31 January 2023

Natural Health and Natural Training

Natural Health and Natural Training

Natural health and natural training sound amazing, but so do many things. What does natural health mean? And what is natural training? This blog explains both, and lets you know why and how to get started.

Ever feel disconnected from the world? From nature, your body, yourself? If so, part of the reason is probably that you inhabit an ancient body in a digital world.
 
We evolved to move, feel and live close to nature, but modern society creates different demands. For all its wonders, we now move less, get outdoors less and encounter no end of products with dubious health effects. Movement and exercise is often limited to repetitive gym routines or the odd run, ramble or football match.
 
Natural health and natural training help you live more healthily and unlock your natural capabilities by counteracting these trends.

Natural health is a holistic healthcare approach focused on natural ways to promote good health, physical capacity, mental wellbeing and recovery. It aims to proactively avoid ill health rather than treat symptoms as they arise.
 
This often involves consuming herbs, supplements and other organic substances. It also suggests a healthy, balanced diet. And it encompasses lifestyle changes like spending more time in nature, improving sleep, reducing stress and exercising better.
 
Natural health means harnessing the life-giving aspects of living naturally, not rejecting technology, gyms or anything else human-made. And natural training is a great example.

What is training naturally?

Put simply, natural training is exercise that promotes natural health. More than just bringing benefits or using natural processes, natural training should make your body more capable and your mind healthier while connecting you with nature and heeding your evolution.
 
An overview of the key principles paints a fuller picture. Training naturally means being…

Primal

Moving how you’ve evolved to move, so you don’t lose your body's remarkable capabilities. For thousands of years humans walked, ran, squatted, jumped and clambered on the daily. As the saying goes: use it or lose it!

Functional

Focusing on moving well overlooking good. This means training your whole body with full range of motion, not just pumping out ab and bicep reps. This builds a body better suited to the random rigours of everyday life beyond controlled gyms (and probably a better, more natural-looking body).

Varied

Moving in many ways. As a human, you can move with more diversity than any other animal. But a healthy, functional body needs to move. Running, jumping, crawling like a baby and clambering like a monkey are all legitimate techniques in natural training, which is often super playful and surprising.

Long-term

Planning for lifelong health, not short-term success. Training naturally is amazing for high-level (and injury-free) athletic performance; it just doesn’t sacrifice wider wellbeing. Natural health might sound backward-looking, but it only looks back - to our ancestors, and how we moved freely as children - to ensure a more mobile future.

Regular

Treating movement as a daily practice, not an occasional chore. This means natural training can work well with a ‘little and often’ approach.

Holistic

Thinking beyond your physical body. Training naturally often involves being in nature, breathwork, meditation and other factors that marry physical exercise with mental health.

So what does natural training look like?

Given the number of principles in play, natural training takes many forms. Some adapt one or two of the principles above, others display most of them. Three popular examples right now are…

Functional Fitness

Training that prepares your body for real-life positions, movements and tasks rather than lifting as much weight as possible using a super-specific machine in the gym.

Primal Movement

A movement practice built around seven core, evolutionary body movements: push, pull, squat, lunge, hinge, rotation and gait. These movements were crucial to human survival once upon a time (hence the ‘primal’). Today, they allow you to boost your mobility, coordination, strength, flexibility and resilience at once, all while having fun.

Bodyweight Training

Quite simply, training that uses your bodyweight (as opposed to weights) to build strength and mobility through exercises like pull ups, squats and more advanced techniques. It’s super accessible and can bring amazing results, all while connecting you with how your body moves and feels.

It's time to train natural

The comfy modern world makes it easy to forget how you’ve evolved, and this can lead to health problems. Natural health approaches pre-empt these issues by heeding your body’s evolutionary needs, and natural training is a powerful example. Regular natural training that is functional, varied and holistic is a fantastic way to increase your performance and feel great while also protecting your long-term health.

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