Paleo workout principles are quite similar to those of a paleo diet. The basic principle here is if the caveman did not have it neither can you. By now I hope you are familiar with the concepts of a paleo diet. A paleo diet involves avoiding any modern farmed foods such as grains and legumes, processed foods and certain types of meat. An important question then arises, if I intend to eat like a caveman, how then does my workout regimen mimic that of a caveman? Well, paleo workouts are cheap and only require improvisation at home, work or outdoors.
While modern exercise involves gym gear specifically designed to help you work out various parts of the body, it is also very possible to keep fit or build an impressive physique by using certain body movements known as multi-joint/functional workouts. Such movements are aimed at integrating some movements performed by our ancestors for survival either running away from predator/enemies, hunting for food or general play.
Benefits of working out
If I am eating healthy why then do I need to keep fit? Unlike the sedentary lifestyle, we are accustomed to in today’s world, going paleo means totally overhauling your lifestyle, which includes both diet and exercise.
Some of these advantages include; an increased metabolic rate which leads to increased muscle mass and a healthy weight, more agility, and flexibility. Other benefits that you will not experience immediately include enhanced insulin sensitivity that leads to higher modulation of cortisol levels and mood stabilization brought about by the release of endorphins. Moreover, by reduced proinflammatory cytokines, you can reduce inflammations.
With all these benefits, how much should you exercise?
To accrue major health benefits, you require at least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity exercise weekly or half of that but vigorous. You may spread the workouts all through the week provided you allow your body time to recover between strenuous exercises. I also recommend setting aside at least two days weekly for muscle-strengthening particularly targeting major muscle groups.
If you are a beginner, I advise you start with moderate exercise as you slowly progress to strenuous activity over time to allow your body to acclimatize.
Types of exercises
As stated earlier, paleolithic movements try to mimic the caveman lifestyle in their activities. They did not need an exercise regimen because their life involved a lot of activity such as lots of walking, carrying loads frequently, lots of running and playing, and they did not spend much time sitting down. Paleolithic exercises thus include a lot of pulling, pushing, squatting, twisting, lunging, bending, and running. Some of the basic paleo drills that you can try out at home or outdoors include:
If you aim to strip away some fat while adding some muscle and build a leaner and bigger body, then this will work out perfectly for you. It helps to work most major muscle like the legs, arms, chest, back, core, and glutes. They help raise the heart rate, build strength and stamina, burn calories, and improve balance and coordination.
Push-ups/press ups are a more common form of workout for many and are executed by lowering and raising the body by using the arms. It is a bodyweight exercise aimed at increasing strength and helps work out the triceps, biceps, chest, the core and lower body.
Squats help strengthen the ankles, knees, and hips, as they mostly target muscles in the lower body. However, if you are afraid of doing squats because you fear to injure your knees, worry not. I recommend you modify them.
For instance, you should avoid using weights especially if you are a beginner and knees should face the direction of the toes. Some modifications involve using a wall, chair or ball for support.
Tricep dips help strengthen the muscles on the backside of the upper arm. By simply engaging your shoulder muscles (triceps and deltoids), you can strengthen your arms as well as eliminate fat around these areas.
It is a full body exercise that involves almost all muscle groups. Crawling like a bear may feel awkward right? At first, it will, but will produce great results over time such as strengthening the midsection and stabilizing the spine.
As the name suggests, it involves jumping like a frog, which is quite easy to do. You only need to be in a spacious place. Frog jumps will have your heart rate go up like never before. Benefits include strong calves, leg muscles and glutes, reduced leg pain and stiffness, and burning fat.
Never seen a donkey kick? I bet the caveman saw lots of these. Just as the name suggests, it involves kicking with one of your legs while on all fours. You can also use a resistance band to make it harder. It mainly targets the glutes.
Utilizing your home and equipment at home for exercising
Paleo workouts need you to be creative/resourceful and try to utilise normal day-to-day equipment at your home to help with your exercise. For instance, you can use your chair to do tricep dips, the wall to do modified squats, a bag full of books to add weight and add a little level of difficulty into your workout like when doing pushups.
You can also utilize the stairs in your house or building for running which will feel like running uphill. Such creative techniques may also be applied when exercising outdoors or even at work. For instance, you can decide to use a standing desk at work or use trees for pull-ups when exercising outdoors.
Adopting a paleo diet is a step in the right direction but incorporating exercise will make the results even better. Paleo workouts require you to become creative and determined. It is essential to incorporate day-to-day items for a workout as many of these exercises imitate the activities of the paleolithic man who was in a constant state of motion in a bid to survive.
The workouts are cheap as you do not need to purchase costly pensive gym apparatus or pay a fee to join a gym.
Are you a fitness enthusiast or someone interested in/ doing paleo exercises? Share with me your experiences and other creative hacks you come up with.