I'm Darryl Edwards, a movement therapist, paleo nutritionist, blogger and published author of "Paleo Fitness" based in London, England.  This blog documents my experiences with a primal lifestyle that has made me fitter and healthier in my forties than ever before.  I am a contributor to Paleo Magazine and presenter at various symposiums such as Paleo:f(x), PrimalCon, AHS (Ancestral Health Symposium) and other events globally.

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Reading List
  • Paleo Fitness - A Primal Training and Nutrition Program to Get Lean, Strong and Healthy
    Paleo Fitness - A Primal Training and Nutrition Program to Get Lean, Strong and Healthy
    by Darryl Edwards, Brett Stewart, Jason Warner
  • The Paleo Solution
    The Paleo Solution
    by Robb Wolf

    Paleo for weight loss, performance and disease prevention. Read my full review here.

  • Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers
    Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers
    by Robert M. Sapolsky

    The impact of too much stress in our lives - impotence, obesity, heart disease and much more...

  • The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram Your Genes for Effortless Weight Loss, Vibrant Health, and Boundless Energy
    The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram Your Genes for Effortless Weight Loss, Vibrant Health, and Boundless Energy
    by Mark Sisson

    Usually we have to go back to basics to progress, this is a great place to start!

  • Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things
    Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things
    by Rick Smith, Bruce Lourie, Sarah Dopp

    "Think about the toxic chemicals you put onto your body, and are exposed to on a daily basis.  Frankly, quite worrying..."

  • Protein Power
    Protein Power
    by Michael R. Eades, Mary Dan Eades, Mary Deans

    First published in the mid 1990s.  Amongst other things, disputes the 'fat intake causes obesity' argument and reasons why the high carb/low-fat diet doesn't work.

  • Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
    Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
    by Christopher McDougall

    An inspirational read, whether you are a 'runner' or not.  This book also investigates why expensive 'cushioned' running shoes increases the likelihood of injury.

  • In Defence of Food: The Myth of Nutrition and the Pleasures of Eating: An Eater's Manifesto
    In Defence of Food: The Myth of Nutrition and the Pleasures of Eating: An Eater's Manifesto
    by Michael Pollan

    An insight into real, simple and nutritious food.  Insightful.

  • Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
    Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
    by Michael Pollan

    An excellent, non-scientific common sense quick reference to the often confusing question : "What should I eat?"

  • The Paleo Diet for Athletes
    The Paleo Diet for Athletes
    by L. Cordain

    An alternative to Cordain's first book "The Paleo Diet" if who want to consider the impact of Paleo on athletic performance.  It is geared towards endurance athletes but an interesting read nonetheless.

  • Vegetarian Myth, The
    Vegetarian Myth, The
    by Lierre Keith

    I'm an omnivore.  I believe it is healthy to eat naturally-reared meat, non-farmed fish as well as a wide variety of fresh vegetables.  This book is an interesting read and has a lot to say about why becoming a vegetarian isn't necessarily the best option for humans.  However read this, do your own research and make up your own mind.

  • The Second Brain
    The Second Brain
    by Michael D. Gershon

    A discussion about the complex nervous system working in the gut, which produces neurotransmitters such as serotonin.  In fact much more serotonin is produced in the gut than the brain!

  • The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine
    The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine
    by James Le Fanu
  • Swindled: From Poison Sweets to Counterfeit Coffee - The Dark History of the Food Cheats
    Swindled: From Poison Sweets to Counterfeit Coffee - The Dark History of the Food Cheats
    by Bee Wilson
  • Cancer: The Evolutionary Legacy
    Cancer: The Evolutionary Legacy
    by M.F. Greaves
  • The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat
    The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat
    by Loren Cordain

    This provides extraordinary insight into the reasons behind adopting a paleolithic diet.  Some aspects are controversial and many may feel it is too dogmatic.  I have often gone back to this book and re-read it for clarification as Dr Loren Cordain is often mis-quoted.  There is now a revised edition (2010 edition) to counter some of its earlier criticisms, this is an excellent resource and a must-read for any one serious about paleo nutrition.

  • Lore of Running
    Lore of Running
    by Tim Noakes

    This book offers a comprehensive insight into the science, coaching and discipline of running.  Energy systems, coaching and training.  Often quoted as the bible of running.

Tuesday
Aug102010

Six Benefits of Rest

When embarking on a new workout regime and you start seeing great results.  There is often the tendency to overdo it.  I have fallen foul of this myself, and often fail to get adequate rest.  This is often cited:
"If I work out more frequently, or for longer than the results will surely be better?" - anon.

One thing is for sure.  High intensity workouts performed for 6-7 days a week, will definitely result in burnout, a lack of motivation, illness and injury.

Six benefits of rest:
  1. Aids Recovery:  a day or two off per week is required to allow bone, muscle, tendons and ligaments the time to recover and repair themselves.  Muscle growth occurs during rest periods, not during exercise;
  2. Keeps you healthy:  avoids the risk of the immune response being compromised due to over-training;
  3. Helps you sleep:  adequate sleep allows the mind to repair itself and develop new connections (useful when learning new skills, adaptations);
  4. Lowers stress: decreases abnormal levels of cortisol (stress hormone): This will allow alertness, productivity and general health to be maintained;
  5. More energy throughout the day:   adequate rest helps you avoid energy slumps during the day, ensuring workouts are more effective and efficient;
  6. Boosts brain function:  allows for better concentration and focus.

I often repeat the mantra: 

"There is no such thing as over-training, but under-resting."  

This is certainly true, and needs to be factored into your training regime - whatever it may be.

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Reader Comments (2)

I have to remind myself this so many times.

August 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMitch

Mitch, I agree. Sometimes we often feel that 'rest' is for wimps. But a part of the holistic approach to activity is knowing when to rest. Not just by set rest periods, but by reading our bodies and being in tune with it.

You can definitely see lots of casualties of this no-rest approach. Especially in those that do lots of endurance work or those who constantly workout to failure. They look and always complain about being tired, are often sick (getting colds often, etc) and don't seem to benefit from their punishing regime.

Adequate rest will lead to reaching our goals sooner rather than later - which is ultimately what we want.

-Darryl.

August 11, 2010 | Registered CommenterDarryl Edwards

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