Food and Exercise: Drugs of Choice

Exercise: The Second Drug of Choice

Unfortunately many people are stuck doing the same exercise routine day in and day out, and are likely causing damage to their musculoskeletal system by repetitively performing the same movements with little or no variety. Some people find it stressful trying to develop a new program while others simply don't know enough exercises. Exercise should not be a source of negative stress considering that it can improve sleep quality, metabolic rate, muscle tone, and one's overall sense of well-being.

Taking some of the stress out of exercise is easy when one considers that human movement can be broken down into seven basic movement patterns. I've identified these patterns as Primal Pattern™ movements in my book Movement That Matters, because of the importance they likely played for survival purposes in developmental man. These patterns are: squatting, lunging, bending, pushing, pulling, twisting and gait (walking, jogging and sprinting). All of these movements can be performed while standing upright and using equipment such as Swiss balls, medicine balls, cable machines, balance boards and free weights (dumbbells and barbells).

Using these patterns to create new and exciting exercise programs for you is quite simple. Select 3-4 patterns to perform during any given workout and perform 2-4 sets of each pattern. For example, you may choose to use the squatting, pushing, pulling and twisting patterns during a workout. You could start your workout with squats, then move to a standing cable push, followed by a cable row and finishing with woodchops, performing 2-4 sets of each exercise. Also, you could perform them in a circuit format by performing one set of each pattern in sequence followed by a rest period (resting long enough to regain good form on your next circuit).

Food and Exercise: Conclusion

Don't be one of the many that are stuck eating the same foods and using the same exercises over and over in the gym. By getting some variety in your foods and workouts you will not only abolish boredom and lethargy, you can reduce your risk of developing food intolerances and musculoskeletal imbalances. You'll find that not only does your body look and feel better, you'll have a renewed enjoyment at mealtime and look forward to going to the gym.

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© Paul Chek 2001 Reprinted with permission from the C.H.E.K. Institute.