The caveman may of stayed incredibly fit by hunting and gathering food and supplies, but in modern society we need to simulate such activities,
due to the sedentary lifestyle we have chosen to pursue. So how do we get motivated to exercise when our survival doesn't depend upon it? Let us explore that.
Note: I have personally tried everything here myself. I have a fused hip (from a bike accident) that has caused me to lose 60% of mobility in my legs. But I have found exercises that work perfectly to the limitations of my body. It's all about being creative and finding what works for you.
"Only through pushing yourself to the absolute limit do you truly find out who you are."
- Forget about Cardio Vs Weights, now!
- There's little point in looking like a body builder and being unfit, similarly, there's little benefit in being fit and structurally weak. We use a blend of strength and respiratory to perform
the tasks our daily lives require, be ready for anything by being strong and fit.
- Practise balancing on things (Eg. a rock, rope, or fence) and you will increase your ability to hold your body upright and deal with heavier loads. You will be amazed at the extra stability it gives you in everyday life - walking, sitting and standing will feel increasingly more comfortable.
- Short bursts of intensity
- Use your whole body, mind and spirit to pull or push some heavy weight. Put everything your made of into it. You only have to do this for a few seconds. Do that as frequently as you can in life.
- Weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly - put your body through 4 hours of constant medium intensity exercise. This could be hiking, bike riding, or anything else that you can maintain for 4 hours without a significant break. This will help your body to return to it's natural state - after all, our species is designed to be constantly on the move. As a bonus, don't eat anything before or during your endurance session, you'll sweat out toxins so drink lots of water to help flush them out, you'll feel incredibly clean afterwards.
- Your entire body as one muscle
- Concentrate on your legs if you are pushing something with your arms, and concentrate on your arms if you are pushing something with your legs. Preferably, try and use your whole body - imagine yourself pushing a car along that has stalled, what a perfect exercise! Think of your body as one gigantic graceful muscle - moving in harmony.
- Evolving your body
- Favour short bursts of intensity over long and easy workouts. Your body will evolve to meet the challenge of intensity.
- Work with your body, not against it
- Favour exercises that work with the natural motion of of your skeleton. Avoid exercises that give you sore joints.
- Emotional Satisfaction
- Try and turn your exercise into a comfort time, just like comfort food. For example; hiking is great exercise, and it also nurtures the soul as you experience mother nature and eliminate the noise of modern society. Also, group activities; the joy of team spirit may be the emotional satisfaction that make exercise a wonderful experience for you. Be creative, personalise your very own satisfaction exercises, and only use the gym as a last resort.
- Playing cowboys and indians might be the key to your exercise fun, or maybe its challenging yourself to a rock climb, or an extra long walk. Whatever works for you is best. I encourage you to explore and discover all the ways you can appreciate your body as the miracle it is.
These are suggestions based on techniques I have experimented with. All of them have yielded excellent results in weight loss and overall fitness, and I still practise them all. Feel free to dismiss, embrace, or modify them as you wish.
The Hunter Gatherer technique - emulating primal man as he searches for, and captures a wild heavy beast.
- Start by walking up an incline for 10 - 20 minutes. It must be hard to do, taking you to 75% of your physical limit the whole time.
- Immediately after, start pushing or pulling some heavy objects at 100% intensity - chinups, pushups, presses, deadlifts, squats - whatever is heavy and involves a lot of muscle groups. Do this on and off in intervals of 1 to 3 minutes, and vary the exercises so you're working as much of your body as possible. Stop after approx. 20 minutes, you should end up pleasantly exhausted.
The Stalking the Prey technique - several hours of hiking, climbing, and exploration.
- Go to a nature reserve, park or other wilderness. Take lots of water, you're going to sweat, a lot. Try not to eat before or during the exercise, this will help you to secrete toxins and will increase your animal instinct.
- Walk or ride for approx 4 hours at 50% to 75% intensity. Scale cliffs and ledges, wade through water, brush up against rocks and trees and grass, get down and dirty with nature. Engage all your senses and experience the environment as much as you possibly can through those senses. Your are an animal, think like an animal, perform like an animal. Become part of the wilderness - this is your homecoming.
- Afterwards, reflect on your experience... do you feel more grounded? Did you feel vulnerable to nature? The wilderness activates your animal instincts, so you may be surprised at the feelings you experience as your instincts come to life.