Winning by natures rules
All through human history the main goal has been to survive long enough to pass on your gene and if possible pass on enough wisdom so that your off-spring can do the same.
Health was fundamental to achieving this goal. We worked hard to find foods that would keep us alive. If we got enough of the right foods at the right times we made it and our genes continued. The inverse scenario meant the end of the genetic ladder of success.
Fast forward to the 21st century and you will see that most food advertising is about rewarding yourself with foods that create a pleasure response. We live in the era of instant gratification, but to become
an “overnight” super-star athlete takes years, probably more than a decade.
If we put these two pictures together we see a generation of athletes who have been raised on foods selected because of their price and flavour ahead of their likelihood of creating genetically successful offspring.
These athletes suffer from the same conditions that I saw while working on a feed lot.
Indeed the diet of a feedlot cow (raised to grow and fatten as quickly as possible before the slaughter) is very similar to the diet of many athletes and footy fans.
These cattle suffered from heart attacks and strokes, abnormally aggressive behaviour, arthritis, infections and many other ailments.
When the modern health & fitness movement began it was about building strength and muscle but it was also about becoming as healthy as possible. We now understand that in order to be able to gain muscle mass we must have a functioning immune system.
When athletes live on a feedlot diet dominated by grains and sugar joint pain and degeneration, impaired decision making and increased rate of infection follows.
In more competitive ancient times this would have slowed us down and made us easy prey. Not too long ago infections were life threatening. With the aid of modern medicine we now live through infections and joint pain by using anti-biotics, pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs. 21st century man thinks he can live outside of nature’s rules.
But in nature there are no free rides! All debts will be paid in full.
Yes we can survive these debilitating conditions but the consequences are a loss of muscle mass, increased susceptibility
to future infection, poor repair to damaged joint surfaces etc.
Today’s gain is tomorrow’s pain as many former league stars will tell you. I believe much of this can be avoided.
So what is the solution?
Here are 5 Tips for long-term success from the original physical culture pioneers:
1. Train with the amount of energy you have, don’t abuse caffeine because you stayed up too late watching the “idiot box.” All energy debts will be paid in full.
2. Get stronger
3. Sleep when it gets dark
4. Eat nature’s foods (most food was organic until the green revolution after the Second World War). More about this in future articles.
5. Respect your higher purpose – All traditional systems of physical development also had an element of spiritual development.
Stay tuned for future articles where I will offer more pieces of the puzzle for optimal health and performance.