Why today’s standard lifestyle is detrimental to our health
Our bodies are biologically the same as 340.000 years ago
The starting point is the realization that our bodies are biologically the same as the bodies of the first Homo Sapiens who appeared 340 000 years ago. All humans today belong to this same species.
This means our bodies are still best suited to the hunter-gatherer lifestyle of those early Homo Sapiens. Evolution shaped them throughout the history of the Homo genre to become more and more efficient at maintaining health and physical capabilities.
Evolution is a powerful and simple force: it favors the organisms most adapted to the environment they live in; to its climate, food sources, predators, etc. Homo Sapiens wasn’t the only species emerging from the Homo genre, but we dominated all others because our bodies were exceptionally well suited to thriving as nomadic hunter-gatherers.
Most people today have a good grasp of this evolutionary mechanism leading to the statement: “Our bodies are well adapted to the rigorous physical demands of this nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle, and they are capable of incredible physical feats.” Its corollary is mostly ignored however: “if you don’t stimulate your body as it requires to be, then health and fitness go downhill”. If you want to understand in more details what the physical stimuli and activities were for our hunter-gatherer ancestors, please see this article (based on academic results) describing their daily activities.
They’re not only well adapted to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, they require it to maintain optimal health
Human evolution, up until about 200 years ago in some parts of the world, has always been defined by energy scarcity: humans always had troubles and difficulty in securing their daily calorific supply. It required physical efforts, cooperation and taking risks. Our bodies, in turn, adapted to this energy-scarce environment by developing many mechanisms to conserve energy as much as possible. Which it does by essentially letting everything unused under-developed. That’s why, if kids and teens are not doing physical activity that requires strong bones, their bodies will react and save energy by not increasing their bone density throughout their teenage years. Of course, this only leads to osteoporosis at younger and younger ages.
This example illustrates a much wider, and mostly misunderstood, phenomenon: to develop healthily when growing up, maintain health throughout life and age gracefully and still capable, our bodies require the same physical stimulations required by a nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle.
Our bodies didn’t evolve to give us weak bones. They evolved in circumstances where the biological mechanisms to increase bone density would always result in strong bones, because survival was impossible without doing the physical activities that lead the body to develop strong bones.
Our bodies are fantastic biological machines, but they are meant to work optimally only under a specific set of physical stimuli. Remove some of them, and they start to break down.
Luckily, we can use fitness training to add them back in our modern urban lifestyle.
How to train for long-term health? The Movnat method.
This line of thinking lead Erwan Le Corre to develop the Movnat method. The goal of Movnat is to get you to practice regularly the exact movements your body needs to become and stay healthy. Movnat covers the following domains: crawling, walking, running, balancing, jumping, climbing, lifting, carrying, throwing, catching and the specialties of combatives and swimming.
If you were to look at the daily activities required for a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, you will find all of these, because the Movnat method was designed to literally emulate them. That’s why it’s the best fitness practice if your goal is long-term health, because it was designed for that sole purpose.
The other benefits gained by practicing Movnat
Practicing Movnat gets you other benefits as well. Because the techniques emulate the practical physical activities our ancestors had to do during their day, you become capable of those practical moves too: lifting and carrying heavy objects or another person, climbing on top of high walls or trees to escape threats, falling from up high without getting injured by rolling to absorb impact, etc.
As with any physical practice, you obviously improve your physical capabilities in terms of strength conditioning and mobility. The Movnat advantage is that you are doing it optimally, progressively but very efficiently.
Mental capabilities are also vastly enhanced. Movnat develops complete Mental Toughness, Confidence, Resourcefulness and many others because the Movnat methods emphasizes constant variation in the training context, dealing with unknown environments and variables and generally “becoming comfortable being uncomfortable”.
Perfectly suited for busy professionals and parents
There are also very real lifestyle advantages in choosing to practice Movnat as part of the Foresighted Fitness system: it lets you increase your training volume without requiring additional training time. Because it’s innovative and practical, and because you can do it even with your kids around.