TORONTO, Dec. 29 /CNW/ - For your New Year's fitness resolution, why not
turn to something new, but at the same time, very old? A new trend,
called Primal fitness, involves practicing activities that our early
hunter-gatherer ancestors would have experienced in the wild -
movements such as walking, running, balancing, climbing, lifting,
carrying, throwing and catching. Primal fitness experts at StrengthBox recommend kick-starting 2011 with activities that focus on natural
movement and play, rather than traditional gym-based routines.
Over 48% of Canadians are now classified as either overweight or obese,
according to recent statistics from the Canadian Institute of Health
Information (CIHI).1 This epidemic is particularly acute during the holidays, largely
related to an environment that promotes excessive food intake and
discourages physical activity.
Greg Carver, a trainer at StrengthBox, believes primal fitness is the
solution, as it is fun, practical, non-specialized, and can be scaled
for any ability. "Replacing repetitive-motion cardio and traditional
isolation exercises with playful, more complex movements relieves
stress and reduces cortisol levels - culprits that contribute to weight
gain and stubborn abdominal fat. And thinking of exercise as recreation
instead of a routine chore helps people stick to their program."
"Working out shouldn't feel like drudgery", says Carver. "Rather, it
should feel like play. Children have playgrounds to explore and
practice their physical capabilities, but adults often end up trapped
in some type of mechanical gym-based routine. We need to learn how to
move freely again."
Here are some tips that will help you get in shape for 2011 - the primal
Get outside and go for a long walk. Overly warm houses and holiday meals
encourage sedentary behaviour, and getting outdoors will get your blood
flowing and raise your endorphin levels.
Find a community pool and try swimming. Lessons are available for
adults, and swimming is a natural activity that can be practiced at any
Run short distances, but go fast. Try sprinting for 100 meters or more.
Practice primal activities and skills such as balancing, climbing,
jumping, throwing and catching. You don't need to have access to a
climbing gym or be a track star. Need some inspiration? Watch how
children play on a playground.
Lift heavy objects. Traditional weightlifting is beneficial, as long as
you focus on compound lifts that involve the whole body. But you can
also get creative and practice lifting and carrying odd objects - from
rocks and logs to sandbags or even heavy water bottles.
Take up Martial Arts. Learning complex movement patterns increases
cognitive activity in the brain, and self-defense has obvious practical
Engage in some youth-oriented activities and fun. Build a snowman or
snow-fort, play some hockey or even have a game of tag. Laughter
releases endorphins in the brain and reduces stress.
As with any skill, proper instruction and training can be an important
part of the learning process. StrengthBox recommends scaling your
activities according to your abilities and seeking professional help
StrengthBox is a private industrial gym in East York, Toronto that
specializes in primal fitness, natural movement and general physical
For Broadcast B-Roll video (mp4):
1 Overweight and Obesity in Canada: A Population Health Perspective. Kim D. Raine, PhD, RD, Canadian Institute for Health Information, Aug
For further information: For further information:
For more information, images or interviews, please contact:
Greg Carver, Partner & Trainer