• Home
  • ->
  • Blog
  • ->
  • The 10 Primal Blueprint Laws: Your Ultimate Guide to Healthy Living

The 10 Primal Blueprint Laws: Your Ultimate Guide to Healthy Living

by: Sarah Appleby
Published: September 27, 2023
Updated: October 31, 2023

The origins of the 10 primal blueprint laws trace back to 2006, when Mark Sisson founded the acclaimed and most-visited primal and paleo blog, Mark's Daily Apple. Following the success of Mark's Daily Apple, Mark published his original runaway bestseller, The Primal Blueprint in 2009. Thus, solidifying his status as a bona fide expert in the field of ancestral health.

The 10 primal blueprint laws provide the ultimate guide to healthy living.

If we fast forward 14 years to 2023, the world looks a little different now. Smartphones and social media have changed how we communicate and gather information. It's hard to escape from high-tech modern life.

But it's not all doom and gloom. The general population wants to be healthy and happy, they just don't know how to achieve this. There's more mainstream awareness of ancestral living today. Gluten-free keto, intermittent fastingMAF training and primal movement are becoming commonly known phrases.

What most people don't realize is that our modern creature comforts are the very things that are making us sick. Modern living is filled with unhealthy sedentary lifestyle patterns that are not conducive to vibrant health. Despite the growing desire to live healthier, happier lives, our high-stress existences have contributed to the chronic metabolic disease epidemic sweeping the globe. We're seeing a rapid escalation in the number of people suffering from preventable diseases such as:

  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease (caused by vascular disease and oxidative damage)

This is where health coaches can help!

In 2014, Mark Sisson and Aaron Fox launched the very first ancestral health coaching certification. Almost a decade on, the Primal Health Coach Institute (PHCI) now offers 13 certifications. These courses cover a comprehensive array of specializations in the fields of health and fitness. All of our courses are based on the lifestyle principles outlined in the 10 primal blueprint laws.

In this post, we're going to revisit the original 10 primal blueprint laws. Whether you're discovering the primal blueprint laws for the first time, or you're a PHCI student or grad looking to brush up on primal living basics. This post is for you. Let's get started!

The 10 Primal Blueprint Laws

The 10 primal blueprint laws make the ultimate coaching guide.

The 10 primal blueprint laws make the ultimate coaching guide.

The key to effortless healthy living can be found in our DNA. Our Homo sapiens genes were shaped by selection pressures our hunter-gatherer ancestors were exposed to, including:

  • Food availability
  • Habitat
  • Climate - such as weather patterns and temperatures
  • Sun exposure

What this means, is that our bodies function best when we choose lifestyle preferences that mimic the selection pressures our hunter-gatherer ancestors were exposed to.

The great news is, it's possible to reprogram our genes. So whether your goal is to improve muscle development, lower blood sugar levels, stop weight gain, or improve mental health - overall wellness can be achieved through optimal gene expression.

How is this possible?

By following these 10 primal blueprint laws which are: 

  1. Eat lots of animals and plants
  2. Move around a lot at a slow pace
  3. Lift heavy things
  4. Run really fast once in a while
  5. Get lots of sleep
  6. Play
  7. Get some sunlight every day
  8. Avoid trauma
  9. Avoid poisonous things
  10. Use your mind

The 10 primal blueprint laws are based on the natural selection pressures that have shaped human evolution for over two million years. Our ancestors didn't have gym memberships and they didn't buy certified organic produce and groceries. They hunted animals, collected firewood and foraged for wild berries. Surviving each day was healthy living in the Paleolithic era.

Technological advancements have removed many of the daily tasks that our ancestors performed in their everyday lives. But our genetic makeup has remained the same. We still require the same selection pressures as our ancestors, in order to live optimally. The 10 primal blueprint laws describe lifestyle choices that we can make, to help us live our healthiest lives in our modern world.

We'll now dive a little deeper into how you can apply these laws into your everyday life.

Law 1: Eat lots of animals and plants

The primal blueprint food pyramid.

The primal blueprint food pyramid.

The primal blueprint outlines an eating plan that looks a lot different to the nutrition advice outlined in the Standard American Diet (SAD). Flawed conventional wisdom will have you following a low fat, high carbohydrate diet. But, there is an abundance of scientific and medical data to prove that eating in such a way causes wildly excessive insulin production, excess body fat and can lead to chronic metabolic disease.

Conventional wisdom will also have you believing that willpower and calorie restriction are the only way to avoid packing on the pounds as we age. But, the healthy diet habits outlined in the primal blueprint provides a nutrition strategy that bucks this trend.

Here's a list of primal blueprint foods:

Foods to eat in abundance:

  • Protein - local, pasture-raised, certified organic meat, fowl and fish
  • Colorful vegetables and lots of them!

Foods to eat in moderate amounts:

  • Seasonal fruit (mostly berries)
  • Healthy fats  - nuts, avocados, coconuts, olive oil and animal fats
  • Fermented dairy such as yogurt and kefir
  • Specifically full fat dairy

Occasional foods:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Dark chocolate
  • Vitamin supplements
  • Herbs and spices

Eliminate the following proinflammatory foods to reduce systemic inflammation:

  • Vegetable oils
  • Refined vegetable oils
  • Grains
  • Refined sugars
  • Trans and hydrogenated fats
  • Highly processed sugary breakfast cereals
  • High fructose corn syrup

Eighty percent of body composition comes from what you eat, so getting your nutrition on point will have the greatest impact on your health.

Law 2: Move around a lot at a slow pace

There's no need to include exhausting exercise routines into your fitness schedule. Incorporating two to five hours per week of low-level aerobic activity is the best way to burn excess body fat and regulate your blood sugar levels. This low intensity exercise can be achieved by:

  • Walking
  • Hiking
  • Gardening
  • Easy bike riding
  • Swimming
  • Yoga
  • Stand up paddle boarding

The importance of low intensity exercise is gaining popularity, with Zone 2 and Maffetone Method training becoming more mainstream. These forms of low intensity exercise take into account your heart rate, and are often used by endurance athletes to improve their aerobic capacity.

Law 3: Lift heavy things

The idea behind lifting heavy things is to mimic the movements that were part of our ancestor's everyday life. The primal blueprint refers to these movements as the Primal Essential Movements and includes:

  • Jumping
  • Squatting
  • Pushing
  • Pulling
  • Twisting
  • Hinging

Lifting heavy things can involve pumping iron in the weights room, or performing bodyweight strength training at home. This form of exercise can be performed two to three times a week for 30-45 minutes.

Lifting heavy things has many health benefits including:

  • Improves mood
  • Increases muscle strength and power
  • Boosts growth hormone release
  • Improves bone density
  • Enhances insulin sensitivity
  • Reduces stored body fat
  • Changes body composition
  • Boosts energy levels

Law 4: Run really fast every once in a while

Sprinting every 7 to 10 days has many health benefits including:

  • Increases the secretion of human growth hormone (HGH)
  • Reduces the risk of soft tissue injury
  • Boosts your mood
  • Improves insulin sensitivity
  • Burns body fat
  • Improves aerobic fitness
  • Increases muscle mass and strength

Your sprints can be performed as a:

  • Run (up a hill, on the grass, at the beach)
  • Swim
  • Row (on an erg or on the water)
  • Ski (on an erg or down a mountain)
  • Bike (stationary, road or mountain)

When it comes to your sprint session, you'll spend most of your time warming up and cooling down. Your actual sprints should take around five minutes total.

Law 5: Get lots of sleep

Quality sleep is essential for good health. While you sleep your body uses this time to:

  • Improve brain function
  • Heal wounds and repair cells throughout the body
  • Reorganize nerve cells

Not getting enough sleep may be what's holding you back from reaching your health goals. Improve your sleep health by:

  • Being physically active during the day
  • Avoid caffeine after noon
  • Minimize blue light exposure two to three hours before bed
  • Keep your bedroom temp cool (between 60-65 degrees fahrenheit)

Law 6: Play

Involve yourself in some unstructured play. This could be throwing a ball with your kids, swinging around on a ninja warrior course, or playing cards with friends. Play helps to:

  • Reduce stress
  • Improves mood
  • Strengthens social bonds
  • Sneak physical fun into your day

Law 7: Get some sunlight every day

Daily sun exposure (without burning) has many benefits including:

  • Boosts vitamin D levels
  • Increases Nitric Oxide
  • Improves immune health
  • Increases cognitive function
  • Improves eye health
  • Lifts mood

Whilst sun exposure is necessary for healthy living, it's important to avoid getting sun burnt as this can increase your risk of skin cancer. A slight tan is a good indicator that you've had a healthy amount of sun exposure.

Law 8: Avoid trauma

Avoiding trauma may seem like a no-brainer but it's essential to healthy living. Do your best to eliminate self-destructive behaviors by:

  • Wearing seat belts
  • Not smoking or taking drugs
  • Not diving into shallow water

Being mindful of your surroundings will help you avoid dangerous situations.

Law 9: Avoid poisonous things

Avoiding poisonous things will take more planning and awareness than you may realize. Do your best to avoid exposure to chemical toxins (pesticides, herbicides, chemicals, etc.) in your foods and on your skin. It's also important to avoid the poisons found in toxic modern foods including:

  • Sugars
  • Grains
  • Processed foods
  • Trans and hydrogenated fats
  • Mercury in certain fish

Law 10: Use your mind

Brain health is just as important as your physical health. Exercise your brain every day by tapping into your creativity. This could involve:

  • Journaling
  • Reading
  • Playing an instrument
  • Engaging in puzzles such as sudoku or crosswords


The 10 primal blueprint laws provide the ultimate guide to healthy living. Each of the 13 coaching certifications offered here at the PHCI, are based on evolutionary biology principles.

Are you ready to start your coaching journey? Find the right certification for you here.

Now tell us what you think! Leave a comment below to start or join the discussion...

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Ready to become one of the world’s most trusted, experienced, and knowledgeable health coaches? Get certified as a Primal Coach.

Establish clout. Elevate your career. Enrich your knowledge with the only comprehensive ancestral health
certification program in existence.

Got questions? We have answers. Gain instant access to the Primal Health Coach Institute Course Catalog.

In course catalog, you will learn:

  • How to become a health or fitness coach in just 5–7 hours per week
  •  Exactly what you will learn in each of our online courses
  • The professional opportunities available for health and fitness coaches
  • Ways to define your niche as a health or fitness specialist
  • The length, format, and graduation requirements of each course
  • The business tools and support we provide to all of our students
Select Your Country *
  • Please select one
  • Afghanistan
  • Åland Islands
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • American Samoa
  • Andorra
  • Angola
  • Anguilla
  • Antarctica
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahamas (the)
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bermuda
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of)
  • Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Bouvet Island
  • Brazil
  • British Indian Ocean Territory (the)
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cabo Verde
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands (the)
  • Central African Republic (the)
  • Chad
  • Chile
  • China
  • Christmas Island
  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands (the)
  • Colombia
  • Comoros (the)
  • Congo (the Democratic Republic of the)
  • Congo (the)
  • Cook Islands (the)
  • Costa Rica
  • Côte d'Ivoire
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Curaçao
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic (the)
  • Denmark
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic (the)
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia
  • Falkland Islands (the) [Malvinas]
  • Faroe Islands (the)
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • French Polynesia
  • French Southern Territories (the)
  • Gabon
  • Gambia (the)
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guadeloupe
  • Guam
  • Guatemala
  • Guernsey
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Heard Island and McDonald Islands
  • Holy See (the)
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran (Islamic Republic of)
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Jersey
  • Johnston Island
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Korea (the Democratic People's Republic of)
  • Korea (the Republic of)
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic (the)
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macao
  • Macedonia (the former Yugoslav Republic of)
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands (the)
  • Martinique
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia (Federated States of)
  • Midway Islands
  • Moldova (the Republic of)
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Montserrat
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands (the)
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger (the)
  • Nigeria
  • Niue
  • Norfolk Island
  • Northern Mariana Islands (the)
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palau
  • Palestine, State of
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines (the)
  • Pitcairn
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Réunion
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation (the)
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Barthélemy
  • Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Martin (French part)
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • Sint Maarten (Dutch part)
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • South Sudan
  • Southern Rhodesia
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan (the)
  • Suriname
  • Svalbard and Jan Mayen
  • Swaziland
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Taiwan (Province of China)
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania, United Republic of
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Turks and Caicos Islands (the)
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates (the)
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • United States Minor Outlying Islands (the)
  • Upper Volta
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
  • Viet Nam
  • Virgin Islands (British)
  • Virgin Islands (U.S.)
  • Wallis and Futuna
  • Western Sahara
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
Program Interest (Please Select One) *
  • Primal Health Coach Certification
  • Primal Fitness Coach Certification
  • Master Coach Certification
  • Primal Health and Nutrition Expert Certification
  • Primal Fitness Expert Certification
  • Coaching Expert Certification
  • Advanced Coaching Expert Certification
  • Business Expert Certification
  • Human Intestinal Microbiome in Health and Disease
  • Strength Training for Women
  • Health Coaching in Medical Practices
  • Functional Therapeutic Diets
  • Applied Ketogenic Diet
  • Functional Lab Testing for Health Coaches
  • Launch Your Coaching Business
  • PrimalPro™
  • I'm not sure yet