As an advanced species, when it comes to naturally improving and caring for our lives, sometimes humans seem to be going in the wrong direction. We may be smarter as a whole than all other animals but some of our actions compared to animals in the wild are just stupid.
Here are four differences to consider. Compare your actions and habits to those of an animal in the wild and see if you are doing what is natural to help your health and fitness, or are you going against nature.
Sleep: Pet owners know there is no need to tell your pet that it's time for bed or time to take a nap. But too many humans avoid or put off getting enough sleep like it is an unnecessary nuisance. Technology can be a big part of this problem. I'm guilty of staying up too late just to catch the end of a television show or read a few more emails. It's not just adults either. Little kids fuss about having a bedtime, teenagers try to stay up all night then suffer through the day sucking down Starbucks. When your body is signaling that it needs to rest and recuperate listen to it. The detrimental effects of sleep deprivation have been well documented. Make getting a great night's sleep a regular part of your routine.
Food: Only domesticated animals and those over exposed to humans and our poor nutritional habits will consume junk. Given the choice between fresh, natural foods (meat, fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds) or something created in a lab, wildlife will naturally pick nature over manufactured. What about you? I'm sure you know which is the healthier, wiser choice but are you making an effort to make the right choices? Try to make the bulk of your diet foods that are minimally processed and as close to natural as possible, like fresh produce.
Eating: No, this isn't the same as the previous topic. That was about What we choose to put in our bodies. This is about volume, intensity, and frequency. This is where humans should excel but we fail miserably. With most of us having access to more than enough food there is no reason to stuff like we are going into hibernation or are unsure of the next kill (or shopping trip in the case of humans.) Carnivorous predators do their best to get their fill of the freshly killed prey because it may be days, or in some cases weeks, before they eat that well again. But every calorie consumed is put to great use. Herbivores on the other hand are constantly grazing to keep the energy levels up. Most natural carnivores are powerful but unlike some herbivores, who are also naturally strong, they don't have as much endurance. Think about a lion chasing an antelope. Wildlife naturally knows how vital staying hydrated is to life. Can you use this info and adapt your eating habits to better suit your fitness goals and training preference? Are you making sure to stay well hydrated throughout the day?
Energy Conservation and Usage: Again, it's human influence that causes chronic over-fatness and obesity in animals. This is due not only to the types of food and eating habits but also inactivity due to confinement(like being stuck in an office cubicle) and access to permanent shelter and a regular food supply. But even animals kept for people's companionship or entertainment usually do their best to remain in a positive state of physical condition. All animals have the strength to easily handle their body weight. Can you easily handle yours? Are push ups and pull ups part of your routine? Cats and dogs stretch multiple times a day. Do you? Given the chance to sprint even adults house pets will readily accept the invitation. How many adults do you know that will run at top speed just for the fun of it? Stretching is easy, try doing it at least once a day, especially if you have a sedentary occupation. Fit some physical activity into your daily routine. Get up and move. Not only is it good for you, it's natural.
Photo courtesy of flickr.com/travlinman43