How Evolution Serves as a Guideline For Our Health
Us humans have been on this planet for a long time. We’ve been evolving for hundreds of thousands of years now, which is a really long time if you consider the fact that we are constantly adapting to the environment as it changes around us. I think it often gets forgotten, that even today, we are still evolving albeit at a much slower pace than our surrounding environment. Often times this story of evolution serves as an easy to grasp concept for a new client that comes in, who has no awareness of how they got to be in the place they are in, whether that be in pain, lacking energy, overweight or simply unwell.
If you look at the fact that we have been evolving for this long now and then consider the relatively small amount of time that has passed since we became a technologically advanced civilization, it becomes very clear to see that our environment and our biology are actually quite at odds with each other. Here are just three reasons why:
1. We Used to Be Nomads
For thousands of years, humans spent their days in small groups, constantly on the move. This means that we are hardwired for continuous low intensity exercise. We would spend our time outside wandering, each and every day of our lives, expending large amounts of energy but a rate that was sustainable and not really that taxing. In other words, our energy expenditure was a lot higher than it was today and we had plenty of time to recover too. In our modern language, we refer to this as cardio or aerobic training.
2. Our Access to Energy Was Less
We needed to hunt and forage for our food, so our overall caloric intake was far less than it is today. Foods were not processed, they had no additives, they couldn’t be purchased from the corner store and the amount of nutrients found in these wild caught and native seasonal foods would have been far higher than our farmed food found today. In other words it was a lot more difficult for us to consume more energy than we expended.
3. We Were Active in Short Bouts of Intense Exercise.
Whether that meant chasing down our prey, running away as prey, or carrying home our prey, we were forced to sprint and lift heavy things from time to time, which provided a great hormonal dump of substances that kept us youthful, vibrant and energized. This is our prehistoric version of what we now call high intensity interval training and strength training.
Hopefully these three points alone might serve as a guide to how you can live your life more in tune with your natural biology which has been shaped since the birth of time.