You may be high
You may be low
You may be rich, child
You may be poor
But when the lord gets ready
You gotta move --- Rolling Stones
I am just back from a three-day intensive workshop at Kali Majapahit HQ in Singapore, the inaugural Level 1 Instructor Training Academy. This had more than 40 martial artists from all over the world gathered to understand the unique blend of FMA, health/wellness, and personal development/philosophy that is Kali Majapahit. It was unforgettable.
One thing that Guro Fred explained --- we are meant to move.
Genetically, our closest relatives are chimpanzees and gorillas. If we observe their diet and habits, we can have remarkable insight into our own health and wellness. Chimpanzees and gorillas do not suffer from any of the "diseases of excess" that plague the West including heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes. They also do not seem to have depression or commit suicide.
These creatures are basically vegan, meaning that with the exception of small, concentrated amounts of high quality protein (insects), chimpanzees and gorillas subsist on a natural, plant-based diet. The eat a lot (20-30 bananas per day) and drink plenty of fresh water. They also MOVE. Constantly. This would suggest that the same habits of tending toward natural, organic, whole plant-based foods is healthy for us, and that we are born to M-O-V-E.
In addition to their healthier diet, another reason our recent ancestors outlived us was due to their very active lifestyles. Sitting behind a desk staring at a computer (and then going home to watch TV) has really only been part of a mainstream career for the past 30 years or so. Prior to that most of the population continued to have active lifestyles involving movement and sports. Farming and most other career choices involved at least some degree of physical labor, and this helped to keep us active throughout our lives.
I think Guro Fred is right in that our bodies are meant to be used well and often. We were designed to run barefoot, designed to climb and jump and be very active. In fact, the current trends in health and fitness including Crossfit and Parkour, for example, emphasize practical, functional movement as the goal and core component of their training regimen.
We were not made to wake up to TV, watch our smartphone as we sit on the train during our commute, stare at a monitor all day while we sit at our desk and eat our packaged lunch, only to return home the same way we got here, ending up sprawled on the couch in front of the TV before finally going to bed. Our bodies were designed to hunt and forage for food constantly. We are not nearly as well suited to hunting animals as nature's REAL hunters (try eating a rabbit or a chicken whole and uncooked sometime). Design would suggest that we did this only out of necessity in winter when fruits and vegetables were not easily available.
These are hard realities for us to have to face. With modern medicine to help us when we get injured, it is possible for a person with the right diet and exercise habits to live past 100 years of age. Soon it may be possible to live well beyond that.
The evidence is compelling. What do you think?
We should ensure that we MOVE as much as possible every single day.
See you soon.