PQTD 62 Keep Sundays Sacred- and Paleo!
We all know that it is important to have Sunday be “a day of rest”. And it certainly IS! But why, really, is it so important to have a day of rest? Don’t we all have lots to do, and not enough hours to do those things, and besides, doing nothing just sounds... well, boring!
Throughout most of human history, people were worked almost to death during their daily lives, doing hard manual labor that literally worked their bodies, and especially their joints and tendons to such an extent that they were crippled, and often ruptured just from this extreme overwork. Think of the extreme overwork of pioneers to this country, who struggled to uproot tree roots to get a field to plant, using only oxen and their own bodies and those of their families to get the job done! They literally often worked themselves to death, or to a point of severe injury and damage.
In those days, people realized that keeping Sunday sacred, and a day of rest was vital for mere survival, and the rest of that one day might keep you healthy to survive yet another brutal week. Even the animals were spared on that one day, and that probably meant their survival as well, since rest can accomplish what no amount of work ever can, both physically and mentally.
Fast forward to the present, when “rest” is pretty much the national pastime! Your average suburbanite or city dweller is required to do almost nothing in the way of physical strain, and has suffered mightily for this leisure, becoming fat, weak, sick and diabetic in consequence. But lately, in classic over-reaction, we have seen a huge surge in Cross Fit, and other disciplines in which trainees are encouraged to work themselves harder, and harder, and with heavier and heavier weights, in intense WODs which are workouts of the day which overtax the human body in an ever increasing fashion. All of the infomercial types of P-90X and the endless TV clones of exercise are all similar- work harder, and faster, and then you have more time to, well, work harder and faster at other things too!
I get it- when you don’t work out, you feel (and quite frankly also look!) like loser. But if you go too far to the opposite extreme, as so many are today, you are back at the point where our pioneer ancestors were- overworked to the point of joint destruction, and where the human body starts manufacturing stress hormones like cortisol that actually encourage things like fat storage! NOT what you after, is it?
How to get back onto a middle track, where our bodies can be stimulated enough to get stronger and fitter, but are also rested enough that they can bounce back and actually GET stronger, leaner and fitter- start with Sunday the day of rest! Use this day for contemplation, meditation, family restful activities like going to church, preparing a dinner as a fun family activity, and conversing. Play cards or board games together, maybe horseshoes in the back yard. An evening movie together for the family is OK, but just make sure it is uplifting and family friendly like a Disney movie, or the LEGO movie... “EVERYTHING IS AWESOME”! What a great family movie!!
And the rest of the week? Get enough sleep!! I mean 8 hours PLUS per night!
This one thing will do a lot for your overall health and fitness; probably even MORE than working out will!!
And for workouts?
This is where I lose folks, and it’s sad, because it would help them so very much- ditch the weights!
There, I said it! Do Perfectly Paleo Exercise, the type that uses your own body as resistance. Virtual resistance is ideal as the base- just flex to supply the resistance as you move- this is the perfect human/animal exercise- just observe a CAT in “training” as they stretch/flex. And do likewise!
In addition, add in self resisted exercises, with one limb resisting against another, and then calisthenics like pullups, pushups, sprinting, and hindu and pistol squats... sprinkle in a liberal amount of stretching on the floor daily, and you have the perfect physical regimen, as done by almost ALL cultures including the Greek, Roman, Indian and Chinese for thousands of years.
Do it daily, but not for more than 40 minutes maximum, and only go to about 80% maximum effort, enough to feel energized rather than drained afterwards...
Except for Sundays!