Want to Stay in Shape? Move Like a Caveman
What does science say about how we should move? Long jogs on the treadmill? Exercise machines? Free weights? It turns out that scientists believe that our bodies have ‘specific physical activity requirements,’ meaning that our bodies expect certain types of movement – and that this activity requirement dates back to the Stone Age. In other words, you should move like a caveman!
See the abstract below:
Physical activity, energy expenditure, and fitness: an evolutionary perspective. Cordain L, Gotshall R, Eaton B, Eaton B. International Journal of Sports Medicine. Vol. 19, 328-335, 1998.
“The model for human physical activity patterns was established not in gymnasia, athletic fields, or exercise physiology laboratories, but by natural selection acting over eons of evolutionary experience. This paper examines how evolution has determined the potential for contemporary human performance, and advances the experience of recently-studied hunter-gatherers as the best available (although admittedly imperfect) indicator of the physical activity patterns for which our genetically determined biology was originally selected. From the emergence of the genus Homo, over 2 million years ago (MYA), until the agricultural revolution of roughly 10000 years ago our ancestors were hunter-gatherers, so the adaptive pressures inherent in that environmental niche have exerted defining influence on human genetic makeup. The portion of our genome that determines basic anatomy and physiology has remained relatively unchanged over the past 40 000 years. Thus, the complex interrelationship between energy intake, energy expenditure and specific physical activity requirements for current humans remains very similar to that originally selected for Stone Age men and women who lived by gathering and hunting. Research investigating optimal physical activity for human health and performance can be guided by understanding the evolution of physical activity patterns in our species.”
Where can I learn more? At the “Get Moving!” workshop, Wednesday, February 24th, taught by Dr. Ryan Hewitt and Dr. Nick Araza. The workshop will be taught at the Cummings Center in Beverly, MA, in room 221E. There you will learn how to move the way you are designed to – like a caveman.
Who do I pass this on to? Take a copy of this and give it to a friend who you will bring to the “Get Moving!” workshop. Remember, workout strategy says train with a friend – at least one!