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  #1   ^
Old Mon, Jan-29-18, 08:36
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
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Default Rewilding: are modern comforts making us ill?

Not low carb per se, but it is an interesting read with a shout out to Dr Rangan Chatterjee:


Quote:
From The Sunday Times
London, UK
28 January, 2018

Rewilding: are modern comforts making us ill?

Tony Riddle doesn’t use chairs, or eat processed food, or stay up after dark, or even use a western toilet. Meet the man with an alternative to how we live

Fleur Britten


Does this seem normal to you? Tony Riddle, a “rewilding” coach, does his computer work squatting on his haunches. He has hacked off the legs of his dining table so that his family can quit chairs. He has a six-pack to rival that of the boxer David Haye (a client), but you won’t catch him in the gym — Riddle’s fix is barefoot running, climbing trees or imitating animal movement (lizard, kangaroo, snake, chimp — take your pick). If he has to commute, you’ll find him hanging off the bars, and I don’t mean straphanging, but with his feet off the ground. If he has to be in artificial light after 6pm, he wears amber glasses to protect his eyes from the blue tones that can affect the quality of our sleep. And he never comfort eats. Weird, huh?

As far as Riddle, 42, is concerned, this is, biologically at least, completely normal. You’ll have heard of rewilding the countryside. Well, Riddle, whose clients also include the wellness expert Jasmine Hemsley and her boyfriend, Nick Hopper, is spearheading the human rewilding movement, “returning ‘zoo humans’ back to wild humans”. Natural lifestyling, he explains as we squat (ouch) like frogs during our interview, is about honouring our hunter-gatherer heritage, the lifestyle for which our bodies and minds are still primed. “It’s about finding biologically normal ways of existing in biologically extreme environments,” says Riddle, who also runs rewilding retreats, workshops and corporate coaching. Sitting on your bottom for eight hours is biologically extreme, he says, because chairs don’t exist in nature, as are processed food, late nights, western-style loos, high heels, city life. But if we prioritise biologically normal behaviour, we can, he says, “relearn our deep connections to nature and find profound states of wellbeing”.

Currently courting publishers for his first book, he admits: “Some are saying, ‘Woah, this is so socially extreme.’ They can’t really get it at this stage.” But view Riddle’s teachings in the context of recent wellness trends and it starts to make more sense. Take standing desks and posture awareness (versus sedentary, muscle-wasting slumps), take functional movement (versus machine-based movement), take squatty potties (yes, they’re trending) or forest bathing (our ancestors would have done little else), take fasting and organic food (as it would have been pre-agriculture), take air purification (as opposed to air pollution). In isolation, these things don’t seem such a stretch, but all are mere rungs on Riddle’s ladder towards rewilded perfection.

Not long into our interview, I am subjected to a foot inspection. “We need to discuss these,” Riddle says, eyeing my pointy 4in heels disapprovingly. “Rewilding starts with the feet, and a natural foot is wide,” he says. My “shoe-shaped feet” with their crunched-up toes are biologically extreme, and with “compromised feet” comes compromised posture. “If your big toe has moved inwards, you can’t pivot off it, then the ankle is affected, then the knee and the hip, and then every single muscle and tendon action is out.” Riddle is an ambassador for Vivobarefoot shoes (founded by his friend Galahad Clark, of the Clarks shoes dynasty), which have a wide toe box and super-thin 3mm soles that allow crucial sensory feedback. “The more feet can feel, the more the foot-brain connection stays active,” he says, which can apparently protect us from anxiety and depression. So, since 4in-heel pain doesn’t count as feedback, my brain is also compromised.

The bridge between the burgeoning rewilding movement and the rest of us is the eminently sensible Dr Rangan Chatterjee, author and media GP from BBC1’s Doctor in the House, who has been wearing Vivos for seven years. He claims that through rewilding his feet and footwear, he has finally rid himself of back pain.

But I can’t lie, my new Vivos are a tough look to pull off in the Style office: “Flipper feet,” said one colleague.

Chatterjee also supports rewilding; earlier this month he publicly recommended that schoolchildren should have the option to squat or use a standing desk in class. His bestselling book, The 4 Pillar Plan: How to Relax, Eat, Move and Sleep Your Way to a Longer, Healthier Life, shares much ground with Riddle’s principles, albeit in moderation (for example, you don’t have to chuck out your chairs, just try to get up every hour). “Our modern lifestyles make it hard for our bodies to move in the way they are designed to,” Chatterjee says when I speak to him. Noting that society is getting sicker (with chronic disease, chronic pain and obesity, for example), he says: “Anything we can do to combat that is going to be beneficial.” At home, his children (aged five and seven) do their work squatting, with Chatterjee, 40, trying to squat alongside them. “Do I find it a bit hard? Yeah, but that’s because I spent years slumped in chairs untraining my body’s innate abilities. I am trying to relearn what I’ve lost.”

An uncomfortable squat, or indeed mild discomfort in any of the 100 or so “ground-resting” positions (kneeling, single-leg kneeling, crossed legs), is no bad thing because it makes you move around. “By switching regularly, you will avoid stiffness, stagnation and weakness picked up through prolonged sitting,” Riddle says. If you have a stiff neck and mid-back, tight hamstrings and hip flexors, and sleepy glutes and core (yes, yes and yes), it’s because you have adapted to a sedentary lifestyle and it’s time to rewild your parking position. What’s more, a standing desk is no good if your posture is already compromised. But whose office is ready for “ground-living”? Instead, Riddle recommends this when watching TV or socialising; sofas, by the way, are pure lifestyle junk, as they “dumb down” our need to move.

A former soldier, and a one-time muscle-obsessed personal trainer, Riddle is now a man-bunned “conscious man” keen to honour his “social, emotional and spiritual animal”. The military discipline must be useful, no? “Responsibility is a better word — you have to take on responsibility to be the change. Am I the best example of a human being for the younger generations?” The paragons, according to Riddle, are the Penan people of Borneo, some of whom live pretty much as they did, we all did, 100,000 years ago: “They’re nomadic, they’re barefoot, they’re part of the forest. They eat biologically normally because that’s what’s on the landscape. There’s no domestication, no pollution.” For Riddle, “living it” involves training six hours a day, ice-cold wild swimming, 24-hour fasts, a 6am-6pm active day (to “honour the equatorial ape” within), co-sleeping with three kids (8, 6 and 20 months) and “unschooling” them (letting the children steer the subjects they study), as well as quitting all guilty pleasures (salt and vinegar crisps were the last to go), though documentaries and his phone are still permitted.

Riddle may be fanatical, but, he concedes, “I’m not saying you have to go and live in a cave — you can dip into the principles.” You could, he says, just rewild your gut bacteria or your lighting. “You could do the 5:2 rule for sleep and just have two days where you’re killing it.” There isn’t a quick fix, he says: “It has to be over time, and you will build and build.” It’s uncomfortable stuff, but perhaps it beats the alternative.

Biologically extreme

24-hour gyms
Food in a packet
Late-night munchies
Adult-led parenting
Room temperature
Reclusivity

Biologically normal

Indoor plants
Organic fibres
Biodynamic wine
Raisins for Halloween
Wild-sourced meat
Sauerkraut


http://tonyriddle.com/


https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/...s-ill-jz8xzxrdk
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  #2   ^
Old Mon, Jan-29-18, 10:13
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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How nice he can do this if he wants. The rest of us might run into trouble with our boss :j

But then, I used to put on amber-lensed glasses at sunset, and it helped me get my sleep back on track. So I am not saying he’s wrong... just privileged.
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  #3   ^
Old Mon, Jan-29-18, 13:07
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teaser teaser is online now
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Lol, yes. Much easier to squat at work if teaching people to squat at work is your job.
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  #4   ^
Old Mon, Jan-29-18, 17:19
Zei Zei is offline
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Actually a lot of good suggestions in the article, just make modifications as needed. Not throwing out my chairs but do squat a bit daily to stay limber, go out and jump in my cold pool, etc. Stylish foot-friendly shoes do exist, cheap water shoes make great minimalist footwear on a budget and so forth. I think he's got a point that a lot of our environment has become pretty un-natural compared to what we're built for, and there are probably fairly simple low cost modifications we can make to correct many things.
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Old Tue, Jan-30-18, 02:32
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zei
Actually a lot of good suggestions in the article, just make modifications as needed.


I agree! I'm a big fan of Primal Fitness, where you go out and "move like our ancestors." And when I'm better, maybe I can

Once again the old and sick are being exhorted to live like the young and strong... when they need a chance to get over some of the old and sick part

But I am also a follower of the Egoscue Method, whose premise is that we are not moving enough, in the right ways, to keep our body in its proper alignment. Doing the exercises was transforming.

So there is something to it.
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Old Tue, Jan-30-18, 03:14
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cotonpal cotonpal is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WereBear
I agree! I'm a big fan of Primal Fitness, where you go out and "move like our ancestors." And when I'm better, maybe I can

Once again the old and sick are being exhorted to live like the young and strong... when they need a chance to get over some of the old and sick part


I've noticed that too, all this advice for the young and strong and well off. The older you get the more invisible you become and the more insignificant as if it doesn't matter. I won't be squatting on a regular basis any time soon, maybe doing a few squats but not squatting instead of sitting. It's not that I disagree with the premise of living more in tune with our ancestral biology but I'm hoping that doesn't mean I should be left on a rock to die because I have used up my useful years and am no longer able to take on the challenge full tilt.

Jean
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Old Tue, Jan-30-18, 07:19
M Levac M Levac is offline
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Ah, the let's go back to the old ways stuff. Here's the thing. The premise is that we have evolved over a long time, therefore we are better adapted to what we've been doing during this long time. That's faulty logic, cuz the premise says it in the first three words: We have evolved.

Take the barefoot thing for example. We have evolved, we have learned how to make things we wear, like sandals, shoes, boots, whatnots. We've been wearing those things long enough to have adapted to them. On the other hand, we've designed pretty much every single shoe in our entire history in every culture on the entire planet with a heel of a different height (higher) than the rest of the sole. Shoe heels are sort of a pet peeve of mine. So, the true argument isn't that we are't adapted to wear shoes, it's that we're adapted (recently at least) to wear shoes with a heel higher than the rest of the sole, which means that all other natural motions done without this high heel cannot be done, erm, naturally. Ironically, Olympic lifters wear special shoes that have a flat sole but with a regular incline to facilitate squatting. Go figure. Personally, I had to learn how to squat with relatively flat-soled (i.e. even thickness) shoes back when I went to the gym for heavy lifts like the squat and deadlift for example.

The point is don't need some fancy ugly shoes, just need some less heely shoes. I have a pair of golf shoes with a rather low heel, yet it looks like it's higher due to the design of the sides of the sole at that point in the middle. At some point I had a pair of heeled shoes modified for a lower heel and an add-on sole to fill in the otherwise missing part of the sole in the arch portion, effectively making them flat-soled. Current trend of basically all shoes today is to do the opposite - somehow enhance the void of the arch. Check golf shoes today, most of them have that weird looking sole, like platforms front and back, with a void in the middle. Many other sports shoes are the same. Dunno where that idea comes from, but to me it's retarded. Come to think of it, it's like all the health claims of a high-carb diet, when in fact the opposite is true or moreso. Indeed, even so-called ergonomic and corrective shoes come with a higher heel and arch support.

Lemme illustrate the absurdity of a higher heel. We are adapted to walk on a ground where everywhere we step has some pebble or something right where our heel touches down. Or for example (that was told to me by a shoemaker, no kidding) if we didn't have a higher heel on our shoes, we'd fall backward. Not sure if he was joking but that's the degree of reasoning we're dealing with.

In fact, there's only a few true reasons for a higher heel, and no the idea that it enhances the butt and breasts ain't one of them cuz that's actually not true. First, shoes can be used as tools, much like a hammer. For example, when we use a shovel, a heeled shoe makes the motions much more effective because when we push down on the shovel with our foot, the heel locks on top and allows greater force to be applied without slipping or pain. Same with cowboy boots, heel locks into the stirrup. The most obvious reason is that it makes us taller, that's it, no need for wild BS claims about it. But the fact is, all those genuine reasons come with another simple fact - higher heels make us less able to otherwise use our feet with the same agility, the higher the heel the less agile we are. It's like in-your-face obvious. Even seen a fashion show go wrong? Ya, it's just hilarious. Indeed, racing shoes, I mean real racing not BS marketing crap, have the thinnest sole possible. We could argue it's to save weight, but the fact is a higher heel impedes the ability to run. Climbing shoes have no heel, it's all same thickness. Climbing boots have a higher heel, but then they're comparatively much more rigid. Work boots have a higher heel, but they're used for pretty much everything besides pushing down on a shovel, so they should be called all-purpose work boots, where using a shovel is only a tiny part of its intended purpose. For those, it would be useful to have flat-soled work boots too, for the 99.9% of the time you don't use a shovel, so that work is made less awkward by the higher heel. Even then, work boots typically have a thick and rigid and deep patterned sole which would still hook on top of the shovel and protect the foot.

Told ya, pet peeve.

Anyways, as we can see, don't need to invoke evolution arguments for shoes (especially when that argument is flawed), just plain old common sense will do just fine.
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Old Tue, Jan-30-18, 08:52
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teaser teaser is online now
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If you look at what happens to muscle mass with bed rest--somebody with complete bed rest will lose a substantial amount of muscle, compared to, say, somebody who is standing for just an hour a day. People in other cultures are more comfortable squatting than we are, and they do a large amount of bodyweight squatting. But with exercise, there's generally a point where you get diminishing returns--you are adapted to the stress to the point where increasing the duration of the exercise doesn't yield a training effect.

If the problem with sitting in chairs is deloading, I think finding the effective dose of not sitting is relevant--and an easier and more likely sell. I sort of doubt that chairs and sofas are going away. Getting in trouble with blood clotting etc. is another story, but there there's also the question of what makes somebody prone to that, is the problem that sitting in chairs for long periods of time is something that human beings are not adapted to, or is the problem that what we do when we're not sitting in chairs, and what we eat whether we're sitting in chairs or not, etc., has compromised our tolerance for what chair sitting we do do?
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Old Tue, Jan-30-18, 14:16
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Dodger Dodger is offline
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I have been going barefoot as much as possible for the last 10 years. All the foot problems that I used to suffer from have gone away.
I am transitioning from bending over while gardening to squatting instead. I do not have a lot of squat endurance yet. The squatting is definitely better for my back.
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Old Tue, Jan-30-18, 16:08
M Levac M Levac is offline
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I can appreciate the idea of squatting endurance. May I suggest a low chair or stool that allows a partial squat? There's even a kind of chair you "wear" around your butt like a belt so you can focus on the work rather than on moving the chair around. I wanted to give a link but the closest I found is called a gardening seat or stool.
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Old Wed, Jan-31-18, 15:41
Bonnie OFS Bonnie OFS is offline
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Mother Nature provides chairs - logs, stumps & rocks. I've used all of them for chairs at one time or another.

But like WearBear said, it's hard to do all that good stuff if you're old, sick, and/or injured. In spite of the problems my body has, I don't sit for hours at a time - I don't know anyone who does. But with my bad knee I can't stand for as long as I used to, so I'm sitting more now. But at the very least, the cats make me get up & do things.

And no way am I going barefoot - there's well over a foot of snow outside & the floors are cold!
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Old Thu, Feb-01-18, 00:32
Verbena Verbena is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonnie OFS
Mother Nature provides chairs - logs, stumps & rocks. I've used all of them for chairs at one time or another.

But like WearBear said, it's hard to do all that good stuff if you're old, sick, and/or injured. In spite of the problems my body has, I don't sit for hours at a time - I don't know anyone who does. But with my bad knee I can't stand for as long as I used to, so I'm sitting more now. But at the very least, the cats make me get up & do things.

And no way am I going barefoot - there's well over a foot of snow outside & the floors are cold!


Bonnie, what kind of cats do you have? Mine seem to sense when I am about to get up (for something totally inconsequential like going to the toilet), and that is when they come to settle on my lap. Of course, I can't get up at that point, because, well ... sleeping cat Now dogs, that is something different; they require a certain amount of activity. But ... my cats won't allow dogs, so I'm stuck in a quandary.
As to barefoot, we don't have snow ... hardly ever, and certainly not now. But I have (during the daytime) free range chickens. No barefoot walking outside for me!
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Old Thu, Feb-01-18, 07:15
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bevangel bevangel is offline
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Love going barefoot (sock-feet actually) as I don't think I've ever found a TRULY comfortable pair of shoes in my life. So, I tend to kick my shoes off the instant I step indoors. But outside? I don't think so! We don't have snow to contend with but we do have fire-ants and scorpions AND practically every native plant in Texas comes equipped with thorns!

As for "squatting" instead of sitting, I think I may be too far gone. Tried to do a single squat this a.m. - just to see if I could. Even holding on the back of a kitchen chair to assist myself - it just ain't happening!
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Old Thu, Feb-01-18, 07:42
Bonnie OFS Bonnie OFS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verbena
Bonnie, what kind of cats do you have? Mine seem to sense when I am about to get up (for something totally inconsequential like going to the toilet), and that is when they come to settle on my lap. Of course, I can't get up at that point, because, well ... sleeping cat Now dogs, that is something different; they require a certain amount of activity. But ... my cats won't allow dogs, so I'm stuck in a quandary.
As to barefoot, we don't have snow ... hardly ever, and certainly not now. But I have (during the daytime) free range chickens. No barefoot walking outside for me!


My only indoor cat is an elderly one that doesn't jump into laps - but he sure does order me around a lot! Clean the litter box. Feed me. I want fresh water. Brush me!

The other cats are all long-time outdoor kitties. They come to the porch & yell at me. Then the chickens, rabbits, & donkeys all need to be checked on at least 3 times a day. And you're right about free range chickens - one has to walk circumspectly.
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Old Fri, Feb-02-18, 08:20
M Levac M Levac is offline
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Another thing about squatting, it's the idea of needing (more) flexibility. While it sounds logical, strength supersedes flexibility when it comes to motion. Take stretching for example. It may make us more flexible, but in fact it also makes us weaker. On the other hand, growing stronger gives more stability of the joints thereby making motion more stable as well, even if it has little to no effect on flexibility itself. On the third hand, being stronger allows a more full range of motion, or existing range of motion, which could be perceived as greater flexibility when compared to feeling some pain at either end of said motion. Personally, I seriously considered either option when I started playing golf and I found I played better (and could practice and play longer, all day long in fact) when I stretched less, not even a little bit before a round, I just went straight to practice or the first hole and swung away. In the gym, (after some experimentation with various lifts and motions) I ended up doing a single motion (called a pull clean, a practice lift for the Olympic lift clean and jerk) but with a very heavy weight, just to get stronger and maintain strength. This greater strength, I could have used it to its full extent to hit the ball farther for example. Instead, I used this to reduce the effort I put in, and to focus on best precision, because golf isn't a game of how far, it's a game of how close. The point for our purpose is that strength allows lower effort for same power output, and allows fuller range of (existing potential) motion.

Also, the standard method to grow stronger is basically to repeat specific motions. That's just called practice, and the motions we practice, we become better at it on top of growing stronger. Technically it's called neuro-muscular, but it could just be called skill. In effect, greater skill allows more precise motion which translates into greater power output, i.e. greater apparent strength independently of muscle size. Also also, it's possible to practice partial motions and progress gradually to the full motion. So for our purpose, a squat can be done half-way for a while, we'll grow stronger and more skilled at the same time. Eventually we'll be able to perform a full squat with little effort. Some lifters use a chair to sit at the bottom of a half-squat, so that's an option. Another option is to grab something (a door frame or something) to help us back up. In my research with toilets, I found the Japanese use what they call a grunt bar in conjunction with a squat toilet. Basically they grab it as they squat to crap. Anyways, plumbing shops sell all kinds of bars for showers, so stick it somewhere solid and that's your squat spot.

For the lift we call a squat, there's the back squat with the bar behind the neck and the front squat with the bar in front on the shoulders. The most difficult is the front squat, which means it must be done with a lighter weight. This is a good thing for a few reasons. We can dump the bar easily in case of lift failure, it's much safer than the back squat for this. It forces to straighten the back much more just to keep the bar on the shoulders, so it's safer due to a straighter back and it strengthens the back a bit more. It's a lighter weight so overall effort is less in spite of actually being more technically difficult due to the difficulty in keeping the bar on the shoulders through the motion.

Then there's the thing called cross-training, where we practice one motion, and the skill and strength gained with it transfers almost directly to another motion. So, in my experience, that single lift I did in the gym transferred pretty much directly to the actual motion I did playing golf - the golf swing. It also transferred somewhat directly to another motion I did often playing golf - a squat to tee the ball and whatnots. This is due to strengthening the back and the legs with that lift in the gym. The point is this means it's possible to eventually be able to perform a full squat, by gaining strength and skill with a different but perhaps easier motion at first. So that's yet another option.

-edit- It just occurred to me. It's totally possible to squat while laying on your back. Just pull your feet to your butt, repeat.

Last edited by M Levac : Fri, Feb-02-18 at 08:27.
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