Could we, as a society be healthier? There are many components that make up a healthy lifestyle and everyone has there own opinion. Looking back to Paleolithic times can help put “health” into perspective. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, Paleolithic is defined as, “Of or relating to the cultural period of ht Stone Age beginning with the earliest chipped stone tools, about 750,000 years ago, until the beginning of the Mesolithic Period, about 15,000 years ago.” Getting back to the roots of what man needs to survive can help pinpoint what the components of a healthy lifestyle are. We, as a society, aren’t as healthy as we could be because of poor food choices, lack of functional exercise and lack of adequate sleep. Examining Paleolithic man’s daily life could lend simple and effective guidelines that today’s man could greatly benefit from.
Growing up in today’s culture offers more convenience than ever before. This fast-paced lifestyle unfortunately leaves little time for most to shop, prepare and enjoy healthy food. Many people find it easier to buy packaged, pre-made or fast food in place of more sustaining foods. In Paleolithic times humans were required to hunt meat, gather and forage vegetables, roots, seeds and nuts to live. These skills served up fare that was full of nutrition and sustenance. Today’s processed and sugar-laden foods offer convenience but at the cost of some health problems. A February 2009 study done by the Department of Medicine in the University of California, San Francisco, shows a remarkable improvement in
metabolic and physiological functions when nine participants consumed a Paleolithic diet for ten days. “Even short-term consumption of a Paleolithic type diet improves blood pressure and glucose tolerance, decreases insulin secretion, increases insulin sensitivity and improves lipid profiles without weight loss in healthy sedentary humans.” This study covered only ten days. Imagine the effects of months or years or lifetimes on a culture.
Remaining physically functional requires a proactive effort in today’s society as well. In the American culture people are not as physically challenged as they once were or had to be. When man was required to hunt it meant tracking, chasing, dragging, digging and foraging food. Today many people sit in chairs for hours on end and move very little compared to early man. A simple trip and a slow-paced walk can do in one hour what it took early man a...