“Body hack or body hoax?” Are you looking for shortcuts to better health and fitness? What if the latest trend is actually making you worse?
The hominids evolved about 5-8million years ago. Homo Sapiens (that’s us) evolved about 100, 000 years ago. The basic purpose for evolution is survival of the species. Whether that is our upright posture for greater exploration, our combination of sharp and blunt teeth to suit an omnivorous diet or the finely tuned hormonal system to regulate all of our biological functions.
The key point here is that your body wants to remain stable and alive, any threat to that and the body is going to fight for you. You get sick, your body sends in the anti-bodies, you get too cold and your body starts shivering to produce heat and makes you want to urinate so that you have less volume in your body to keep warm. So how does this impact your desire to change my health and fitness? Mainly because your body doesn’t know what you have consciously decided to do.
Consider these examples;
|YOU DECIDE||YOUR BODY RESPONDS|
|Lift weights at the gym||Hormonal response to physical load promoting new muscle fibre growth and improved coordination.|
|Vegetable juice cleanse||Body thinks it’s food supply is threatened so metabolism slows down, muscle mass is lost. Weight gain rebound once calories are returned.|
|You have 5 tequila shots in row||Your body vomits to reduce the risk of poisoning|
You body has an army of systems developed over millions of years to help you survive and prosper. So how do we take that into consideration when the latest health and fitness trends are tempting us with images of a better life?
In my opinion the simplest way to do this is to ask 2 questions;
- Is this change adding to my lifestyle or forcing me to restrict my lifestyle?
For example, taking up a sport or eating more vegetables is adding a positive element to your life whereas cutting out all carbohydrates is restrictive. Your body likes variety so don’t limit it’s choices.
- Does the change respect your body’s amazing capacity for evolution and adaptation?
For example, a “detox” completely ignores the fact that your body has built in systems in the kidneys, liver and lungs to detoxify everything that goes on in your body. If it didn’t, you would die.
So the next time some online “guru” is spruiking something that is “the one thing you should be doing” or “science doesn’t know yet” just ask yourself those questions and rest easy knowing you have made a decision that respects the unrivalled potential of your body for positive change.