The Ancestral Case To Being An ACTIVEist Over An Exerciser

April was a “wild” month in more ways than one!

Harbour

 

From the CN tower climb in support of the World Wildlife Fund, to the Total Health Show and Green Living Expo in Toronto, week-long 40th anniversary celebrations for our health food store, formal events in Cambridge, family birthday gatherings in Burlington and everything in between… this past month as accurately summarized by breakfast? :

Blended on turbo and packed with Maca!

Maca smoothies

CN Tower climb time: 23:54!

With the mantra of “slow and steady,” I think WWF could use a new mascot, no?

But while we wait for next year’s ambitious trek, how does one go about raking up the optimal 8-10,000+ steps a day in activities without the boost of 1776 steps up a skyscraper? And in accordance with my book of choice this month: Spencer Wells’ Pandora’s Seed; The Unforeseen Cost Of Civilization, why is daily activity so superior to exercise? Do we really need the long runs and fancy Fitbits?

For this, we take a few steps back to our hunter-gatherer roots!

fresh smoothie

The Daily ACTIVE-ist

Have you ever been guilty of working out for an hour and lounging the remainder of the day?

  As human beings, we are designed for consistent movement as opposed to strenuous exercise followed by a predominantly sedentary lifestyle. Think of our ancestors who were habitually active with intermittent periods of demanding exercise when hunting (or being hunted). In this way, even your highly fit individual may very likely be sitting too much as temporary bouts of vigorous exercise simply cannot make up for a day of prolonged sitting.

The trick?

GET MOVING!

maca

 Movement As An Ancestral Superfood

Movement is most definitely a superfood! It charges our body’s energy, detoxification, metabolism, digestion, lymphatic drainage and stimulates our brain.

But if you asked our hunter-gatherer ancestors about their exercise routine, they would have found this concept downright ludicrous!

In fact, their daily goal was to conserve the energy they expended as every calorie utilized had to be replenished by finding more food. Certainly not as easy an endeavor as it is now with Fresh Restaurants scattered conveniently throughout the city!

fresh bowl

As Katy Bowman put it:

“People have not exercised throughout history. Exercise is the modern man’s equivalent to nutritional supplements. In the same way supplements should not be the bulk of your diet, exercise should not be the bulk of your movement profile.”

When it comes to superfoods, opt for sweet potatoes over the household couch potato. But if you think you need fancy Fitbits, expensive trainers and fully equipped gyms? Think again!

An inexpensive pedometer, a good pair of footwear (this is one to invest in), your own body weight and some local trails to hike are all you’ll need to take your daily ACTIVE-ist by stride!

 

Tomorrow I’ll share with you my 10 favourite ways to effortlessly add more ACTIVE-ity to your day and until then, I’m off to enjoy another day of sunshine on the trails 🙂

Happy SUNday wellness enthusiasts,

Suzanne Eden

 

My Top 6 Ways To Winterize Your ACTIVE-ist Routine

I’ve been routinely spying on my next door neighbours’ backyard these past fast weeks as their swimming pool of sorts (from our oddly warm weather) solidified into an ice rink waiting eagerly for my blades to edge the surface. But I simply couldn’t wait any longer and so a good friend of mine and I took to the public ice rink to unleash our winter ACTIVE-ists.
go figure
Contrary to popular belief, the winter does not mean you have to hibernate from the great outdoors. Oh, you may have to pack in beach yoga and retire your bikes for the season but there is still plenty to be done outdoors and what’s more: fresh air, sunshine and exercise will boost your mood, control your weight, increase energy and supercharge your immune system during the chilly months!
  • Here are my top ways to winterize your ACTIVEist routine! 

1) Ice Skating! 

  • Go figure 😉 I used to be a competitive figure skater for 9 years and although I’m a little rusty now (even with freshly sharpened blades), there is nothing like the fresh smell of ice to elicit the giddy skater within me. No ice rink in your neighbours’ backyard? No problem! My friend and I try to train at least once a week at our local arena that has cheap public skating every day.

2) Do you want to build a snowman? 

  • This is, in fact, great exercise! Squat to not only protect your back from hunching over but also to work those thighs and have a gluteus maximus as round as the snow balls you’re rolling!

3) Skiing

  • The last time I went skiing I nearly got a foot cramp in my boot (just think about that for a moment) and was thrust down a hill far too advanced for my fresh-off-the-bunny-hill self. I haven’t gone back. But I would love to try it again, with an arsenal of magnesium to avoid foot cramps, and it definitely makes this list of great winterized exercise.

4) Shoveling 

  • There’s a plus! How many of you secretly love shoveling? Oh, we complain alright but really, by the end it’s been your motivation for exercise and you can’t contest against the fact that it does a shovel of a good job! Put some elbow grease into it and work out those pipes!
 SNOWga

5) SNOWga!

  • Another favourite! Made extra challenging in a winter parka, snow boots and slippery snow. So this one is usually a quick pop out, snap a pic, and run back inside to curl up with hot tea. But hey! When else can you get frosty yoga pics?

6) Take a hike! 

  • There was one thing I still wanted after Christmas: hiking boots. I picked up a great pair this week so that I can go follow the deer tracks through the snowy trails. Bonus: snow tracks = more effective than bread crumbs at finding your way out of the woods.
Whatever you choose to do, get out and embrace this winter wonderland in whatever way you can!
Bundling up,
Suzanne Eden