Yep, I’m still working out at home in my garage gym. And, yep, I’m still feeling VERY grateful for it. So, just like I’ve been doing for a few months now, I’m sharing a few my favorite recent home workouts in case you’re in need of a little sweat sesh inspiration. Before we get into them, just a quick reminder on how to stay well and work out smartly in the time of COVID-19. Even if it’s just you at home, consider doing the following: Wipe down your own equipment with a disinfectant before and after use. Be sure to…

The post Home Workouts That’ll Challenge You appeared first on Fit Bottomed Girls.

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basic kettlebell workout movesBack in the day, only the most hard core weightlifters used kettlebells. Now, everyone’s catching on to their effectiveness and versatility. With just 3-4 sizes of kettlebells stashed away behind your sofa, you can do a full-body resistance workout that you feel the next day.

The free weights at the gym are great, but you don’t always have time to get there. Or maybe your gym is still closed. Investing in a few kettlebells will give you the means to emulate some of the more savage strength-building movements that you get with an expensive trainer, without having to leave your house or cough up a membership fee. You can even incorporate kettlebells into your microworkout regime.


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Why Kettlebells?

Until about 10 years ago, mainstream fitness favored barbells and dumbbells over kettlebells. More recently, people started understanding the benefits of kettlebell workouts:

  • They work the body and mind. Because moves involve leverage and a little bit of balance to execute the moves, kettlebells engage several muscle groups at once, along with your concentration and coordination.
  • Versatility. Their size and maneuverability make kettlebells incredible versatile. Because they are relatively small but incredibly dense, almost any natural movement – twisting your body, raising your hands above your head, swinging your arms – can be enhanced and turned into a serious exercise with the addition of a kettlebell.
  • Portability. You can ramp up the intensity of a weekend hike by bringing along your kettlebells. Just think of yourself as a Primal huntsman stalking his prey with a skull-crushing rock, and you’ll be fine. Going out of town and need to maintain your exercise regimen? A couple nice-sized kettlebells on a road trip will take care of your fitness needs on the go and help you avoid paying outlandish single-use gym fees.
  • They’re awkward – in a good way. Unlike dumbbell moves, kettlebell exercises usually involve momentum. A kettlebell swings. Working out with something that swings and has momentum means working out your entire body – stabilizer and primary muscles alike – to account for the added movement.
  • Kettlebells feel Primal. The kettlebell is perhaps the most Primal piece of exercise equipment available. Its very appearance can be intimidating – a heavy metal ball with a handle. Using one tends to release the baser instincts that make for the best workouts.

3 Basic Kettlebell Exercises for a Full-body Workout

There are hundreds of kettlebell moves out there, and lots of combo moves to keep things interesting. Whether you’re just starting out or want to refine your kettlebell routine, here are three kettlebell exercises that everyone should know and be able to do well.

How to Do a Kettlebell Swing

The basic kettlebell exercise is the kettlebell swing.

  1. To start, squat as low as you can. Maintain proper squat position – feet shoulder width apart, toes slightly out, slight curve in lower back, weight on your heels, chest out, shoulders back, eyes straight ahead – with the kettlebell resting between your legs.
  2. Grab the bell and, as if in a deadlift, rise up while pushing your hips out. Drive the kettlebell up primarily with your lower body and core; your shoulders will help, of course, but they shouldn’t be the main agent of movement.
  3. When you reach the top of the motion, actively pull the kettlebell down to the start position.

Tip: Try to resist pulling with your shoulders and instead actively engage your legs, hips, and stomach in the movement, and you’ll be able to handle higher weights sooner.

What Muscles Does a Kettlebell Swing Work?

Either performed with one or both hands, the kettlebell swing enlists your shoulders, core, and thighs. Such a compound movement leaves room for error, so be cautious of your form. Correct form is absolutely essential to avoid injury and maximize output.


Read next:

9 Worthy Alternatives to the Back Squat

Alternatives to Burpees for When You’re Tired of Doing Burpees

At-home No Equipment Arm Workout


How to Do a Clean and Press

These Olympic lifts aren’t only possible with a barbell; the kettlebell works as well. From the basic swing, you can transition into numerous other movements.

  1. For the clean, start in the swing position. Still pushing with your hips and legs, swing the bell up while keeping your elbow in.
  2. As the bell reaches your shoulder, dip your knees and get your elbow underneath the kettlebell. Hold it at your shoulder.
  3. From the clean, you can move into the press. Simply push the kettlebell up over your head with your shoulder and slowly lower it.
  4. Return to the squat/swing position and repeat.

Turkish Get Ups

Turkish get ups have long been a staple for Eastern European strongmen, and incorporating them into your workout will strengthen your body’s foundation and improve your core strength.  This is a fun one, but also a bit difficult to describe. For clarity’s sake, let’s use a specific hand.

  1. Lie on your back while holding the kettlebell straight up in the air with your left hand. Keep your elbow locked and the kettlebell resting against your forearm. Keep the elbow locked throughout the exercise.
  2. Prop yourself up on your right hand (obviously, not the one attached to the arm holding the kettlebell) while bringing your left foot toward your buttocks.
  3. Put your right knee and left foot on the ground, so that you’re in a half-kneel.
  4. Maintain the straight arm and stand up. Always keep your eyes on the kettlebell.

Any natural motion a Primal man might have made, from crushing animal thigh bones with a rock for the marrow, to hoisting up a prey’s carcass for transport, can be simulated with a kettleball. Have fun with it, and from here, branch out and find other moves to master.

What is your favorite kettlebell move or combo? Let me know in the comments below.

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The post 3 Basic Moves for a Whole-body Kettlebell Workout (with Video) appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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risks of running chronic cardioMark’s Daily Apple veterans are familiar with one of the most controversial and impactful posts ever published to the site, Mark’s 2007 treatise called A Case Against Cardio. The article changed my life and caused me to rethink many of the flawed assumptions about endurance training that have been indoctrinated into conventional stupidity for decades. Follow up posts like this one dig deeper into the do’s and don’ts of cardiovascular exercise, as does the Primal Endurance book and online multimedia education program.

The title of this article is a quote from Paleo movement pioneer Dr. Art De Vany. Far from a tongue-in-cheek wisecrack, De Vany detailed in a 2017 podcast interview on the Tim Ferriss Show how steady state cardio is in conflict with your genetic expectations for health.

This post will provide an update on the mounting science suggesting that steady-state cardio need not, and probably should not be the centerpiece of your fitness endeavor. Plus, I’ll include suggestions to transform your routine steady state cardio workouts into fun, creative sessions that deliver broader and more impactful fitness benefits with less downside risk of drifting into chronic patterns.

Spoiler alert: I’m going to suggest you take your typical steady state jogging session at a chosen pegged heart rate and add some walking (gasp!), pace variations, and alternate activities like explosive bursts and drills that hone balance, flexibility, and mobility.

I’ve been doing steady state cardio for 40 years (gulp) as a high school and collegiate runner, pro triathlete, and Speedgolfer such that heading out the door for a morning jog at a comfortable aerobic heart rate has been programmed into habit at the same level as brushing my teeth.

High Jump as an Eye Opener

In recent months I have rekindled a longtime passion for the fabulous track field discipline of high jump. I’m trying to raise the bar in life in every way, so why not? It’s (arguably) the most beautiful and complex of track and field events because of the disparate skills and technical mastery it requires. You need speed and power for starters, but unlike Usain Bolt in the 100 meters or Carl Lewis in the long jump, high jumpers face the complexity of transferring energy from the horizontal plane (i.e., running fast) to the vertical plane (i.e., jumping high) with a difficult change of direction and different application of forces (represented by the curved approach) required to fly backward and bend the body virtually in half to clear the bar.

Consequently, I’ve been taking the opportunity of my usual ho-hum morning run to perform an assortment of creative drills and skills for high jump, and the experience has been a revelation. My outings are more fun, challenge my central nervous system to execute good technique for complex movements, and stimulate my creative energies instead of just a brain flatline outing with jogging. Actually, there’s nothing wrong with the latter in hyperconnected life, but the novel stimulation of a varied workout provides a greater sense of excitement heading out the door and a greater sense of satisfaction after the session.

Perhaps most importantly, getting off the figurative treadmill (some of you will be getting off a literal treadmill if that’s your go-to gym workout) protects you against the high-risk elements of steady state cardio. We talk about football being too violent of a sport for an evolved society (well, at least I do…), but steady state cardio is right there in the high- risk category. Enthusiasts of all ability levels engage in chronic conditions exercise patterns that lead to breakdown, burnout, illness, and injury to a shocking degree. A survey by Runners World magazine revealed that an astonishing 80 percent of the 30 million runners in America get injured in a given year—even with no tackles allowed on the marathon route!

Risks of Overtraining

More disturbing are the cardiovascular disease risk factors associated with devoted endurance training over the long run. Sisson and I keep a registry of endurance athletes (including numerous world champion caliber performers) who have suffered from serious heart problems either during, or in some cases years after retirement from elite competition. While Christopher McDougall’s book Born to Run became a bestseller, I believe the legacy of Homo sapiens as a magnificent endurance machine has been twisted out of context today. Indeed, humans evolved some incredible cardiovascular endurance advantages, such as bipedal locomotion and evaporative cooling. While this gave us an edge against other predators, evolving a complex brain was orders of magnitude more significant to rising to the top of the food chain.

It’s more anthropologically accurate to say that humans were born to move frequently at a slow pace, while possessing the ability to perform magnificent endurance feats once in a while. The amazing YouTube documentary, The Great Dance, is believed to be the first filmed account of a bonafide persistence hunt. The program follows a member of the San Bushmen tribe, modern day hunter-gatherers in Africa’s Kalahari desert, tracking an kudu antelope across the desert for four hours in 100-degree-plus temperatures. Finally, the exhausted antelope is easily caught and speared to death in place—another victory for the endurance kings of the planet! The important take away for me is that the hunter didn’t lace up his moccasins the following day to put in an easy eight-miler like a modern runner might. Life or death endurance feats (indeed, the San Bushmen clan in the flick had not feasted in quite a while due to drought) are in a different category from averaging 50-mile weeks and piling up finisher medals.

Endurance as a Once-in-a-while Endeavor

There’s nothing inherently unhealthy about pushing your limits once in a while to bag an antelope or a 50k finisher medal. It’s both physically and psychologically healthy to get out of your comfort zone now and then, counterbalance the luxuries, conveniences, and excesses of modern life, and trigger a fantastic adaptive fitness response to an extreme challenge. Mark, who finished dozens of marathons in his running career, recommends to aspiring marathoners that they complete just two marathons: The first one is to finish; the second one to improve your time! Then, check “26.2” off your bucket list with the acknowledgement that the stress of repeatedly training and competing in a footrace of that distance is going to compromise your hormonal, musculoskeletal, immune, and endocrine systems without a doubt.

After all, the marathon was introduced as an event in the first modern Olympics in 1896 in Athens to commemorate the saga of the Athenian messenger soldier Pheidippides. As legend has it, 2,500 years ago Pheidippides ran 25 miles from the battlegrounds of Marathon to Athens, burst into the Acropolis and excitedly reported, “Rejoice, we conquer!,” then promptly dropped dead on the spot. Interestingly, Greek historians now assert that the story is not true. Pheidippides is believed to have actually run from Athens to Sparta and back to Athens—a total of 300 miles over the course of four days!—to relay important battle information. It’s believed that a different messenger did the Marathon to Athens jaunt and dropped dead after delivering the news.

 

In any case, we can draw a clear distinction between honoring our Born to Run genetics to keep fit for life versus following the prevailing “chronic cardio” approach to endurance training that compromises health and accelerates the aging process. Like any other muscle, the heart requires an optimal balance of stress and rest to thrive. It’s unthinkable to rip your biceps to shreds doing exhaustive sets of curls day after day with insufficient rest, but we routinely treat our cardiovascular system with much less TLC than our traps and guns.

The Dangers of Excessive Cardio: Your Heart and Beyond

Dr. Peter Attia, longevity expert, host of The Drive podcast, and accomplished ultra-endurance athlete, explains what’s going on inside:

“Challenging endurance workouts cause an increase in both heart rate and stroke volume [amount of blood pumped out per beat of the heart], by stretching the heart larger to pump more blood per beat. This amazing organ can quickly go from pumping three to five liters of blood around our body per minute at rest to 30 liters per minute during very intense exercise. Unfortunately, the right side of the heart, which pumps only against the low-resistance lungs, and is far less muscular than the left ventricle, is more vulnerable to damage from chronic amounts of high cardiac output training. So while short bouts of this intensity don’t appear to cause lasting damage on the heart, prolonged activity does—at least in susceptible individuals. The so-called chronic cardio patterns can cause the right ventricle to become scarred from excessive use and insufficient recovery. This scarring can lead to cardiac arrhythmias, especially atrial fibrillation, and even sudden death in athletes who have no evidence of atherosclerosis.”

Chronic Cardio and Mitochondria

Beyond scarring and inflaming the heart, there are many other ways to contribute to your demise with chronic cardio. You can gather these under the heading of the “Extreme Exercise Hypothesis,” a concept which has recently been scientifically validated and studied with increasing urgency. Beyond blowing out your heart, Attia describes how mitochondria can become damaged by chronic exercise, a scary story of accelerated aging and health destruction to ponder: “When mitochondria are heated up too frequently for too long, proteins become denatured (destruction of the tertiary elements of the molecule, causing dysfunction) and mitochondrial DNA leaks out of cells.”

This phenomenon is highly problematic because mitochondrial DNA is perceived as a foreign agent to your body. They are different from cellular DNA and strikingly similar to bacteria cells. When mitochondrial DNA leak into the bloodstream, your immune system is confused into launching an attack against a perceived invader. This triggers an inflammatory autoimmune response (essentially the body attacking itself), a sustained pattern of which accelerates aging and disease risk. Emerging science on the gut microbiome reveals that this leaking of mitochondrial DNA into the bloodstream is particularly prevalent in the intestinal tract via a leaky gut. As you likely know from reading articles like this one on MDA, leaky gut is driven strongly by eating offensive foods like gluten and toxic seed oils, but endurance training is also a risk factor. When you elevate heart rate and raise body temperature for a prolonged workout, your gut becomes inflamed and permeable as a matter of course to respond to the workout stimulus—especially in hot temperatures. Dangers are no doubt magnified when you try to shove sugary drinks, bars, gels and blocks into said intestinal tract while blood is shunted to the extremities for performance.

“But wait, there’s more!” A 2015 Outside Magazine article titled, Running on Empty chronicled the hidden dangers of ultramarathon running, describing how numerous elite performers suddenly disappear from the face of the earth (or at least the starting line), victims of extreme burnout. A Wall Street Journal article titled, One Running Shoe In The Grave detailed how older athletes have a higher risks of health disturbances related to ambitious endurance training.

A 2015 Velo News article titled, Cycling To Extremes, explained how longtime competitive cyclists are especially vulnerable to developing atrial fibrillation because they can sit and pedal for hours on end with their heart rates pegged at a medium-to-high rate. Hence, they are unrestrained by the pounding that limits a runner’s total weekly exercise output.

Hence, other low impact sports like rowing or cross-country skiing fall into the same risk category as the cyclists. Interestingly, the weightlessness and body temperature stability with swimming lessens the strain on the cardiovascular and other body systems, providing a measure of protection to high volume swimmers.

In the book, The Great Cardio Myth, strength and conditioning expert Craig Ballantyne details how cardio exercise is ineffective for weight loss, heart disease prevention, and longevity; rather, it can have an opposite effect in each area. In cardiologist Dr. James O’Keefe’s TED Talk, “Run for your life! At a comfortable pace, and not too far,” he explains that aerobic health and disease protection are easily optimized with a couple hours of easy cardio per week, and that anything beyond that seemingly paltry total departs from the category of “health” and “longevity” and into the realm of potentially compromising health, increasing disease risk and literally accelerating cellular aging. What’s more, marketing forces brainwash serious enthusiasts to believe they aren’t really legit until they finish a marathon or triathlon. For well intentioned novices heading to the gym, they are subjected to a boot camp experience (literally!) to the extent that they associate the gym, and a fitness lifestyle, with pain and suffering.

A Better Way to Train

Alas, if you love endurance training and racing for the pursuit of peak performance, the enjoyment of nature, social connection, and the psychological satisfaction and confidence gained from pushing yourself, these huge benefits must not be discounted. It’s just a matter of rejecting the conventional stupidity of “more is better” and adopting a Primal Endurance-style holistic approach featuring healthy eating (escape carb dependency to become fat- adapted), aerobic emphasis with strict heart rate guidelines, complementary fitness activities such as flexibility/mobility exercises and brief, explosive exercises, and maintaining exceptional overall stress-rest balance in life. With a correct approach, you can preserve your health, have more fun, and still manage to perform well at endurance or ultra endurance activities.

Granted, it’s an extremely tricky balance for the Type-A subjects who populate the starting line. Sedentary observers from the peanut gallery laud the “focus and discipline” exhibited by their endurance athlete neighbor. Ironically, most of the focus and discipline required to excel in endurance sports must be directed toward restraint, stress-rest balance, and backing off when necessary.

Things are getting better as more and more enthusiasts appreciate the sensibility of a less stressful approach focused on aerobic development and minimizing the exhausting, depleting workouts (Hawaii Ironman legend Dave Scott describes them as “kinda hard”) that compromise health and increase burnout risk. It’s heartening to see the rise in popularity for the work of aerobic training pioneer Dr. Phil Maffetone, author of The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing. Phil has been talking about the now widely accepted “180 minus age” MAF (stands for Maximum Aerobic Function; it’s also a play on Phil’s last name) nearly 40 years. He’s coached some of the greatest endurance athletes of all time, including triathlon legends Mark Allen, Mike Pigg and Tim DeBoom. Alas, Phil’s urgent message to slow down has received more lip service than strict implementation until recent years. As more and more athletes accumulate results with a sensible approach, the tide is finally turning.

In the second part of this article, we will cover ways to depart from steady state suffering to enjoy fun, challenging workouts that broaden your fitness competency without the downside risks of chronic cardio. Check back next week, and get ready to jump for joy!

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The post “Don’t Jog, It’s Too Dangerous.” Evolving Your Cardio for More Benefit, Less Risk appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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gentle exerciseHi Folks! This week, Erin is navigating the age-old pain versus gain debate, providing strategies for injury-free workouts, ditching the restrictive diet mentality, and the real reason you’re not seeing results. Keep your questions coming over in the Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook group or in the comments below.

Raymond asked:

“I’m struggling to lose the last 10 pounds, mainly because I can’t be as active as I need to be. Every time I try to exercise or do strength training, I end up in pain. Part of me doesn’t want to do it because I know I’ll be miserable for a few days afterward. Any tips on exercising pain-free?”

It sounds like you’re clear on your end goal: to lose those last 10 pounds. But you’re also struggling with body pain every time you work out. I hear you Raymond. Pain is no fun. Thankfully, you don’t have to subject yourself to it in order to lose weight.

The whole no pain, no gain mentality is total BS. Punishing yourself just to reach your end goal is never a good plan. But let’s take a step back and look at your situation for a minute. You say every time you try to exercise or strength train, you end up in pain. Is that true? Is it every time? Or is it only when you do certain exercises or do them for a certain amount of time?

We often look at workouts as lifting dumbbells, taking a class, or going for a run. Or we overdo it on a consistent basis because we’re comparing our workouts to that of someone on Instagram or in our circle of friends. All of which has the ability to create undue pain. And not just physical pain.

Just remember that any form of movement has the potential to lead to weight loss, or as I prefer to say, fat loss. And a big part of how successful you’ll be starts with how you perceive your efforts.

So, I’ve got to ask. Do you look at your workouts as a chore that might finally get the scale down 10 pounds? Or is exercise something you actually enjoy doing? It’s possible that by reframing the way you see your workouts, you could actually diminish your perceived pain.

In one study, researchers saw a major distinction between spinal cord injury patients who were motivated to be physically active by positive versus negative incentives. Positive incentives were things like seeing an improvement in mood either during or after the activity and feeling satisfied with their accomplishments. Negative incentives were all motivated by fear or obligation, often causing the participants additional discomfort and pain.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20533901‘>1http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3143481‘>3 a sudden rush of AA into the blood—as happens in obese and overweight people during initial weight-loss—could be responsible.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3533616/‘>5 so you’re both losing and failing to hold on to it. Third, going on a Primal eating plan inevitably entails eating more fresh food and less unprocessed food. Unprocessed food is usually low-salt; processed food often comes with added salt. Nothing a little extra salt can’t fix.

Add salt to taste. Drink salty bone broth (Peter Attia likes bouillon dissolved in hot water, but I prefer the real stuff). Sprinkle a little salt in your water.

4. Eat enough potassium

You also lose potassium when you go low-carb and dump all that water weight.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8274363‘>7 Leafy greens like spinach (again) are great sources of magnesium, as are most nuts and seeds. Even though low-carb and sweeteners don’t usually mix, I’d say the huge amount of magnesium in blackstrap molasses makes a tablespoon worth adding.

You may have to dip into the supplement bin for this one. Any magnesium ending in “-ate” will do: glycinate, citrate, malate, etc. And once again, it’s one of those cases where almost everyone can probably use extra magnesium regardless of their current diet. It’s simply a good nutrient to have.

6. Stay hydrated

People tend to focus on the electrolytes you lose with water loss, but there’s also the water. If you’ve ever been dehydrated, you know the symptoms—dizziness, fatigue, mental confusion—match those of the low-carb flu. Pay attention to your thirst and get yourself a good source of mineral water with a TDS of at least 500 mg/L (or make your own using mineral drops), like Gerolsteiner, to boost your intake of minerals that may be lost to water shedding. Don’t drink healthy-sounding things like reverse osmosis water without remineralizing it.

7. Eat more fat

The study I cited earlier in which a low-carb, high-fat diet increased AMPK had another experimental group who also experienced AMPK upregulation: lean adults given a bunch of fat to eat. It turns out that both carbohydrate restriction and fat feeding can increase AMPK activity. In both instances, the amount of fat available for burning increases. By supplementing your endogenous fatty acids (the stuff coming off your body fat) with exogenous fatty acids (dietary fat, or the fat you eat), you can maximize the AMPK activation and, hopefully, get to a state of metabolic flexibility faster. You may not lose as much body fat this way, but you’ll be happier, less fatigued, and more likely to stick with the diet.

8. Include some medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) in that fat

MCTs metabolize differently than other fats. Rather than store them in the body fat or use them in cell membranes, the body sends them directly to the liver for burning or conversion into ketones. So a good percentage of the MCTs we eat become ketones, which provide some additional fuel to glucose-deprived bodies that haven’t quite adapted to a fat-based metabolism. Coconut fat is the natural source of MCTs, though only about 14-15% of the fatty acids in coconut oil are MCTs. If that’s not giving you the boost you need, MCT oil is an isolated source of the ketogenic fatty acids. You can go even further and get just caprylic acid-based MCT oil, which isolates the specific fatty acid with the most ketogenic potential.

9. Consider ketone supplements

Part of the low-carb flu comes down to poor energy availability: when you take away the energy source you’ve been relying on all your life, it takes a while to feel normal. Similar to MCTs but more so, ketone esters “force” ketone availability. And while I’m skeptical of taking large amounts of supplemental ketones on top of a high-carb diet, I can imagine them helping the newly low-carb speed up the adaptation process and overcome the low-carb flu.

10. Move around a lot at a slow pace

If you haven’t read Primal Endurance, consider grabbing a copy. It really fleshes all this out. But long story short? Hold off on the extended sugar-burning training—long CrossFit WODs, long hard endurance efforts, 30 minute interval workouts, P90X—until you’re fat-adapted. Do some intense stuff, but keep it really intense and brief. Short 2-5 rep sets of full body lifts, brief 5-10 second sprints (with plenty of rest in between), things like that. The bulk of your training should consist of easy movement keeping your heart rate in the fat-burning zone (180 minus your age) until you’re adapted and the low-carb flu has abated. Hikes, walks, light jogs, cycling, swimming are all great depending on your level of fitness, and they’ll jumpstart the creation of new fat-burning mitochondria to speed that process up.

11. Reduce carbs gradually

The vocal ones, the people who post on message boards and leave comments and submit success stories, are generally going to be more extreme. They’re going from 400 grams of carbs a day to 20 grams. They’re going all in. They’re going cold turkey (literally: they’re eating entire meals consisting entirely of cold turkey to avoid carbs). That doesn’t work for everyone.

Another option, and one that might work even better for most people, is to gradually reduce carbs. By reducing carbs more gradually you reduce the shock to your system and give your body the chance to find its sustainable sweet spot. You might do best on 150 grams a day (that’s about where I am, in fact). You might like 120, or 130, or 70. The point is going gradually allows you to take a journey through all the possible permutations of carb/fat/protein intake. It’s quite possible that 140 grams a day works best for you, but because you immediately launched into a very low-carb 20g/day diet and failed miserably, you’re turned off from the idea altogether.

You can judge your ketone sweet spot by how you feel after the first week. Or, you can measure your ketones and see what levels make you feel your best.

That’s what I’ve got, folks. Those are the tips that work best for me and mine. Those are the tips that science suggests actually work. What about you? How have you gotten over the low-carb flu?

Thanks for reading, everyone. Take care.

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The post What Is Low Carb Flu, or Keto Flu? And Ways to Beat It appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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posterior chain exercisesThere is an epidemic of chronic lower back pain.https://bmjopensem.bmj.com/content/bmjosem/1/1/e000050.full.pdf‘>2 They did deadlifts, goblet squats, lunges, planks, and step-ups. This was a progressive program, meaning they started with lower weights and added resistance as they progressed in strength. Loads were between 6 and 10-rep max.

After 16 weeks, they were stronger, their pain had dropped by 72%, their disability score had improved by 76%, and their overall quality of life (every 4 weeks they completed a self-assessment) had skyrocketed.

Another study from the same year had similar results.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26864586/‘>4

Planks can be done just about every day. They’re a great way to start the morning or break up sedentary time.

Kettlebell Swings for Lower Back Pain

These are not to be taken lightly. Whereas planks and deadlifts are relatively linear and non-dynamic, KB swings take a lot of precision to get right, especially if you have lower back pain. A lot can go wrong with a poorly-done kettlebell swing.

This is a hip hinge and hip extension exercise. All the power should be coming from your glutes and hamstrings with your lower back a stable lever for transferring the force. If you use your arms to “swing” the kettlebell, you’re doing it wrong. Arms should be passive.

Keep the weight on your midfoot/heel. If the weight gets “in front” of you and you start going onto your toes, your lower back will bear the brunt.

At the height of the swing, maintain upright posture and a straight torso. Do not lean back—this takes the emphasis off the hips and places it on the lower back.

When the weight is coming back down, accept it by sticking your butt back and hinging your hips. Don’t “bend over”; get those hips back.

Stick with a weight you can swing for 20-30 reps at a time. You’re not going for any records here. You just want to get the blood flowing and the hips moving. One effective method is to keep a kettlebell in your office and do a minute of swings every hour.

There are other posterior chain exercises you can do to improve lower back pain, but these give the biggest bang for the buck. They should serve as the foundation for your journey back to pain-free life.

Do you have lower back pain? What worked for you? What didn’t work?

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The post Posterior Chain Training: Exercises for a Strong Lower Back appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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