The evolutionary mismatch theory states that the ancient conditions under which our human biochemistry evolved 200 million years ago are same the conditions required by us today to achieve optimal biological and metabolic function. Basically our physiology was well adapted to certain stressors, like movement, cold, heat and periods without food. The absence of these stressors will result in the slow deterioration of health and will ultimately lead to disease. Basically our current comfortable modern lifestyle no longer matches our ancient biochemistry. This is a major threat to our well being. You see, our body stills requires constant exposure to movement, cold, heat, and periods without food to maintain our homeostasis which keeps us elastic, warm, cool and strong. Our modern way of living leads our whole body to become fragile, weak and diseased.
Here are the reasons why. Movement is the spark plug of our biochemistry. When we move, this causes an insistent and continuous demand on energy, blood and oxygen to circulate inside our body. Our metabolism REQUIRES movement to activate the flow electrons and the production of energy in our mitochondria (the cell's powerhouse). As the blood circulates, it also distributes the essential micronutrients like vitamins, minerals, amino acids, omegas and essential fatty acids throughout our body, to every cell and to every organ. In addition, movement also activates specialized proteins called enzymes. Enzymes facilitate pretty much everything inside the cell. They catalyze (speed up) the chemical reactions of our metabolism. They help to repair damaged soft tissue and damaged DNA. So where do these important electrons come from? Every bite of food we eat goes through the complex processes of digestion, absorption, metabolism and ultimately becomes electrons which are finally transformed into ATP in the mitochondrial electron transport chain. This process takes hours. If we are moving, we are demanding ATP production from the electron flow. If we are sitting, most of these electrons will be diverted into fat storage. This alternate pathway is called de novo lipogenesis. I already know that as soon as I sit down, my whole metabolism will slow down almost immediately. As soon as I stop moving I am no longer demanding electron flow for ATP production. The electrons extracted from my diet will be diverted into fat making instead of producing energy. By not moving I am accumulating fat. Basically too much de novo lipogenesis leads to metabolic syndrome.
Most of us live in a society where almost no movement is required. Today, we can literally have anything we want in the palm of our hand simply with a key stoke, remote click, phone call or text message. This all happens from the comfort of our home without leaving the couch. No movement required! Have you seen the movie Wally? This movie is supposed to take place in the future, but unfortunately, that future is almost here! We hardly move anymore. When I refer to an active lifestyle, I am not talking about 1-2 hours of working out a few days per week. I am talking about frequent movement, pure and simple. Remember our electron transport chain in the mitochondria? It is churning out ATP for the 1-2 hour that we work out. But what about the other 22-23 sedentary hours. Can you spell de novo lipogenesis?
Just think about the fact that human physiology, metabolism and biology has remained essentially unchanged for the past 200 million years but the conditions of living have changed astronomically in just the last 100 years and even more exponentially in the last 50. Our physiology and our lifestyle are no longer strategically connected. We have a complete mismatch. Human biology evolved under conditions of physical stress and movement. Humans had to run, walk long distances, hunt, fight, jump, reach, climb, swim, push, pull, carry heavy loads for long distances, play, protect, fight, make things for themselves, dance, chop, crawl, compete to find a mate. Now we just need to swipe right! Can you see the difference between then and now? Then there was constant movement and now we are static. Up until the last 100 years or so, humans were producing ATP all the time. Now we live in the comfortable world of de novo lipogenesis and metabolic syndrome.
Let's start moving. Muevelo!