I strive to eat Paleo/Primal, and one of my fitness goals is to be able to do body weight exercises like push ups, planks, pull ups and squats at a level that is considered “mastered” by Primal fitness expert Mark Sisson. I also want to be able to run a mile. One way to get there is to use sprints. Doing sprints involves exercising at your maximum effort for short bursts of up to a minute, then slowing down activity until breathing returns to normal, and doing it again. Repeat three or four times. Both Dr. Mercola and Mark Sisson recommend doing sprints once every 7-10 days to help optimize fitness. Working at your individual highest effort encourages the body to release human growth hormones and helps make you stronger, but it’s important not to do sprints to often. Completing sprints more often that once every 7- 10 days actually damages the body, causes internal inflammation, and slow down fitness efforts instead of building fitness.
I’ve tried to do sprints, but in the past they have always left me feeling exhausted, needing a nap, and struggling to have enough energy to get through the rest of my day. Because of this I’ve been avoiding even trying to do sprints. Yesterday, I did my first effective sprint. I was out for my morning walk/slow jog and I forgot that I had my Zombies Run ap set to normal chases. Usually I keep it set on easy. But, the zombie chase started, and I didn’t want to lose supplies, so I picked up the pace until I was full-out running. I could only keep it up for a few seconds before I had to slow down. I finished my walk/jog time at a medium paced walk, and was able to go about my day as usual with no fatigue or exhaustion.
Today, I feel pretty good. I have a little more than my typical amount of energy, and I’m not in the least brain fogged. I’d like to credit my very first effective sprint session for that, but it might not be so. Since October of last year, I have gotten a little sloppy with my diet, justifying small amounts of sugar, and the occasional corn or wheat treat. I decided that was enough of that and for the last week or so I’ve been super careful about what I eat, and I’ve been making it a point to log my food, take my blood sugar several times a day and monitor my blood pressure daily. I plan to continue the food logging and health marker monitoring for the next month. Doing these things helps me pay attention to what I’m eating and how those foods are effecting my body. So, the increased energy and complete lack of brain fog might be because of the recent diet changes.
Sprints are an important part of any fitness routine, regardless of the diet and fitness lifestyle you choose. It’s important to challenge your body to improve and become stronger and fitter. Personally, I’ve challenged my body a lot over the last 10 years, demanding that it relearn to perform certain tasks, challenging my balance, coordination, and strength. I have a long way to go before I meet my basic fitness goals, (example? those body weight exercises I mentioned– I can only do three push ups from my knees, and I can’t hold a proper plank for more than 2 seconds), but I believe that constantly challenging my body to do more is one of the factors in my MS recovery.