As with nearly anything in this culture related to health and fitness and sport, human physiology as we know it is very much a deluded study. Deluded, maybe, because of a great ignorance. Ignorance in awareness: Who are we? Where did we come from? Why are we the way we are? How do we "fix" afflictions? Or even, does our current model allow us to fix things, or just patch things up? Where does optimal health, fitness, and well-being begin? What is optimal?
With the explosion of evidence and understanding in areas of study such as human evolution, biology, geology, climatology, anthropology, ecology, botany, oceanography, and so on, the picture is getting clearer... one would hope.
Hopefully, we might see the connection in it all. Yet ironically, because science works so well by isolating and reducing, it is also part of the problem of seeing the 'big' picture. Although, seeing this connection is kind of difficult in a culture that seems to create disconnection. Maybe because we've been able to afford the 'honeymoon' of supersession from the (untainted) natural world, built upon isolation and reduction. But nothing lasts forever.
The "paleo" proponents make a couple connections with regards to exercise and diet. Whether it's the best way of eating, is an argument that can extend for ages, but I do believe it gives the best framework from which to start (I said start, not follow); an evolutionary perspective.
But diet and exercise is a small aspect, and a very limited one. Because we (should) know there are many other contributing factors health and wellness.
Frank Forencich, who has been an excellent voice in connecting all things health for many years now, has discussed the limitations of a singular focus, such as the paleo diet.
Here are few recent posts that work to help connect the reader to a healthier, more sane view than one of isolation and reductionism.
Connect with the Earth – What does THAT mean?
Connecting t(w)o Earth(s)
Blood and mushrooms
My thought is that our incessant attempt to 'decode' human health, fitness, and wellness will ultimately have to go through many of the connected/embedded/holistic panorama of ideas Josh writes about on all this (*arms wide open*) to even get close to optimal (or at the very least, save ourselves from ourselves)... which beautifully takes care of more than just me (you, us, humans).
Alright, that's my big picture, philosophic point for the day. Back to deciphering training volume and intensities.