is learned -- perhaps some genetic selection after several generations -- but ultimately learned.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 23, 2014
at 07:08 AM

Parts of the remarkable running talent of Kalenjins are poverty, high altitude, high carb diet and constant activity. Their ability to win comes from something else, a multigenerational if not inherited factor.

http://www.kenyarunners.com/pages/167371/page167371.html?refresh=1112199340095

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 22, 2014
at 06:13 PM

haha it's funny. As if people weren't confused enough by our shunning of healthy whole grains and beans, and our constant quest for quality fats and meats, when you start behaving in otherwise health-promoting ways like that you just have to play it off rather than try to explain it to everyone. I'm usually the first to get cold too. It's been better since going paleo and taking steps to improve thyroid function. Maybe LICT is the next ingredient.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on April 21, 2014
at 10:58 PM

How does the preamble relate to proposition #1. It seems like you answered your own question.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 21, 2014
at 08:53 PM

I'm not sure how long you've been an active member and if you were around for my Ultimate Hack 1 and 2 questions, but the general conclusion was that muscular insulin sensitivity is the ultimate hack assuming adequate nutrition. I was only looking at HIIT then because of the quick over training potential of traditional cardio. Now I'm trying LICT which I just made up (Low Intensity Continuous Training).

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 21, 2014
at 08:48 PM

Yesterday I was with my girlfriend for the Easter family outing. We were all sitting on the porch after a fun game of kickball and softball and everyone else started getting chilly, except me, who was inconspicuously flexing my legs during conversation. Also when driving her home my side of the car was fogging up but not her side, because I was producing more body heat on the way home, lol. I played it off as, 'Yea I'm just warm blooded', even though I'm typically one of the first to get cold.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 21, 2014
at 08:44 PM

I also work at a desk and spend way too much time in a state of almost comatose. So, I started using my muscles even when at rest. Some ways to do this include pushing legs onto floor while sitting, Pushing arms on desk/lap forcefully but in a way people don't notice while in meetings/ at computer. Wearing headphones while I work and moving my body to the music. Standing on the balls of my feet when talking with people. Pushing on my steering wheel during commute.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 21, 2014
at 08:25 PM

Cool man, so it sounds like you're saying similarly to @wtfgod that the consensus seems to be that large amounts of low level activity mixed with small amounts of high intensity activities (jumping/weightlifting) is 'paleo', +1. That's a very detailed response you gave as well. I've started including high levels of VLI (very low intensity) exercises or LICT (Low Intensity Continuous Training) on top of my normal routines, which are adamantly otherwise inadequate.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 21, 2014
at 05:12 PM

iz kewl mi neethir zummtaimes.

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on April 21, 2014
at 05:04 PM

Yes, good catch.

I b iz na spake inglash wheel.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 21, 2014
at 04:40 PM

+1, solid answer. Should that read "large amounts of low level activity mixed with small amounts of high intensity" though?

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5 Answers

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Medium avatar

on April 21, 2014
at 08:04 PM

While a sedentary lifestyle is most certainly not paleo, neither is excessive athleticism.

Here's my mix:

  • I lift in moderation 1-2 times per week, maybe less, mostly body-weight. I feel I should do more of this but don't like it.
  • I traverse 3-4 miles of varying terrain at varying paces, running more than half the time, about 3-4 times per week. I go out of my way to avoid pavement because it's... dare I say... not paleo. My ankles are strong and I can hop around on uneven ground like a mountain goat. I feel I should do a little less of this, but I do like it.
  • I work a sedentary desk job. As per Paul Jaminet, I make a point to avoid sitting still for more than 20-30 minutes, standing up to stretch/move my legs, switching positions, changing the height of my seat or angle of my monitor, etc... anything to not stay perfectly still. Actually got in trouble once for doing jumping jacks...
  • I have two 10 minute breaks at work and usually walk or run (mood dependent) around the building during both of them, but at least one (maybe outside for 5-7 min/break).
  • I usually skip eating during my 30 minute lunch and walk or run for 15-20 minutes at that time. I usually snack or eat a paleo lunch at my desk instead.
  • I try to keep active for most of my weekend too.

There's more but I don't want to fill the page... The point is to do your best to avoid staying still for more than 30 minutes at a time, move at a moderate pace as much as you can, and get your heart rate up a couple times per day, all without placing excessive strain or wear on your tissues.

Fitness fanatics often obsess to the point of excessive athleticism... For instance during a strenuous hike this weekend, on a long uphill stretch, this big bulky (mostly muscle) man came running full-bore up the hill and just kept on going until he was out of sight. I don't think most of our ancestors would have been capable of that (I'm certainly not) but, if they were, they would have avoided such activity like the plague. That man will probably wear out his tissues and organs by his mid 50's and die around 60-75. During the same hike, near the peak of the mountain, we crossed an elderly couple, thin and grey haired, probably in their late 70's to early 80's, strolling up the mountain and enjoying the views and fresh air. Who do I want to be when I grow up?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 21, 2014
at 08:53 PM

I'm not sure how long you've been an active member and if you were around for my Ultimate Hack 1 and 2 questions, but the general conclusion was that muscular insulin sensitivity is the ultimate hack assuming adequate nutrition. I was only looking at HIIT then because of the quick over training potential of traditional cardio. Now I'm trying LICT which I just made up (Low Intensity Continuous Training).

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 21, 2014
at 08:44 PM

I also work at a desk and spend way too much time in a state of almost comatose. So, I started using my muscles even when at rest. Some ways to do this include pushing legs onto floor while sitting, Pushing arms on desk/lap forcefully but in a way people don't notice while in meetings/ at computer. Wearing headphones while I work and moving my body to the music. Standing on the balls of my feet when talking with people. Pushing on my steering wheel during commute.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 21, 2014
at 08:25 PM

Cool man, so it sounds like you're saying similarly to @wtfgod that the consensus seems to be that large amounts of low level activity mixed with small amounts of high intensity activities (jumping/weightlifting) is 'paleo', +1. That's a very detailed response you gave as well. I've started including high levels of VLI (very low intensity) exercises or LICT (Low Intensity Continuous Training) on top of my normal routines, which are adamantly otherwise inadequate.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 21, 2014
at 08:48 PM

Yesterday I was with my girlfriend for the Easter family outing. We were all sitting on the porch after a fun game of kickball and softball and everyone else started getting chilly, except me, who was inconspicuously flexing my legs during conversation. Also when driving her home my side of the car was fogging up but not her side, because I was producing more body heat on the way home, lol. I played it off as, 'Yea I'm just warm blooded', even though I'm typically one of the first to get cold.

0
F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on April 23, 2014
at 01:02 AM

Is physical inactivity paleo? Yes & no.

I would suggest that paleo folks did whatever they could do to minimize energy output... "leisure time" jogging, weight lifting or sprinting probably were not done. imo they were as inactive as they could be or as least active as possible.

Think apes.....

lounging interspersed with the "three F's" followed by sleeping. :)

0
Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 22, 2014
at 05:48 PM

No. This is one of the reasons I'm dismissive of VLC in general, and Taubes/Atkins in particular. The lifestyle defines the diet, not vice versa. Shunning carb-eating to support ketosis isn't ancestral.

I look at the Kenyan marathoners as an ancestral model. Endurance is key, and favors miles of persistent effort to wind sprints.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 23, 2014
at 12:01 PM

It makes more sense than eating gelatin, or blood in milk, or being in ketosis. Paleo is cultural.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 23, 2014
at 07:08 AM

Parts of the remarkable running talent of Kalenjins are poverty, high altitude, high carb diet and constant activity. Their ability to win comes from something else, a multigenerational if not inherited factor.

http://www.kenyarunners.com/pages/167371/page167371.html?refresh=1112199340095

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on April 23, 2014
at 11:36 AM

All of those factors are not unique to the Kalenjins. However, the brutal beatings and torture is., methinks their aversion to pain is learned -- perhaps some genetic selection after several generations -- but ultimately learned.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 23, 2014
at 11:59 AM

It was the comment on the overweight Texas scholarship runner that made me think that it was cultural. I don't want to use the D word, because it's clearly not evolution. But why just one tribe, in the land of Mau Mau? The idea that they have a tradition of cattle rustling makes more sense.

0
E32841079d4213aaf87328b077a9ce70

on April 22, 2014
at 05:12 PM

it is not healthy. Do you count inactivity as standing at a desk rather that sitting? If so, a good amount of time is spent inactive but it is unavoidable. Trying to move as much as possible to limit the time in which not energy is being exerted is probably the best bet. The first answer on this page was well written and answers the ? well

0
7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on April 21, 2014
at 04:08 PM

The consensus seems to be that large amounts of low level activity mixed with small amounts of high intensity is 'paleo'. As you can imagine our ancestors did not spend all day running on a tredmil, but they probably did move around quite a bit due to the fact that they did not have T.V. They also would have needed to up the pace a bit when running from or after things from time to time.

So the answer to the question is, No. But certainly training often would not be 'paleo' either.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 21, 2014
at 04:40 PM

+1, solid answer. Should that read "large amounts of low level activity mixed with small amounts of high intensity" though?

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