At 56 years old, Greg Carver easily shatters the stereotypical image of a man approaching retirement.
For the past few decades, Greg has taken a unique approach to health and fitness, one that has seen him reconnect with his natural ancestral movements, such as running barefoot, kayaking, or even climbing trees, which he believes gives us the strength and ability to truly experience life at any age.
As the founder of Strengthbox, a natural movement and fitness program based out of Toronto, Greg works one on one with clients looking for a reawakening of their most primal physical abilities.
“As adults we lose the ability to do even basic physical skills if we don’t practice. When was the last time you tried a long jump? When was the last time you tried to run really fast? Or climb over a wall?” said Greg in a recent interview with CE.
Greg believes that real fitness encompasses a full range of skill sets and movements that, once developed, allow you to take adventure by the horns, regardless of your age.
But Greg wasn’t always the vibrant man we see today. As a child, Greg spent frequent bouts in the hospital fighting everything from pneumonia to vitamin deficiencies and anemia. Greg’s ailments continued into adulthood, where he suffered three spontaneous lung collapses, having to undergo more than one pleurectomy (a procedure to remove the lining between the lungs and chest wall).
By the time Greg entered his forties, his health had seriously degraded. Joint pain and fatigue had become daily experiences — the kind of deep fatigue that seemed to go well past the typical tiredness of day-to-day life.
Unfortunately for Greg, the pain and fatigue worsened to the point that life became difficult to manage. “I felt like I was slightly disconnected from reality, as though my brain was operating in a fog,” Carver recalls.
Frustrated with being “sick and tired” all the time, Greg finally decided to take responsibility for his own health and wellness.
Realizing the important link between nutrition and gut health, he first attempted to control his immune response through his digestive system by taking daily probiotic supplements. Fish-oil and a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids helped further reduce inflammation. He also switched to organic sources of food, while eliminating common food sensitivity triggers such as milk, nightshades, peanuts, wheat, shellfish and soy.
Purging his kitchen of sugar, packaged goods and processed food, Carver began building his meals around leafy greens, colorful vegetables and quality proteins like wild-caught salmon and locally-raised meat. He further supplemented with magnesium, zinc, Vitamins B12 and D, ginger and turmeric.
Through a series of small habit changes, he learned how to overcome symptoms of weakness, sore joints, and chronic fatigue – not only beating serious illness, but effectively becoming functionally younger in the process. Now he uses his system to help others re-awaken their own natural fitness abilities so they can stay lean, fit, and active at any age.
“Hours logged on a treadmill won’t prepare you for the challenge of climbing a tree like you did when you were a kid. And even resistance training won’t help you jump over and crawl under obstacles in an adventure race. It’s a reality that our civilized world doesn’t provide much incentive for being physical in a natural way. We’re encouraged to sit – some of us sitting for most of our day – so that’s what we get good at – very good at it. In fact, we literally adapt to sitting which causes our muscles to shorten, atrophy and eventually fall apart.”
We sat down with #changemaker Greg at his local gym in Toronto to hear more about his fresh approach to health and fitness. Check it out!