THE 10 LAWS
The 10 Laws of the Primal Blueprint aren’t a modern creation, but the laws that have governed human evolution for two million years. The following 10 Laws make up the activities and lifestyle behaviors of our primal ancestors—the very supportive habits that created healthy, happy, strong, lean and versatile primitive beings. Follow the 10 Laws and align with your genetic recipe for optimal health and wellness*. (For more in-depth explanation of how the 10 Laws shape health, check out the Primal Blueprint’s 8 Key Concepts. To help get you started on the 10 Laws, follow our Action Items.)
1. Eat lots of animals, insects and plants
Focus on quality sources of protein (all forms of meat, fowl, fish), lots of colorful vegetables, some select fruits (mostly berries) and healthy fats (nuts, avocados, coconuts, olive oil). Observe portion control (calorie distribution) week-to-week more than meal-to-meal. The majority of your calories should come from animal protein; however, the bulk of your plate should be made up of colorful fruits and veggies. Eliminate grains, sugars and trans and hydrogenated fats from your diet.
2. Move around a lot at a slow pace
Do some form of low-level aerobic activity two to five hours a week, be it walking, hiking, easy bike riding or swimming. Low-level activity is necessary (especially if you find yourself chained to a desk every day). Ideally, and when possible, find time to go barefoot or wear as little foot support as possible. The combined effect will be an increase in capillary perfusion and fat burning, and an overall integration of muscle strength and flexibility*.
3. Lift heavy things
Go to the gym and lift weights for 30-45 minutes, two to three times a week. Focus on movements that involve the entire body and in wider ranges of motion—not just on isolating body parts. Emulate the movements of our ancestors: jumping, squatting, lunging, pushing, pulling, twisting, etc. These actions will encourage your genes to increase muscle strength and power, improve bone density, enhance insulin sensitivity, stimulate growth hormone secretion and consume stored body fat*.
4. Run really fast every once in a while
Do some form of intense anaerobic sprint bursts once every 7 to 10 days. This could be as simple as six or eight (or more as long as the quality doesn’t diminish) short sprints up a hill, on the grass, at the beach… or repeated intense sessions on a bicycle (stationary, road or mountain bike). These short bursts also increase human growth hormone release (HGH is actually released in proportion to the intensity—not the duration—of the exercise).*
5. Get lots of sleep
Get plenty of quality sleep. Our lives are so hectic and full of things to do after the sun goes down that it’s often difficult to get enough sleep. Yet sleep is one of the most important factors in maintaining good health, vibrant energy and a strong immune system.
Spend some time each week involved in active play. In addition to allowing you to apply your fitness to real-life situations, play helps dissipate some of the negative effects of the chronic stress hormones you’ve been accumulating through the week.
7. Get some sunlight every day
Contrary to the “common wisdom” dispensed by dermatologists (who suggest you shun the sun), the Primal Blueprint insists that you get some direct sunlight every day. Certainly not so much that you risk burning, but definitely enough to prompt your body to make the all-important vitamin D. A slight tan is a good indicator that you have maintained adequate vitamin D levels. Natural sunlight also has a powerful mood-elevating effect, which can enhance productivity at work and in interpersonal interactions.*
8. Avoid trauma
Eliminate self-destructive behaviors. These concepts are self-evident to most people (wear seat belts, don’t smoke or do drugs, don’t dive into shallow water), yet so many of us live our lives oblivious to impending danger. Develop a keen sense of awareness of your surroundings.
9. Avoid poisonous things
Avoid exposure to chemical toxins in your food (pesticides, herbicides, chemicals, etc.) and on your skin. But also try to avoid the hidden poisons in foods like sugars, grains, processed foods, trans and hydrogenated fats, and mercury in certain fish.
10. Use your mind
Exercise your brain daily as our ancestors did. Be inventive, creative and aware. If your work is not stimulating (or even if it is), find time to read, write, play an instrument and interact socially.