As experimental as I am there is one aspect of primal lifestyle that I hadn’t fully tested up until recently. The whole “moving slowly” concept that the online primal community advocates so much, has been an unintended secret to me.
Don’t get me wrong, I have always enjoyed what is referred to as moderate activities such as walking, hiking, cycling, dancing and they are a firm part of my life. But I had also ALWAYS worked out. Religiously. Almost every day. Up until I quit in January.
Did I have a reason to quit? Yes, a good one – I didn’t find joy in my workouts anymore. It was a big decision and eventually a big step forward in my personal development (health and fitness-wise).
But boy, was I scared! A gym freak like me without access to my beloved iron and toys? Perfect excuse to test the “move slowly a lot” rule. And so I did.
Exploring the “moving slowly” concept
I started organizing regular hikes with my friends, I got really into Forro dancing (it’s the most awesome dance from Brazil. I will brag about it soon in a dedicated post.), threw in light running here and there and started walking everywhere. I bought a kick-scooter (coolest thing ever!) for when I need to be faster than walking and use it to commute to work every day (amazing butt workout, btw).
I have been doing short 20 minute workouts here and there in the mornings, when I feel like some kettlebell love, but most of it is stretching, and core stability. Nothing hard-core compared to my old workouts, but great for posture and abdominal belt. Helps me survive dreadful office time.
Does it sound like a lot of activity? … yes and no. Think new very stressful job and working long hours in front of computer every day. My weekends have been active with hiking and dancing but weekday exercise shrunk into taking stairs, walking/scooting to and from work and my 20 min morning exercise about twice weekly.
And the results?
Did I lose my muscle mass? Absolutely not. This was the biggest surprise for me. I actually realized I had been kind of puffed all the time “before” (probably from overtraining). Now my body de-puffed, but remained strong and toned.
Did I gain weight? Oh my god, no! *clappinghands/dancingaround* I have maintained quite a clean diet that suited my needs with occasional wine/dark chocolate splurge and I actually got leaner! My appetite and cravings adjusted as well. Hard-core daily trainings gave me too much appetite resulting in regular overeating and weight gain.
Did my fitness level go down? Another big surprise – quite the opposite! I can still walk 35 km in 8 hours and have some energy left at the end. I can dance Forro for three days and nights and all it does is that my butt gets lifted up. And as I learned just this weekend – I can still kill a good old workout.
Do I feel better? Hell yeah! I actually feel stronger and more energized, because I am not overtrained! Duh!
Any impact on my social life? I don’t think I need to explain that doing all these activities with friends definitely adds to the list of benefits of “moving slowly”. Honestly, this is my favourite point, because we can invite and include anyone at any fitness level. Moving slowly is about having fun or getting things done (running errands and doing groceries, anyone?)
So why the heck am I going back to gym? Well… because I do enjoy it (again) – I am just not going to sweat it anymore. (note to myself- let’s see about that, Blondie!)
So what can you do?
Now that you got all the benefits of “moving slowly”, what exactly can you do? Just about everything!
I recommend that you follow my two simple rules.
- Rule number one – make sure you have fun with it.
- Rule number two – if you can, have somebody join you. It helps to follow rule one.
Try to incorporate activity into your everyday life – carry heavy groceries, walk to the market, bike to work, kick-scoot (I just love it!), stretch a lot when sitting for too long, clean your house (serious workout!), play with your kids – all these activities will make your workday life much more bearable.
And when time allows, hit the trail, walk your dog more, take your grannies out for a stroll, take up something new like windsurfing, skateboarding, dancing (there is so many different types of dance that it is really hard not to find one you’d like!), slack line, Frisbee. A N Y T H I N G, as long as it entertains you!
Just grab your beloved ones, get out, keep moving, have fun and live loud.
Your body will thank you.