Formula for Health

By | January 23, 2012

I encourage anyone who wants to turn his/her life around and get super healthy—physically and emotionally—to read Born to Run by Christopher McDougall and Why We Run by Bernd Heinrich. Along with a new take on human evolution, you’ll learn why there is no substitute for running. Humans evolved as nomadic foragers, always moving, and we naturally stay in optimal health when we do what we are designed to do, the way we’re designed to do it.

The running style presented by McDougall and Heinrich is what we practice here at the Teaching Drum. Every other day, a group of us goes running off trail and through the woods, and we stay in great shape. One reason is that our “run” includes all the bending, twisting, and jumping necessary to go over, under, around and through whatever lies before us. When people ask what we’re up to, I tell them we’re off to do native yoga. Lately we’ve been throwing in push-ups, yesterday we each did 275.

Along with woods running, add a paleo diet, living water, clean air, and low stress, you might hardly recognize yourself after a few months. Even if you think you’re doing well now.

Some people are afraid to come running with us because they’ll incur injuries with light footwear on uneven terrain (we run in moccasins or similar). The truth is we fare much better than running shoe-clad road joggers, 70% of whom sustain injuries in any given year. During my road and trail running days, I ended up spending a total of two years on crutches due to several ankle and stress injuries. With my last injury, I went to a physical therapist to get fitted for an ankle brace. I thought he was joking when he suggested that I get out there and use the ankle as I normally would, only gently to start with. His reasoning was that the ankle, being used, would heal strong and in alignment with the way I used it. Additionally, I would not have to come back for physical therapy to strengthen the ankle or restore full motion.

I haven’t had another injury since I swore off of hard surfaces several years ago. Only I feel guilty for further weakening our economy by steering people away from damaging footwear and useless therapy.

1 Comment

George Steel on April 10, 2012 at 11:58 am.

Don’t feel guilty for weakening the economy, do it with pride! According predictive evolutionary models (such as the one behind the Seven Fires), we should be doing all we can to wreck the economy right now in order to have a future. The longer the current mess we call an economy continues, the worse life will be in the long term. Weaken away! (And you’ve been doing a great job doing so with your writing.)


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