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KEEPING YOUR SANITY XIV

1st-contact-w-san-bushmenThis is a “first contact” – where I and those with me were the first to reach this small band of San Bushmen in the Kalahari Desert of Botswana-Namibia.  This took place in August 1988.

You don’t see me as I’m taking the picture.  In the light blue cap is TTPer Big John Perrott, in the dark blue shirt is TTPer Dr. Joel Wade.  The dark-skinned fellow in between them is a “tame” Bushman who works on a cattle ranch we hired to track them down. There were only a handful of untouched “wild” bands left in all the Kalahari back then.  There are none left now.

My purpose here is not to relate an adventure story, but to explain how they survive.  We evolved as hunters.  These Bushmen still practice the original method of human hunting – it’s called persistence hunting.  They don’t need massive strength, speed, claws and fangs to kill animals much bigger and stronger like an eland or giraffe.  They just walk them into the ground.

An animal will run away in a burst of speed, then stop out of breath and panting.  They track and trot behind.  Off the animal goes again then stops, they track and trot.  They can do this all day, the animal cannot.  Eventually, the animal collapses, and dinner is served.

In other words, walking or trotting is how our species made a living for many hundreds of thousands of years.  These Bushmen still do.

We weren’t “born to run” – we were born to walk.  Be upright and move.  Not so much run or even jog at a fast pace, but walk and trot.  This why doing so on a regular basis – say 30 minutes a day – is so beneficial not just to your physical health, but your mental health as well, to keeping your sanity.

The physical benefits have been praised to the moon by legions of medical doctors for centuries – and accurately so.  It’s only recently that the neurological benefits have been extensively researched.  A great deal of this has been conducted by Dr. Shane O’Mara, Professor of Experimental Brain Research at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.

There’s a wealth of info on his website, shaneomara.com.  I encourage you to read his new book (available on Kindle): In Praise of Walking: A New Scientific Exploration.

Meanwhile, enjoy this interview of him, where he explains how walking increases the physical volume of the brain’s hippocampus, and reverses the functional aging of the brain. That walking before a creative task helps you think more clearly and creatively, come up with more ideas – just after walking for 10 minutes.  That people in the their 70s who walk daily will come up with twice as many creative ideas as those in their 20s who don’t.

Enjoy – and walk every day, ideally for 30 minutes in fresh air outdoors.  Your body, your brain, your mind and spirit will appreciate it!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NXpnf8-LU8