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How much and what kind of movement should I do to create optimal health and longevity?

Depending on whom you listen to, recommendations seem to be a moving target on this subject. The science of fitness is just as young as the science of nutrition, relatively speaking to how long humans have roamed Earth. All regimens would benefit from including fitness recommendations on plant foods and recovery tips. The latest findings show that DAILY movement is optimal for longevity and disease prevention. Side note: too much strain creates inflammation and can cause issues, as research is showing that high-impact exercise isn't as beneficial as we once thought (the moving target of fitness strikes again!). Here are three approaches I've found in my WPF research:

  • 40 minutes of strenuous exercise (jogging, running, weight-lifting, cardio exercise, lap swimming, etc)

  • 90 minutes of less strenuous exercise (brisk walking, recreational dancing, some forms of yoga, etc)

  • some experts recommend doing 30 to 60 minutes of any kind of brisk movement daily

  • other experts suggest 300 minutes of any kind of brisk movement per week

More food for thought: although food is the most important aspect of a WPF lifestyle, without fitness... all bets are off. Find an advocate you trust (research their background first), and then experiment with your body. If your injuries heal quickly, your sleep is peaceful, your energy levels are high, your weight is in a healthy range, and your blood lipid panels come out well... then your fitness habits are probably working for you. Beware of one-size-fits-all gurus and powder-pushing sales reps, too. Finally, for a well-rounded approach to fitness, consider checking out Nia on Demand or Yoga with Adriene. For my interests, body type, and age, I dance and walk/hike for fitness and longevity. 

Can athletes achieve their fitness goals on a whole plant foods diet?

Yes. Athletes need to be especially aware of proportion and VARIETY. Their plant protein and complex carbohydrate intake would also be higher than for non-athletes. Also, the following list is vital for recovery as well as optimal nutrition for all athletes - whole plant-based, vegan, and omnivorous alike: water, zinc, vitamins C and K2, omega 3 fatty-acids, fiber, calcium, collagen, magnesium, selenium, anti-inflammatory foods, vitamin D, and water. These substances live in plants (while adding B12 and D3 supplements). A great place to start is via Matt Frazier at

If you're into body-building, check out Robert Cheeke's website, too. Another recommendation: Matt and Robert co-authored a practical and comprehensive resources for athletes, The Plant-Based Athlete: A Game-Changing Approach to Peak Performance (2021). Ready to go even further down the rabbit hole? Check out episode #608 on the Rich Roll podcast (Rich is an ex-addict turned ultra-endurance athlete). This is a compelling, deep dive conversation with Matt, Robert, and Rich about plants. It's worth the time invested. Finally, don't miss the film, The Game Changers (2019).  

More food for thought: athletes in the business of debunking plants are likely not doing enough deep-dive research, aren't yet ready to admit to having a possible food addiction or to being mis/disinformed, and/or are invested in a pill or powder contract with a manufacturer. According to body-builder Arnold Schwarzenegger, eating plants went against his meat-eating male ego until he discovered the power of plants; he woke up to the false marketing of animal protein and powders targeted to athletes. Beware: snake-oil supplement gurus and some celebrities seem to be creating a cloudy reality with hidden agendas. It's a racket and unfortunately, athletes are the guinea pigs. 

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