Really it comes down to following that dusty old owner’s manual for human beings that we have gotten so far away from. The fact is, human beings have not changed at all in the past 20,000 years, some scientists say as far back as 50,000 years.
But look at how our planet has changed in just the past 114 years – our food supply, what we drink, how we live, where we live, how we stay warm, and stay safe – all of that has changed. Yet we still have the same body that was designed back then, and if we want it to work well, there are five rules to follow:
1) Start eating better. The oldest tip in the book, and still the most valid. I was talking to some people about certain things they liked to eat – junk food. Stuff that has no business even being called ‘food’, stuff that was made in a lab, not a field or a forest or a lake or an ocean. I asked if they knew it was unhealthy. “Yah, but it tastes good!” Seriously? I cannot wrap my head around that. Why do we, as a species, eat stuff daily that is not good for us? I get that life is no longer designed to support healthy eating, and that the cheapest, easiest things to eat are not healthy. I guess I just think it is worth it to eat good food. Single ingredient foods like meat, fish, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruit, grains, etc. Simple, healthy, original design food. Use spices to make it fun, not chemicals. I guarantee that if you change this one thing, it will change your life.
2) Move your body. Another oldie right? Absolutely. We were designed to move, to walk daily, to carry heavy stuff, to run, to jump, to be constantly moving. Sitting at a desk, or in a vehicle all day is the single most unnatural thing there is in being human. It destroys us. Sitting ruins circulation, nerve function, causes us to gain fat, lose muscle and a host of other issues. We need to move every single day and that could be as simple as going for a walk after supper every day. Strength training is also critical to keep our bones strong and muscles functioning. ‘Use it or lose it’ is definitely in play.
3) Drink water more than anything else. Again, this is what we were designed to drink. All of that other stuff was invented long after humans were, and it is inappropriate. I prefer my water filtered. I greatly appreciate that the City gets water to my tap safe and free from contamination by using things like chlorine to kill the bad stuff. Right before I drink it, I use a filter system to remove all that, just like I take bread out of the plastic bag before I cut off a slice and eat it. I am thankful for the bag, but I don’t eat it.
4) Hang around with happy, fun and interesting people. If you don’t have friends like that, then start by being happy, fun and interesting. Then you will be the person people will want to hang around with. As human beings we thrive on community, and that includes all aspects of life. It is more fun to go for a run with friends, go to a movie with friends and eat with friends. It is good for us on a very deep, genetic level. Friends are important to your survival.
5) Unplug and get some rest. Read a book, one that is written on paper and doesn’t require power. Shut off the TV, the computer, the phone, the tablet and the radio. We didn’t have any of that 114 years ago and we certainly didn’t have it when humans started out. In our modern society, we are so busy, and everything is in fast forward, and we need to just stop, and reset once in a while.
Change these five things for a week and just see what happens when you follow the ‘original manufacturers specifications’ for being a human.
Scott McDermott is a personal trainer and owner of Best Body Fitness in Sylvan Lake.