Lifestyle

Flints tone the caveman body

AFTER decades of being sold home exercise contraptions that vibrate, spin, rotate, and fold away for easy storage - and all for six easy payments - fitness gurus are sweating on a new exercise trend.

The Caveman Workout is a new fitness 'craze' involving things like walking or running to one's destination and lifting things that need to be lifted. Crazy, I know.

This new trend follows the hit dieting movement, the Paleo Diet, which replaces processed food with vegetables and simple meats.

Like the diet, The Caveman Workout gets the body doing what it evolved to do over thousands of years.

Caveman exercise or 'functional fitness' is about incorporating movement into your whole life. It aims to strengthen and support you for meeting real-world physical challenges.

However, this is all very well when your life involves walking 2km to a water hole, hunting down a sabre tooth tiger and hauling it back to camp, but how do we get the caveman calorie-burning benefits in a busy, modern world?

According to outdoor fitness personal trainer Nic Carram of Byron Fitness, the cheapest and most effective way to get fit and lose weight is to rid yourself of those weird and wacky TV contraptions.

"Any product that has the word 'ab' or 'king' in the title or that you buy from the TV is absolute bullshit," says the Byron personal trainer.

Instead, Nic proposes that we focus on using the biggest muscles of the body, just as our Neanderthal forebears did.

"Think about it. Cavemen were chasing things and being chased, then crouching for a rest, which is what we try to replicate with interval training involving sprints, squats, lunges and lifts," he says. "But it's horses for courses. Listen to your own body."

I'm not sure if I'm personally ready for the caveman workout but I have recently ditched my vacuum for one of those old fashioned carpet sweepers that require lots of good old fashioned elbow grease to operate.

Lifting a squirming toddler into a supermarket trolley and scrubbing hardened cornflakes off the couch is also quite the workout.

I think I'll call it The Grandma Diet. But don't tell the LA fitness gurus.

It's my best-seller.

Ways to get fit for less

  • Power poles: You can replicate gym interval training by using power poles. Try sprinting from one power pole, then walking to the next, and then sprinting again.
  • Jump for joy: A skipping rope is inexpensive, fun and a super calorie burner.
  • Whacking it: Hitting things involves full-body movement and exercises just about every muscle.
  • Backyard blitz: Based on an 80kg adult, general gardening burns 290 calories an hour (or a Snickers bar), while real hard yakka like hauling branches and pushing wheelbarrows burns 350. Mowing the lawn burns a whopping 385 calories or the equivalent of half a Big Mac.
  • Friend or foe? Choice Magazine suggests getting a few friends around for tug-of-war and "wheelbarrow" races (the "wheelbarrow" walks on their hands while the operator holds their feet).
  • Twister, anyone? Milton Bradley's Twister is a game of physical skill that will get you 'planking', a great isometric core strength exercise.

Topics:  paleo diet




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'I just thought all mums got no sleep'

MELTOPIA battled PND with all four of her children.

4 survival tips for mummas heading back to work

The few reminders every working mum needs to read.

'I apologise every day that I am not the person he married'

My battle with postnatal depression...

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

9 things to change on the Northern Rivers on July 1

Electricity bills will increase from July 1.

Prices going up, changes to family benefits, and new laws

Safer to have baby at home: Father gives evidence at inquest

An inquest into the home birth death of a baby at Nimbin is continuing in Lismore.

UPDATE: Couple delayed ultrasound for three months

Chasing down a wicked wowser with a personalised van

The hosts of The Chaser give Sen David Leyonhjelm some of his own medicine

Senator David Leyonhjelm gets own Wicked camper

Latest deals and offers

Preview of $10 million Lismore office block

Bennett Construction director Darryl Piper discusses work on the new four-storey...

Hey Mumma - Working mums vs fulltime mums

Working mums vs full time mums

Hey Mumma - Working mums vs fulltime mums

Clive Palmer to re-open refinery

Clive Palmer on ABC radio.

Clive Palmer talks about his achievements, election chances and re-opening the...

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%

DIY: How to build a backyard fire pit

DIY stars and Weekend magazine columnists Ayden and Jess Hogan.

Would you build this for your backyard?