wellbeing: why your prehistoric ancestors rock

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though mindfulness teaches us to live in the moment, if you want to improve your wellbeing in the future, you might be better off looking towards the past

to feel happy and healthy in the here and now, it can be a good idea to invest some time thinking about what your body is actually designed to do – and then simply adapting your lifestyle accordingly

natural selection shaped how your body works – and the awful truth is that, despite appearances, swanking around town with a flat white and yakking into your mobile phone isn’t really where your strengths lie. though some might not want to admit it, you are far better suited to rummaging around in dirt and foliage, chasing after small animals, and wearing furry pants

after all, for at least 90% of the time that humans have existed on the earth, they have thrived as ‘hunter-gatherers’ – and it is, unequivocally, this that your body is attuned for

in the days of yore, long before lycra was worn in sweaty rooms filled with sweaty apparatus and sweaty people banging on about their ‘pbs,’ humans were staying fit and healthy just trying to get something for lunch…

fast forward to the modern-day, and it should be clear that rather than maintaining the lifestyle you’re designed for – based on long stretches of physical activity, followed by sporadic periods of rest – in most workplaces, this has been effectively reversed

add to the deskbound lifestyle of the modern worker, the easy availability of food, and the occasional imbibing of vast quantities of liquids – often without the legitimate quenching of an actual thirst – and it’s hardly surprising that obesity is becoming a major issue in the western world

if your lifestyle resembles this in any way, why not ask yourself what your hairy, loin-cloth-wearing ancestors would make of you and your slack-ass modern ways?

don’t worry though, to turn things around, it’s not the case that you need to resign from your job, or go live up a tree, or even put yourself at the mercy of some awful personal trainer, you just need to embrace your inner cave person

making positive changes to your lifestyle is about recognising that the best way forward has always been ancient history…

to get happier and healthier today, it’s important to ensure that when it comes to your body, you do what you can to reset to factory settings and get it back to its function-follows-form basics

keeping healthy doesn’t need to involve running marathons or paying for some disinterested fitness instructor to demand you “reach for the burn” (whatever that might mean), in most cases, it is simply a matter of eating better, drinking more water – and less booze – and upping your weekly level of physical activity

indeed, uk government health guidelines suggest the following:

  • over the course of a week, your physical activity should add up to 150 minutes of moderately intensive activities – in bursts of at least 10 minutes
  • you should perform muscle-strengthening activities at least twice a week –anything from cycling, to dancing, to hill walking
  • you need to incorporate balance and co-ordination exercises (such as squatting, standing on one leg, or doing wall press-ups) into your routine twice a week
  • you must try to minimise the time you sit down during the week (by getting up and walking around the office, having a stretch, or hunting down a small animal for your lunch)

conclusion

improving your wellbeing can often be as simple as getting your lifestyle in tune with your body’s needs

for most, making a positive change is relatively easy – and the wearing of furry underpants remains optional

want to improve your wellbeing? download the sidekick app and build your own mental health toolkit full of tips and tricks for having a better relationship with yourself

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