We are changing our environment far faster than our biology can adapt. Dramatic changes due to modern living conditions have occurred in the lives of most people in the past hundred years that we are unequipped to handle. Poor diets, alcohol consumption, smoking, drug abuse, and chronic stress, are the major components of an unhealthy life style that ultimately lead to states of disease. More recently, for instance, emerging new technologies such as the internet, social media and on demand streaming services that are fabricated to keep you on site as long as possible are leading our world to a major challenge that threatens the physical and mental health of individuals.
The challenge to overcome is in taking a holistic approach to curating healthy habits and routines that more closely mirror the lifestyles of our ancestors. For the majority of our existence as a human race, we were hunter gatherers. It takes a long time for a species to adapt to new living conditions. From a genetic standpoint, we are basically the same as the hunter gatherer societies that lived approximately 10,000 years ago. Addressing the dramatic discrepancies that exist when evaluating our modern lifestyle is critical. Let us look to our ancestors for guidance. The environments in which they thrived and practices they engaged in should inform the lifestyle decisions we make.
Diet is the by far the greatest factor in one’s lifestyle and can have a direct and positive relation to your health. Poor food choices, fast foods, low quality produce, unbalanced diets, overeating and unrestricted eating windows are the components of a modern lifestyle that need to be addressed in order to move towards a greater state of health. Consuming a diverse & balanced diet that is biologically compatible, organically grown, replete with nutrients, in the right quantity and at the right time of day is the best place to start whether you’re just starting out on a healing journey or are looking to enhance your overall performance.
Digestion breaks down large compounds in food and liquids into smaller molecules that can be absorbed into the bloodstream.
Many people are more sedentary than ever. Research even suggests that sitting is the new smoking. We evolved to walk with extreme efficiency. Our ancestors walked about six miles a day in order to hunt or collect food. Simply put, we evolved to engage in constant, daily, low intensity activities. Some studies have even found strong correlations between active life styles and increased happiness. Prioritizing functional movement practices and incorporating them into your daily routine is a foundational lifestyle element.
One of the core components of a health is getting sufficient amounts of high quality sleep. Though sleep needs vary from person to person, most adults require between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. Yet, up to 35% of adults in the United States don’t get enough sleep. Sleep disorders, which are usually a result of other lifestyle factors, have several social, psychological, and health implications. Sleep plays a role in body weight, concentration, athletic performance, cardiovascular health, mood and more. Daily choices, genetic factors and your home environment can have dramatic effects on your sleep.
Leisure time is yet another component of a balanced lifestyle. Being immersed in a culture that is incredibly focused on productivity and efficiency can lead to the negligence of leisurely activities and self-care practices. Leisure provides you the chance to find balance in your life. It also puts you in control of how you’re spending your time. Learning to set hard boundaries and actually schedule down-time for activities that are rejuvenating is yet another component of a balanced lifestyle.
Advancements in technology have given us more power than ever to dramatically influence the planet and all of its inhabitants. Think about how the internet changed our social behavior. We now interact more via phone, email and video conferencing which has replaced the traditional way of meeting face to face. It is hard to ignore the fact that the social bond that we once share has been affected by the advancement of technology. Many people get sucked into their digital devices. Addiction to smartphones, social media and streaming services have been related to the symptoms of depression. Due to technology, we now have god like powers at the reach of our fingertips. The key lies in finding a way to use technology to enhance our quality of life without succumbing to its misuse.
Lifelong learning is the ongoing, voluntary, and self motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. It is important for an individual’s competitiveness and employability, but also enhances social inclusion, active citizenship, and personal development. The acquisition of a new skill or means of creative expression is a practice that will ensure that you continue to grow and flourish throughout life. Being a life-long learner is a great way to continuously stimulate your mind, body and spirit. The more knowledge you gain and skills you learn will only enable you to be of greater service to others.