One of my favorite podcasts is The Drive, with host Peter Attia. If you are at all interested in health, fitness or longevity, I highly recommend it. In a podcast a couple months ago he interviewed author and writer, Michael Easter who recently published his book called The Comfort Crisis. While he doesn’t advocate for the return to a hunter/gatherer society, he does pose the question that maybe we’ve become a little too comfortable. In our never-ending quest for innovation, what have we abandoned what makes us human?

The story throughout the book details the author’s 33 day hunt through the Alaskan arctic on a caribou hunt. I cannot even imagine doing something that hard (at one point he figured his energy expenditure to be 1500-2000 calories per hour!). Just the thought of being in a place that cold makes me shiver. But he does offer a pretty compelling discussion about the problems we’ve created in our comfort driven obsessions.

Of course he provides the necessary statistics documenting what we are doing wrong – too much time on our screens, an abundance of food available to eat at any time, decreased time spent outdoors, and even the lack of any event or exertion that truly pushes our limits.

Here are four things I’d like to mention:

1 – Misogi – “The notion around the misogi is you do something so hard one time a year that it has an impact on the other 364 days of the year. Put one big thing on the calendar that scares you, that you never thought you could do, and go out and do it.” Jesse Itzler. 

I’m working on a couple ideas in my head for a misogi in 2023. Check out this article.

2 – Get out in nature WITHOUT your phone. Easter quotes research that shows twenty minutes a day, three days a week is good for your mental well-being (think local park or hiking trail). Five hours per month in the semi-wild is awesome (a trip up to the mountains). Three days out in the wild without any electronics show a lasting effect with decreased stress and changes your brain waves in a good way.

3 – Doing new things slows down time and focuses you in the present. When we get stuck in routines it’s easy to check out mentally and go through the motions. New experiences and new places cause out minds to focus in that moment. 

4 – Human beings were built to carry. And walk long distances. No species is better at it than we are (of course there are stronger animals but they cannot load themselves up with any appreciable amount of weight). Easter talks specifically about an activity called Rucking. Essentially it entails putting weight on you back and walking. After hearing his discussion with Peter Attia about it I bought a Ruck Sack (a fancy backpack) and I’ve been rucking ever since. I haven’t looked back and I couldn’t love rucking more for the following reasons:

It is great exercise – both aerobic and strength building.

Though the aerobic effect is similar to jogging, it has significantly lower impact on your joints.

It builds great core and joint strength which is crucial for longevity and stability.

I typically ruck in the early morning where it’s just me. All by myself. It’s a perfect time to think, and practice stillness. It’s been a source of peace and tranquillity.

Check out this great article on the benefits of Rucking!

This one answers all your questions.