Go Wild: Free Your Body and Mind from the Afflictions of Civilization, by John Ratey, M.D., and Richard Manning, is a fascinating look at optimal health through going wild, or, returning to instinctual behavior. Think of living 1000 years ago, with no grocery stores, cars, or electricity. You would prepare your own food, possibly after catching or harvesting it, and eat what best nourished you. You would walk or run wherever you needed to go, or ride an animal, and have no need to go to the gym after doing the manual work needed to take care of yourself and your family. And when the sun went down, light would be drastically reduced and your body would prepare for a great night’s sleep.
Deviation from these “wild” behaviors and your body’s adaptation to the deviations, postulate Ratey and Manning, are the cause of many common modern afflictions. For example, one type of exercise in a gym could cause repetitive motion injuries, whereas more overall exercise such as walking and doing yard work and housework would work more different muscles and promote flexibility. And Go Wild would not be complete without several chapters on how to use this information. Combinations of “wild” factors are considered such as experiencing nature, and being outside, with the query whether the combination would enhance or improve the effect. Finally, one is advised to find their “lever;” what one change can you effect first that will springboard you into “rewilding?” If desired, you can even visit a rewilding center, such as Rancho La Puerta, where you can be coached to Go Wild yourself. It’s certain to improve your life.