If you were alive 50,000 years ago, do you think you would look like you do now?
I’m guessing…probably not! You’d no doubt think you would look something like one of these guys lean, strong, and hairy!
The good news is, you don’t even need to step foot into a gym to get the same impressive physique, although I can’t guarantee the increase in facial hair.
The type of ‘training’, or should I say movements, performed 50,000 years ago were no different to modern life today; walking, sprinting, bending, twisting, lifting, pushing and pulling.
However the lifestyle of someone in the Palaeolithic era is very different to the typical gym-goer nowadays, who no doubt has a sedentary existence. The lifestyle of someone 50,000 years ago would most likely involve walking for miles each day to find food rather than simply walking around a supermarket, or, sprinting to flea or fight a deadly animal instead of monotonously jogging on a treadmill or pollution filled pavements for 30 minutes!
You may not think you personally fit that stereotype, however we’re probably all guilty to some degree of a sedentary existence. I know I don’t have time to hunt and kill my own dinner after a long day at work.
All is not lost though, as all the movements I mentioned above, plus many more, can be done in the safety of your own home or in your daily routine with just some minor changes without the embarrassment of someone with arms bigger than their calves to tell you otherwise.
Our bodies are an amazingly complex web of interconnected muscles, joints, fascia, ligaments, tendons, bones, and many other tissues and organs that work in synergy and seamlessly without you even knowing about it. Some will favour certain styles of training, others will not. But, why would the average person focus on only one muscle group during a workout or one type of training when their goal is to get ‘in shape’?
You should focus on movement patterns, not muscle groups, when exercising to develop a functionally strong and lean body along with a healthy diet.
Here are Five simple and easy changes that can be made in your daily lives but could make a big difference over the long term:
1) Take the stairs! This seems so obvious but you'll be surprised how many people don't. If you make a vow to yourself to always take the stairs at work/at the shopping center you'll be amazed how much your heart starts racing.
2) Try cycling or walking to work sometimes. This might not be applicable to all, but walking to the bus or metro or cycling in a morning will add about 30 minutes-hour of cardio to your day without classing it as "exercise". If you have to drive in, park a good 10-15 minutes walk from work or go for a walk at lunch! Just twenty minutes will keep the body awake and re-energize your metabolism for the afternoon.
3) Get up from your desk! Studies have shown that your blood sugar levels are more likely to be within the normal levels when working stood up, than when sat down most of the day. So try and not stay sat down for more than an hour, do a brew run, walk around when on the phone, go the long way to the toilet...you get the idea, find any way to be more active during your working day.
4) At Home Exercise. There is plenty of exercise to be done at home, whether that's using chairs, stairs, even bottles of wine to add some weight! Be resourceful! Even without props there are a lot of body weight exercises that you can do; sit ups, bridges, runners, planks, push ups and more that are excellent strength builders, especially for beginners. Just thirty minutes in the morning before or after work regularly throughout the week will get you results. Sometimes the hardest thing is getting started!
5) Embrace the outdoors! Run, cycle, walk! England has some beautiful countryside and sites, take advantage, do as your ancestors did, go and explore, not only is it good exercise but also great for reducing stress...and everyone could do with a bit of stress relief!