• Paleo Fitness: Health Secret of the Ancients

    Friday, May 24th, 2024

    by Julia Bandel, Head Trainer at CrossFit Julia

    “Paleo, Paleo, Paleo. CrossFit, CrossFit, CrossFit.” What are these terms and why have they been buzzing around so much these days? Both of these words take us back to our roots.

    The word “Paleo” refers to a nutrition plan created by Loren Cordain that encourages a hunter-gatherer style of eating, and “CrossFit” is a paleocentric style of exercise that focuses on the art of living life.

    paleo-fitness-dietThink, for a moment, of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. In order to ensure survival, they would need to be fast, agile and accurate in order to capture the food they hunted.

    They would have to be strong and would need good endurance to carry their food back to their homes. They would need to be flexible in both body and mind to find solutions to problems and overcome obstacles that seemed impossible.

    They would eat simply as their tools were simple. They would eat foods that were grown or made from the earth, as chemicals and preservatives were not available. In order to survive, they had to be fit to do so, both mentally and physically.

    Over time, human beings have developed technological advances that have made it much easier to access information and goods, but have left us humans hardly capable of getting ourselves up and down off the floor and/or making our dinner from scratch. We now preserve foods so that we can heat them up from a box that has been on a shelf for five years or more.

    Instead of walking or running somewhere to get what we need, we can use the telephone and call the pizza guy while we remain seated on the couch. Instead of lifting heavy boulders to make a wall for our garden, we use cranes to lift them for us while we sit in the driver’s seat.

    The result of all this technology has made us knowledgeable and more efficient producers. We have paid the price for this convenience, however, with obesity, weakness, diabetes, laziness and an overall lack of “fit-ness.”

    Paleo Nutrition: Eating Like Our Ancestors

    Paleo nutrition takes us back to eating like our ancestors. The paleo menu includes lean meat, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and water.

    zucchini-medley-recipe-incredibly-edible-paleo-cookbookPaleo eaters use Mother Nature to provide nourishment, as opposed to some factory with a bunch of chemicals. The result: more energy, less body fat, a proper hormonal balance, strong muscles and the ability to recover from hard work more easily. (For a great resource on simple and delicious Paleo recipes, check out this cookbook: Incredibly Edible Paleo: Simple and Delicious.

    shrimp-pinot-recipe-incredibly-edible-paleo-cookbookCan you imagine a life without the constant need for an energy drink or without the need for depression medication? Seems hard to believe, but fueling our bodies with real food – as opposed to some word you can’t pronounce – really DOES have this dramatic effect.

    Now combine that with the ability to move your body with ease, strength and stamina. No physical challenge would be out of reach once you’ve practiced it some!

    Paleocentric Exercise: Becoming CrossFit

    This is where CrossFit or paleocentric exercise plays its part. With this type of exercise, you get to play the sport of life. We utilize movements that will follow you into YOUR real world.

    paleo-fitness-wall-jumpsIn a paleo workout, you practice certain skills so that in real life, you would be able climb that tree to get your cat down, or spend all day in the garden and get up without an achy back and knees.

    You would be able to run around the block or even do a 5K without feeling like you had your wind knocked out, you could jump over that puddle or get up after you’ve fallen down.

    Getting fit the paleo way means you wouldn’t hesitate to get down on the floor to play with your kids or climb that fence or lift that heavy bag of dirt to get it to where it needs to be.

    You would be coordinated enough to do two things at once, and you would most certainly achieve things that you never thought you would be capable of before.

    Our ancestors did it, so now it’s our turn. The time has come to eat right, move right, and live right!

    (published March 8, 2012)

    Julia Bandel is the owner and head trainer at CrossFit Julia, a dynamic and innovative fitness training facility in Louisville, Colorado. For more information on CrossFit or the Incredibly Edible Paleo cookbook, visit CrossFit Julia’s webpage at www.crossfitjulia.com.