Posts Tagged ‘walking’

What Would a Caveman(or Woman) Do?

October 23, 2013

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Back in prehistoric times, cave people were incredibly fit. They didn’t diet, and they didn’t workout. There was no gym, no Soul Cycle and no Crossfit to join.They didn’t count calories, and had no trendy food related ailments or phobias.

While the Paleo diet, based on how our ancestors ate in Paleolithic times has certainly become a craze, there is something to be said for eating and behaving like our forefolks did.

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Cavemen and women travelled everywhere by foot. They didn’t have cars, or subways, or even bicycles. Everywhere they went, they walked. Often, that journey was several miles per day. If a saber tooth tiger was chasing them, they ran: fast!  Reconsider your transportation choices and try walking where possible.

They hunted and gathered their own food, and never, ever called for take-out.     Procuring food was very physical, and preparing it was also a task. Think about the energy needed pick berries, hunt and skin animals and even the act of rubbing sticks together to create fire. While we don’t really expect anyone to be hunting and fishing in urban areas, the act of preparing your own food increases your activity level, and provides you the opportunity to prepare cleaner, healthier meals.

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Our prehistoric pals ate a diet rich in fish, meat, fruits, vegetables, nuts and berries. Fast food, sweet treats and refined carbs didn’t exist. Clean eating was a way of life.  If you aren’t ready to go Paleo, consider giving up things that come in packages and eat only fresh foods.

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Neanderthals had overdeveloped right arms, originally thought to be a result of carrying heavy spears. Recent findings from archeologists in Cambridge debunked this theory, citing the many hours spent scraping animal skins to make clothing as the reason for this discrepancy. What repetitive motion based chores do you do that require a little muscle?

Many of our health woes have emerged due to the conveniences of modern living. Before you jump in the car and drive to the fast food restaurant, ask yourself “ What would a cave man do?” The answer just might be the secret to good health.

photos: Glasshouse Images

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Long Live

January 4, 2012

New Yorkers are living longer than ever, and on average, their life expectancy is 2 years longer than the rest of the country. According to the Annual Summary of Vital Statistics, New Yorker’s have reached an all time high with a life expectancy rate of 80.6 years!

What contributes to our increased longevity?

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has made our health a priority, by declaring bars, restaurants and even public parks smoke free, and offers free nicotine patches to residents who want to kick the habit.

He has initiated heart disease and cancer prevention programs, as well as expanded the HIV testing and AIDS treatment programs, resulting in a mortality rate decrease of 11.3% since 2009.

He has made it mandatory for restaurants to make calorie information available to patrons, and was the first in the country to initiate a trans-fat ban.

While all of these things are helpful, our activity levels might be the major factor.

Most New York City dwellers don’t have cars, and opt for public transportation, and in many cases walk to their destinations.  Not only is this increased activity a plus, but our pace is often quicker than those living elsewhere.
Many other states have followed suit and instituted their own smoking and calorie rules, but very few cities have residents that walk as much as we do.

Why not take a cue from New York and consider walking to destinations within a mile of home? It will definitely help you get in shape, and could prolong your life in the process!

photo: Glasshouse Images


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