Noel Garvan: Why we need to go back to basics

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    An evolutionary perspective on health may demystify the often confusing and contradictory information thrown at us all year round and to an even greater extent over the last six weeks.

    One undeniable truth is that our daily habits over the last million or so years have a huge influence on what daily habits affect our overall health and wellbeing. The further away we move from these habits the further we get from health.

    Below are some helpful guidelines that may help close the gap between what we have evolved to do and what we are now doing.

    What we evolved doing?

    • Eat natural organic, unprocessed foods.
    • Move, climb, lift, run and sprint.
    • Rest and sleep regularly.
    • Live simple, low-stress lives.
    • Meditation

    What we are doing now?

    • Eat processed, chemically sprayed and interfered with food.
    • Sit too much, live hugely sedentary lives and combine this with unsuitable exercise habits.
    • Work too much, sleep poorly with little down time.
    • Constant stressful inputs like work pressure, family, money, time constraints and many more.
    • No time left to be calm and reflective

    Five things we can do every day to close the gap

    1. Diet: Eat fresh meals with ingredients from your butcher and green grocer. Maybe try growing some of the ingredients yourself. Keep packaged & processed foods to a minimum.

    2. Exercise: Start with something you enjoy and has little impact on your routine. After time doing this experiment with different forms of exercise to find something you will do long term. Everyone is different so don’t do it just because everyone else is.

    3. Sleep: Leave the phone down late at night, no heavy food and allow your body and mind to wind down for a more restful deep sleep.

    4. Stress: Easier said than done I know. Exercise is a great stress reliever but anything that brings your thoughts away from problems will help even if it’s only for an hour.

    5. Meditation: Lowers high blood pressure; lowers the levels of blood lactate, reducing anxiety attacks; decreases any tension-related pain, such as,tension headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle and joint problems; increases serotonin production that improves mood and behaviour; improves the immune system; increases the energy levels.