Introduction To The Paleo Lifestyle
With the advent of a high tech and modern society, an improved global civilization comes with it its own set of drawbacks and consequences, most specifically with the human overall health. Specifically in Western and Westernized countries, people are consuming more and more processed and fast foods that are detrimental to their health, and the fast-paced culture of instant gratification has only added to the human’s deteriorating well-being. Lack of exercise, lack of time to take care of the self, and general chronic stress plague the human population.
Today, there are a multitude of beliefs, diet, and health programs that specifically deal with eating a healthier diet and an overall healthy life. Most people are now aware that an unhealthy diet and lifestyle can dramatically have ill-effects on their bodies and can lead to diseases and ailments.
The Paleo Lifestyle
A growing subculture and movement has slowly been emerging with the primary focus of changing how and what people consume and how they go about their daily activities. The paleo lifestyle is living in such a way that references the way humans ate and behaved in the paleolithic era, or the Old Stone Age. These humans lived for hundreds of thousands of years as hunters and gatherers before the neolithic era took place, where farming and agriculture eventually started, drastically changing the human diet.
The paleo lifestyle is based on many research regarding the diet and physical activities of these human ancestors who mainly hunted and gathered — simply known as cavemen. Based on archaeological findings and research, it has been known that these ancestors were much stronger and fitter compared to the man and woman of today. Their diet were mainly composed of fats and proteins, and their activities varied greatly.
Since agriculture only appeared 10,000 years ago, the foods that have become available to people are relatively new. Proponents of the paleo lifestyle assert that this amount of time is insufficient for the human body to adapt to the dietary and lifestyle changes brought about by agriculture and industrialization. Based on research, they believe that the human body is more suited to the lifestyle of the nomadic hunters and gatherers that roamed the earth thousands of years ago. Though their life expectancy was short, they were lucky if they reached the age of 30, it wasn’t because of ill-health — the main causes of death were because of accidents, infections, and the consumption of toxic plants.
How to Start the Paleo Lifestyle
The paleo lifestyle is primarily associated with the paleo diet. Should you want to explore this lifestyle, changing the way you eat is the first on the list. The paleo diet mainly consists of fats and protein. Eat plenty of meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Avoid all processed foods and anything that did not exist during the paleolithic era such as carbohydrates that can be found in cultivated crops like potato and grains. Also, skip meals every now and then to mimic the eating patterns of cavemen. They only hunted about once a week so they starved for a day or two and eventually feasted on a large meal.
The paleo life isn’t just about food, it also includes physical activities. Move regularly by doing low intensity activities such as walking and swimming then add a burst of high intensity activity once or twice a week. Avoid repetitive exercises such as jogging and weightlifting in a gym setting. Make your exercises varied — take inspiration from children. They run, then climb trees, then take rests when needed. When you engage in a variety of physical exercises, you are prepared for unexpected situations.
Since depression and chronic stress are brought about by a modern sentimentality, you can prevent these by taking on a paleo lifestyle. Spend as much time in the outdoors, close to nature, and get regular sunlight. The health benefits of being one with nature and getting regular vitamin D have been proven to alleviate feelings of sadness and stress, leading to a healthier immune system and improved mental health.
And since cavemen had very little to cloth themselves, wear minimal clothing and shoes, as well. Expose yourself to the elements including dirt to help you build a stronger immune system.
Pros and Cons of Paelo Lifestyle
The paleo lifestyle will make you build more lean muscle mass by being more active and by engaging in a variety of physical exercises that make use of most parts of your body. Consuming plenty of protein will also help you do this. The consumption of less or no carbohydrates will also reduce your blood sugar level, which can alleviate certain ailments.
However, this lifestyle is certainly not for everyone. People with dietary needs for certain medical conditions may lack the proper nutrients that fats and protein will not be able to provide. Also, a lot of the food that the paleolithic man consumed are no longer available today, since most of the animals that they hunted thousands of years ago no longer exist in present day.
The paleo lifestyle certainly has its own pros and cons but if you want the benefits that are derived from this diet and lifestyle, then it definitely is worth a try.