30 Day Paleo: Day Ten – Make Exercise a Habit

Looking to make healthier choices? Perfect! This is Day 10 of 30 of my 30 Day Paleo Plan. For more information on 30 Day Paleo as well as 30 Minute Paleo, check out the get started page. Post each day on your 30 Day Paleo journey to Twitter or Instagram and show me by tagging me with @dranthonygustin — get after it! 

Believe it or not, running is NOT the best/only way to workout. If you want to be a complete human being, you should be able to move your joints in a full range of motion, using your muscles to do so. When running, human gait only goes through an average of 10% of potential range of motion. Think of all the joints and muscles you are neglecting. If you were to open a door only 10% of the way, ten thousand times per day, the hinges would get a little creaky. Same logic applies with your joints.

Additionally, there is no need to churn out slow activity for hour on end. Thanks to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), you can get just as much “cardiovascular” work in twenty minutes of a very high intensity workout as you would in a three hour session. When your body works out at a high intensity in the absence of oxygen (anaerobic), it accumulates a sort of “oxygen debt.” This allows your body to churn through your cardiovascular system to catch up long after your workout is over.

As an added bonus, you’ll be toning up your tissues and actually using your muscles. You know those friends that have run long distances all their lives, but don’t at all resemble the toned, lean people you see in “health” magazines? Remember, you’re not using much of your body when you’re running.

You have to remember that intensity is relative. A high intensity workout will be completely different for an NFL linebacker versus a 55 year old female carrying extra weight. Work towards YOUR intensity ceiling, but keep it safe.

If you’re already doing CrossFit or some other high intensity functional training, great. Keep doing it. Just make sure doing it correctly and not getting injured. Check out The Movement Fix for more great information on movement prep and moving correctly through functional movements. The biggest step you can do is make exercise a habit.

If you’re not working out or doing any type of high intensity workouts, try a Tabata. Named after the researcher who determined this work to rest ratio efficiency, a Tabata is a four minute workout. You work as hard and fast as you can for 20 seconds, then rest 10 seconds. These can be alternating movements or all the same. You can do them back to back if you want more of a workout, but we don’t recommend doing more than four rounds in a row when you’re starting out.

Great movements to add to your rotation include air squats, push ups, planks, shoulder press, and deadlifts. You don’t need to have a ton of equipment to do this. I tell a lot of my patients to use their suitcase for the shoulder press and deadlift for a quick hotel room workout when traveling!

Search on the Apple App Store or Google Play for “tabata” and you’ll find several apps with helpful timers. You can adjust your rounds and time if needed.

Keep up with CrossFit, P90X/Instanity, HIIT if you are already doing it. If you’re not moving regularly yet, add in a few quick Tabata workouts. Make exercise a habit. Aim for 4x/week.