What are Di's top tips for Health and Fitness?
BY DI WESTAWAY | CEO and Founder of Wild Women On Top
At least 2,500 years ago, it was known that nature heals. Hippocrates also said,
“Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease.”
Follow these scientifically researched tips and Cross Train like a Hunter/gatherer!
1. Walk 5 – 12 kilometers per day like our cave dwelling sisters: We are genetically adapted for a great deal of light-to-moderate activity such as walking and carrying. Try to incorporate walking into your daily routine!
2. Alternate strenuous and moderate activity days: Strenuous days were usually followed by a relatively easy day, but each day demanded a range of physical activities just to secure the basic needs for existence in the wild.
3. Seek out soft surfaces and reconsider your footwear: Cave women moved on softer natural surfaces such as grass and dirt, often over uneven terrain. Our musculoskeletal system is not adapted for hard surfaces so re-train yourself to seek out “soft” surfaces. Walking and running were generally done barefoot or in simple leather shoes/slippers. Today’s running shoes are highly cushioned with elevated heels, pronation correction support, and other features that restrict range of motion of the foot. These shoes can partially cast or splint the foot, causing atrophy of musculature; shortening and stiffening of tendons and ligaments in the feet, ankles, and lower legs. Common overuse walking and running injuries including plantar fasciitis, ankle sprain, Achilles tendonitis, hamstring tears, and lower back pain.
While barefoot walking/running is not recommended for most individuals, the use of simpler shoes that do not drastically restrict foot motion or alter natural foot strike dynamics may be superior to expensive highly cushioned running shoes for long term orthopedic health. And save the high heels for the weekends!
4. Interval training 2 x week: This involves intermittent bursts of moderate-to-high level intensity exercise with intervening periods of rest and recovery. This type of exercise was required regularly for hunter-gatherers and is highly effective for improving fitness but should be followed by easier days to allow for musculoskeletal recovery and rebuilding.
5. A variety of exercises should be performed regularly: including activities targeting strength building (Trek Training with heavy packs) and aerobic conditioning (Trek Training on hills and stairs) and flexibility (stretching). Cross training among various different types of exercise promotes resilience and multifaceted fitness, lowers the susceptibility to overuse injury and enhances long-term adherence to a daily exercise program. And... you're far less likely to get bored and suffer emotional burnout!!!
6. Carry weight 2 x week: Daily life entailed a large amount of carrying weight loads such as water, food, wood, rocks, and - obviously - children!! Our modern highly mechanized culture has largely engineered lifting, carrying, and climbing out of our lives, although the price for all this convenience is an epidemic of osteoporosis, osteopenia, and sarcopenia among its inhabitants. So we get the lucky opportunity to stimulate this by carrying a massive backpack full of crap! YAY!!
7. Get outside: Outdoor exercise will help to maintain ultraviolet-stimulated vitamin D production in the epidermis, improve mood, and facilitate long-term compliance to a regular exercise program.
8. Find a buddy or tribe: Much of the day-to-day exercise was performed in a social setting (small groups of people who were hunting or foraging and/or were cooperatively working on various physical chores). Social exercise (i.e giggling with the girls) mean's you're more likely to commit to a long term exercise program!
9. Have sex regularly (of course!!!): Sexual activity is an essential element of human existence and an archetypal component of an organic fitness program. Sex once or twice weekly is linked to numerous health benefits, including enhanced immune system function; reduced risks of cardiovascular disease; lower mortality rates, improved mood and psychological bonding.Plus, half an hour of sex uses up to 837 joules— similar to the energy required for walking 2 miles or running 15 minutes on a treadmill - and it's way more fun!!!
10. Sleep! Plentiful time for sleep, relaxation, and rest was typically available to help facilitate complete recovery after physical exertion. Aim to get 8 hours of quality sleep, and you'll look, feel and behave like your true beautiful self!!