Sunday, July 17, 2011

Exercise like a Caveman



Several articles published and research done in recent history has shown us that we are definitely less physically fit than our forefathers. There are so many things that they absolutely had to do to survive that constituted ‘exercise’ that we just don’t have to do anymore. Thus, our bodies are deteriorating faster and faster. Granted, we have more tools to “keep us alive” even when we’re old and sick, but wouldn’t you rather be old and healthy?

As a culture, we have become so sedentary, and yet more and more, scientists are proving that the body was designed to move. THE BODY WAS DESIGNED TO BE ACTIVE. Let me tell you a little more of what I mean here.

Walking: We had to start with that one. Countries like Nigeria, India, and the US are the biggest offenders in this category. We jump from house to car to office to car to bar. Back in the day, people could walk about 16 km (or 10 miles) per day just as part of their daily activities. Imagine how many calories they were burning and how many muscles they were toning! You could be burning like 1000 calories just going about your daily business. I think we all know it would be incredibly difficult to walk this distance today simply because it would take up all of our time, but at least we could up our walks a little more. If you need two things from the store, don’t drive. Maybe walk out there. You just ate dinner with your significant other? Maybe take a little walk afterwards. Are you just heading down the street? Maybe put your heels in a bag and walk down there. The key is to add extra walking time to our day.

Relax: When those cave men slept, they slept. Today, most adults survive on little to no sleep (I am the worst offender). Our bodies were designed for both activity and rest, and we’re not getting enough of either. Even when we sit, we’re not really resting. We’re either working or talking on the phone. If you work out a lot, you really really need your rest. No joke. Your body needs recuperation time to repair those muscles you’ve worked so hard on. I believe that lack of R&R leads to a lot of injury as well.

Go outdoors: Cavemen know nothing about tar or a treadmill. Yea, they fought wars all the time, but sometimes the body just needs dirt, grass, and other stinky men/women. If you know how to play a sport, do it more often! It’s summer time now, so go outside and play. Kick a football around, run on the beach, or even throw a ball around. It’s good for you. Exercising with other people always makes you work harder, and puts you in a good mood. Plus, there’s that vitamin D that our bodies need, and can only get from the sun. Vitamin D deficiency is becoming more rampant as people are now spending all their time on their laptops and video games.

Do the heavy lifting: When they needed heat, they chopped firewood. When they needed food, they killed a deer and brought it home. I’m not saying kill a deer (unless you see it jump in front of my vehicle on the highway), but I’m saying try to do some heavy lifting every day. Men, this is a clear excuse to be a gentleman.  You see your hot neighbour struggling with some bags? Help her and get a workout in the process. I have a friend that lifts the pot of food over his head when he cooks and stays that way for a few seconds. Before you hurt yourself and then sue me, maybe don’t try this at home because it’s super-dangerous. But you get the picture. Try to find innovative ways to lift stuff every day. Move your boxes around at work just to move something. Lift your kids, nieces, or nephews when you get home. Men, make it a habit of lifting your girlfriend or wife. And don’t give me the excuse that she weighs 200 pounds; it’ll make you stronger. Look around your home for things you can lift regularly. Work on that back!

Incorporate movement into your day: You’ve heard me say this time and time again, but take the stairs! Park your car at the end of the parking lot and walk. Or park your car far away from your favorite market woman. You know she’s the last person you’ll visit at the market so you try to park close so that you can jump right into your car afterwards. Yea, I see you. Maybe park a few shops back. A lot of people take pride in the fact that they spend 2 or 3 days a week in the gym, but what about the rest of the time? Move as much as you can every day.

If it helps, wake up in the morning and say to yourself “I am a cave man!” Okay, maybe that’s sort of drastic and weird, but do what you must to start thinking a little like one when it comes to your body. In the age of technology, metrosexuals, makeup, and processed food, it’s pretty difficult to give up some of the luxuries simply to feel healthier. And it’s even harder to explain to people why you just walked 15 minutes instead of driving. But soon enough, it’d become habit and you’d start to use your body the way it was meant to be used.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

PS.
No, we did not win the Best Health and Fitness category in the Nigerian Blog Awards, but I’m glad we still got a ton of new readers. Thanks a lot to all who voted! You are awesome :-)

PPS.
For all of the ladies and gentlemen that have been letting me know about your success stories with your weight loss or health goals, thanks a lot for including me in such an important part of your life! For all others, if you would like to share success stories with me, please send them to editor@eightsandweights.com. You might be our first published success story!


4 comments:

  1. true talk about Nigerians and being inactive, if you trek, you probably cant afford a bus fare..some twisted mentality that's affecting our waist lines! nice read

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  2. Being an outdoor person really helps. Great reminder. I nominated your blog for best fitness blog. Thanks for your great articles.

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  3. i nominated your blog too :(
    you are so right
    i try to incorporate movement into my day, its a slow but steady success

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  4. are there no short cuts for a lazy man

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