The Paleo Diet (also known as the Caveman Diet), is an established weight loss and good nutrition diet, but the corresponding exercise version is not so well-known. Just like in the Paleo Diet, the Paleo Training Program requires proponents to imitate the physical activities that humans participated in during the Paleolithic era, which was about 10,000 years ago.
If a caveman didn’t do it, then you shouldn’t as well.
Humans in the Paleolithic era were essentially hunter-gatherers. Living such a lifestyle required a large amount of daily energy expenditure in activities such as finding food and water, social interaction, escaping from predators, and building shelters.
Characteristics of a hunter-gatherer
O'Keefe et al. (2011) have listed many characteristics of a hunter-gatherer that should be incorporated into a modern fitness program.
- Daily activities commonly included 3-10 miles of light-to-moderate activity such as walking and carrying.
- Strenuous days were usually followed by a relatively easy day.
- Walking and running was always done on relatively softer natural surfaces such as grass and dirt, often over uneven terrain.
- Almost all activities were performed outside in the natural environment.
- Walking and running were generally done barefoot or in simple leather shoes/slippers.
- Interval training sessions should be performed once or twice per week.
- Crosstraining among various different types of exercise should be performed regularly.
- The majority of the day-to-day exercise was performed in a social setting, in small groups of people.
- Plenty of time for sleep, relaxation, and rest was typically available, to help facilitate recovery after physical exertion.
Incorporating just some of the above suggestions into a training program for fitness and weight-loss would generally be sound advice. A more active lifestyle, with a variety of exercises, conducted regularly, among friends and outdoors, is a very good recipe for improving fitness and health. For athletes, a specific training program directed to improve the particular demands of their sport would be more appropriate.
- O'Keefe, James H. et al. (2010), Achieving Hunter-gatherer Fitness in the 21st Century: Back to the Future, The American Journal of Medicine, Volume 123, Issue 12, 1082 - 1086.
- O'Keefe, James H. et al. (2011), Exercise Like a Hunter-Gatherer: A Prescription for Organic Physical Fitness, Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, Volume 53, Issue 6, 471 - 479.
- Book: Paleo Fitness - A Primal Training and Nutrition Program to Get Lean, Strong and Healthy
- More Fitness Training Workouts
- About the Paleo Diet
- Bodyweight Exercises
- Benefits of Barefoot Running
- Training at the Beach
- Superhero Workout
- Home Exercise Program