You Were Meant to Move

You were meant to move.

The human body has evolved and adapted over millennia through the forces of nature. According to Darwin, there was a natural selection for those traits that ensured survival to reproduce and pass on those traits to offspring and succeeding generations.

These include attributes that made us more attractive to the opposite sex and thereby increasing our odds of reproducing. If you were to travel back in time and hang out in a tribe of early less evolved Homo sapiens, you would likely consider the people around you today really good looking by comparison. Regardless of what you might think of your own looks, you’d be considered totally hot in that prehistoric tribe.

Our brains evolved to solve problems, to be sensitive to potential danger, to crave novelty and to plan ahead. Our legs were designed to run far and fast, our arms to climb, lift and carry.

This is my evolutionary theory of why what we might consider our negative emotional tendencies exist. Anxiety and worry serve a purpose. The most anxious in a tribe would plan ahead and anticipate potential risks. They would be atune to something out of place and as insomniacs, they would serve as reliable night watchmen – the first to sound the alarm. Aggression and anger would be adaptive and positive to defend yourself, your family and your people in the face of real threats.

Even pessimism and optimism ensured our survival as a species. The naysayers helped us anticipate the downsides of our optimistic plans. The optimists showed us opportunities, advantages and possibilities. We needed both perspectives to survive in a dangerous world.

The lifestyles of modern life no longer suit the human body for which evolution has ceased. As urbanized humans, we can be sedentary during 90% of our time at school, work or home.

Next: Why we need to be active throughout the day . . . like Fred and Wilma.


About Davidicus Wong

I am a family physician. I write a weekly newspaper column, Healthwise for the Vancouver Courier, Burnaby Now, Royal City Record and Richmond News.
This entry was posted in Balance, Exercise, Healthy Living, Physical Activity. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to You Were Meant to Move

  1. MysteryCoach says:

    I was totally thinking of you this past week and wondering when you were coming back from your trip! How WAS IT!?

    • I had a wonderful time with my wife and two of our kids (The oldest was working all summer). We loved Paris, the Eternal City and the Amalfi Coast of Italy. I will be posting some photos with some new insights I had during the time away.

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