by Vance McDaniel
You ever wonder why all of those pictures depicting Neanderthal man always show them as being very muscular and having very low body fat?
For starters, they DID NOT have gym memberships back in those days. So why were they in such great shape? Simple, the answer is survival. Their physiques were a natural byproduct of survival. You see, Neanderthal man did not have grocery stores to shop in, and he didn’t have processed wheat and dessert snacks. He had to hunt for his food, had to dig up his veggies and carry it back to the tribe for consumption.
The simple act of hunting for food was calorie expenditure; the act of digging up roots and gathering berries was calorie expenditure. Every act of survival meant energy had to be expended. This in turn led to lean muscular physiques.
Today we get into our cars and shop for pre-packaged meals. Some of us garden, but that is more of a hobby than a true survival technique. We eat processed grains, which in all actuality have increased our waistlines and turned us into couch potatoes.
The bottom line is this; no matter how hard we try we will never expend the amount of energy our ancestors did for the sake of survival. We can however do a few things that will bring us very close.
The first step is to increase our activity levels. Join a gym; take a rowing class, even ballroom dancing. The list goes on and on. Second, learn a little something about food and how it interacts in the body. Subscribe to a health magazine, hire a fitness expert. Whatever you do, please learn, a little knowledge goes a long way.
In the end, we are much healthier than that breed of man that came before us. With the advances in medicine, health and nutrition, we are in a much better place by far. We can learn something from their lives though. Activity was the cornerstone of their existence. Their bodies were hard and lean. Forensics tells us so.
So be active eat well and live long.
Our ancestors would be proud!
Vance McDaniel is a personal trainer and owner of True Image Fitness.