How Does Our Fitness Levels Compare to Hunter-Gatherers?
Fitness Levels Decreased Dramatically in Recent Years
According to the latest research, human fitness levels declined so dramatically in recent years that even those of us considered “the strongest” would pale in comparison to our hunter-gatherer’s ancestors.
A paper published by Alison Macintosh ‘From Athletes to Couch Potatoes: Humans Through 6,000 Years of Farming,’ making the claim that when we transitioned from being hunter-gatherers to agricultural societies, the lower limb strength, fitness levels and flexibility decreased in males.
A comparison was made of skeletal bones from around 5300 B.C. to A.D. 850. The findings revealed that the fitness levels of farmers 7300 years ago were comparable to that of cross-country runners of today. As technology has improved throughout the decades, our overall strength has declined and people have become less active. Look around at people in our society today; how active are most?
Sedentary Lifestyle Leads to an Increase in Disease
The result of our sedentary lifestyle has led to an increase in disease, Sarcopenia, osteoarthritis, and obesity as well as a host of other health related issues. To top that off, we have a greater amount of food at our disposal, unlike our ancestors as well as the ability to train whenever we want, but in the end, we are not challenging ourselves as we should.
What if you were to model your fitness regime around what hunter-gatherers did to survive? How could that impact your overall fitness levels and health?
If we were to change our habits and model our eating habits to reflect those of hunter-gatherers, we could make significant progress in developing our fitness levels. Add to that modern weight training, cardiovascular training as well as daily flexibility training and we have the perfect prescription to enhance our bodies. Our ancestors pushed themselves in the pursuit of food, where they had to run up and down hills. This aspect of their daily lives directly added to their stamina and physique and is something that we as a population should take note.
This article is crafted by Lisa Gervais. BCRPA and ACE Certified Personal Trainer