Sometimes we lose sight of reality, and go down blind alleys in pursuit of health and fitness. The Olympic Games springs to mind, as they are on right now. As do professional sports of all kinds- they are a form of specialization, and the public idolizes sports heroes as archetypes of fitness and health!
Nothing could be further from the truth. Specializing in any sport, to the point where you are competitive on a world wide, or even a national level, will compromise and damage your health to a huge degree! Did you know that NFL players build their health in the off season, and then destroy their bodies and health over the playing season, by playing their sport? Oh, and the average lifespan of a professional football player? Mid 50’s.
Hey, I would already be dead! Now, I know there is a lot of money and glory involved in being a pro football player, but my point is that health and fitness are not a part of it. The point is, if you specialize in a particular sport, be it running, swimming, gymnastics, triatholon, or weight lifting- heck, even Crossfit has become a sport!- you are no longer working for health and overall fitness- you are working for glory. For competition. You are a showboater!
Health and Fitness for life? I have set this as my goal, and I only compete with myself. I train to get stronger, faster, and more flexible on a daily basis. I compete only with my past performances, however. Competing with others only encourages you to take chances- if you try to do a handstand or a blanche in gymnastics before you are ready, you could injure yourself. In fact, advanced moves of any sort, from Olympic lifting to gymnastics are risky, and could injure you, putting you out of training altogether for long periods of time! Safety matters, and in a huge way- as a Paleo Exerciser you need to put cautious yet vigorous training at the top of your priorities, right up there with an ancestral, grain free diet.
Don’t specialize! Alexander the Great, long ago, noted that the Olympic athletes of his day turned out to be substandard soldiers- they had specialized to greatly, and only wanted to do the “event” that they excelled in, rather than being all around soldiers. The same was noted of the gladiators of ancient Rome, who turned out to be inferior soldiers in battle, since they were only skilled at one on one battle, and were mainly trained in pleasing the crowd, not killing quickly and efficiently. Also, as a side note, it is interesting that far from the movie version of gladiators, they were not lean and sporting a six-pack- the gladiators purposely ate lots of wheat, because they knew it would stimulate lots of fat storage. They were the Sumo Wrestlers of their day, since they wanted lots of fat to protect the stabbing swords from reader lives than Football players today. Football is really just kind of “Gladiator Light”!
So, to build your health, don’t be an avid competitive anything. Play sports if that’s your thing; just realize it has nothing to do with health and wellness! That would come from your ancestral diet, your daily green smoothie, your lack of grains, and your training. And your training? Perfectly Paleo Exercise is my term for it- virtual resistance, Charles Atlas types of self resisted and bodyweight exercise, isometrics, and walking and sprinting barefoot! Basic, simple stuff. Including getting onto the floor and stretching each and every day of your life!
Actually, the original idea of Crossfit was a good one- include all methods and modes of fitness into your training regime! Strength, endurance, gymnastics! Great idea, but then… they turned it into a competitive sport!! This made it the worst of all possible worlds, with epic injuries and incredible burnout potential. Get the idea? Competitive = Burnout and Injury!
So go back to Perfectly Paleo Exercise. You can do it anywhere, in your living room or motel room. No equipment is needed. It doesn’t have to take a long time, but it feels so good, you might decide to lengthen the time!