Are we designed to be poor?
Born to run
One of the problems of our time is that we sit too much and move too little. We become more susceptible to disease, and we recover less from stress. Today we are moving two thirds less than 100 years ago.
People are characterized by the predicate "Born to run - born to run". For our ancestors it was vital to be able to walk well, and that in two ways: They had to get to safety from enemies and attacking animals. The hunt was only successful if the hunters were quick and agile. So survival was a question of "athleticism".
The fact that modern humans are squandering this evolutionary legacy is due to the fact that natural enemies have ceased to exist and the hunt is limited to the aisle to the supermarket.
At least in the western world, the majority of the population no longer has to work hard physically, but does their job sitting down. Anyone who is not looking for a balance in sports or at least takes regular exercise, such as going for a walk, has a problem. This is because the human body has to be moved, otherwise it will break down.
Bones stabilize the body and give it stature. Our skeleton can withstand enormous loads. It is flexible because the bones are connected by joints and ligaments, the skeleton is moved by the muscles. They are the engines that drive us.
A muscle is made up of many muscle fiber bundles. The individual muscle fibers, in turn, are divided into muscle cells. The actual power plant is in them. Controlled biochemically, muscle cells shorten and relax again.
The muscle draws its strength from the shortening of many cells. This is how it works in all muscle cells and in each muscle fiber. Together we are strong - this also applies here, because the interaction of tens of thousands of individual cells enables the muscle to develop its full power.
Unfortunately, only a quarter of the energy put into muscles is converted into mechanical work. The remaining 75 percent is lost as heat. If you look at the muscle as a machine, its efficiency is quite modest. This makes the performance that can be achieved under these conditions all the more astonishing.
With regular training, bones and muscles increase enormously in substance. In this way, humans achieve astonishing achievements. Top athletes show us which strength and movement machines humans still are by nature. The top speed of a male 100-meter sprinter is around 40 kilometers per hour.
For a top marathon runner, the average speed is around 20 kilometers per hour. Triathletes compete for more than eight hours at the annual Ironman in Hawaii: swimming 3.6 kilometers, cycling 180 kilometers and running 42 kilometers. Ultra triathletes even stretch their athletic performance over several days.
How much sport do people need?
There is no question that sport is healthy, but you shouldn't overdo it. Not everyone is a top athlete, and competitive sport is actually no longer healthy. "No sports" said Winston Churchill when he was asked about the secret of his good physical condition.
Sports scientists know better. Her motto is: Stay mobile through constant training into old age. The more an organ is challenged, the more it can achieve. Regular training, even if it is only started at an advanced age, increases performance enormously.
The goal is to stay 40 for 20 years and keep the biological age low. This can be achieved with two to three hours a week, whether by running, cycling or swimming. Those who know and accept their physical limits, but exercise moderately but regularly, have the greatest benefit for their own well-being.
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