Are Humans Born To Run?
Modern humans and our immediate ancestor Homo Erectus have several adaptations which make us incredible long-distance runners. Were humans born to run?
With long, springy tendons in our legs and feet, like large elastics, we store and release energy with each running stride.
The endurance running hypothesis tells us that humans would chase an animal for 5-10 miles until it died from heat stroke.
However, take this with a grain of salt if you’re going to make the claim that we evolved to run long distances.
Fossil records make it very clear for much of our history we would sprint, climb and crawl to scavenge. 5-10 miles per day runs an irrational risk of depleting glycogen levels and without a kill falling victim to predation through the vulnerability of fatigue
A study done at the University of British Columbia found that regular aerobic exercise increases the size of the hippocampus.
The hippocampus is an area of the brain responsible for verbal memory and learning.
Additionally, researchers found resistance, anaerobic training did not have the same cognitive result.
Lifting weights are great, you build muscle, it takes discipline and there’s the obvious aesthetic appeal, however, too many of us seem to categorise types of exercises as being mutually exclusive and so we miss out on certain benefits.
The ancient Greeks when training for war would exercise the entire body — this is a principle that many later ancient Greek athletes swore by.
For the best results for your well-being, combine yoga, weights, callisthenics, Qi Gong, running, basketball and don’t become compliant with only one form of exercise.
Sure, focus on one, but don’t see cardiovascular and strength training and being exclusive and incompatible, the truth is they are synergistic.
Burn calories, not time. Listen to a podcast while you run, or no music at all and listen to your breathing. Turn running into a chance not only to exercise for the sake of exercising but to meditate alone.
Empirical evidence suggests the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal cortex have greater volumes in people who exercise.
Running on a regular basis will allow new blood vessels in the brain to develop and even increase the rate of success for the survival of the birth of brain cells. Cardiovascular exercise will also reduce insulin resistance, inflammation and stimulate various growth factors.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor or BDNF is a protein is a protein encoded by the BDNF gene.
This protein regulates neuroplasticity and the survival of cells in the brain. BDNF also increases when you periodically fast as well as in those who take anti-depressants.
Running is our natural medicine.
If you’re making a decision about what exercise to do in order to lose weight, forget about it — this essentially comes down to your diet.
Focus on nutrition, exercise for discipline.
Some great ways to ensure you make the most of the running is to apply some principles from the ancient world.
The Stoic meditation of negative visualisation is useful. Before each run or exercise, envision the worst case scenario; injury, tripping and falling, do this in order to never be disappointed and to relieve yourself from placing satisfaction on surpassing some arbitrary number.
Set a goal for your run, but never attach your satisfaction on this goal, instead be satisfied with the fact that your attempt is what is worthy.