So, we should be moving more but our society is geared toward reducing physical activity to the minimum. How then to turn the tide of our evolved propensity to conserve energy?
I believe education is key.
How many people know why we should be moving more, not just because the experts say so – what is it in activity that helps maintain health and well-being and why is it so important?
Simply, we have evolved to move, to go out and gather the things we need, food, clothing and tools to ensure our safety and so, survival. Once we had gained and stored sufficient energy only then would it be beneficial to sit quiet and rest.
Therein lays the problem, we no longer need to spend the day hunting our next meal or fighting off predators. We can sit around, do little or no physical activity and survive very well.
This is like owning a formula 1 racing car and using it to go visit the local supermarket once a week. A race-specific car may be good for a few shop-runs but eventually by not using the car for its intended purpose, the car will fail.
We must live with the racing car analogy in mind – am I living, am I using my body in a way that satisfies its evolved purpose. Am I likely to fail due to misuse?
This from the BBC health web-site:
“If we could get the population more active we could reduce the risk of bowel cancer by 60%. We could reduce the risk of diabetes by 50%. We could reduce the risk of breast cancer by 50%, reduce mild to moderate depression by the same as taking Prozac. we could improve bone health, reduce falls in the elderly, reduce Alzheimer’s by 30%.”
Dr Mike Loosemore UCLH