The Why: Physical (and Mental) limitations are not inevitable, even as we age
Our bodies are biologically designed to stay strong and capable from birth to way past 70 years old.
There is a very common misconception about the average life expectancy of our hunter-gatherer ancestors: that they all somehow died in their 30s, because that’s where average life expectancy at birth was.
But did you know those who did not succumb to infantile mortality (very high) or violent deaths went on to live strong and healthy past 70?
Modern medicine solved infantile mortality and our modern societies solved violent deaths. So if our bodies are designed to live strong and healthy past 70 even without the benefits of modern medicine and modern societies, then we should now live way past it, and still be strong and healthy, no?
Well, we all know it’s unfortunately not the case, as we witness, year after year, negative health trends in our modern societies, with well documented exploding rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, chronic depression, etc…
The causes behind these trends are also quite well known: our lifestyle provides too little movement and most often too much calories (and of the wrong kind) to our bodies, which are not able to cope with it and eventually start to break down.
And yet, as individuals and as a society, we don’t seem able to change our ways. Why?
It’s both a knowledge problem and a behavior change problem. Knowledge because there is no longer enough awareness of what stimuli our bodies need to remain healthy, both in quantity and quality. Behavior change because habit change is one of the hardest things for us humans and because our current social norms make it even harder.