How Did People Exercise Before Running Was Invented?

cavemenHappy Sunday, Modern Philosophers.

As I started on my morning run, the oddest Deep Thought materialized: How did people exercise before running was invented?

I imagine that cave people were an obese bunch since they didn’t have gyms, exercise equipment, or running to help them burn off all the calories.  Sure, hunting and gathering probably helped keep the metabolism going, but I’m sure there was a lot of just sitting around the fire, eating, drinking and painting on the walls of the caves.

Ironically, there have been some recent discoveries of cave paintings that depict cavemen taking part in what looks like a high impact cardio workout.  In the paintings, they are swinging their clubs, doing what look like push ups and squats, and raising boulders over their heads.

run dinosaurOf course, I’m fairly certain that running was invented once cavemen realized that walking away from a hungry dinosaur was not very helpful.

After the first hunter managed to run to safety from a T Rex (or at least outrun his fellow hunters to get to safety) hell bent on devouring him as an afternoon snack, I bet running became all the rage.  They probably ran in teams, always making sure to bring a really slow cave dweller with them just in case they encountered a hungry beast.

Until the wheel was invented, and they got fat and lazy again because they rolled everywhere, I bet there was a time when all the cave folk were lean, mean running machines.  Just think of the money Nike could have made selling running shoes back in the day.  Nike BC: Just do it, before the dinosaurs do you!

So that’s where my head was this morning, Modern Philosophers, as I set out on my 3 mile journey.  While I know there are no longer any dinosaurs out there to chase you and convince you that running can save your life, there might be even scarier things to motivate you to get up out of your cave and hit the road.  There’s heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, just to name a few.

just runShow the world that you’ve evolved.  Put on your Running Toga, lace up your sneakers, and hit the road.  I promise, it’s well worth it.

Look at what happened to the cavemen.  They got lazy and now they’re gone.

Don’t be a caveman.  Just run!

This message sponsored by the Time Travelers Society For A Healthier Planet and paid for by a grant from the Dr. Emmett L. Brown Foundation.

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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19 Responses to How Did People Exercise Before Running Was Invented?

  1. floridaborne says:

    Funny! 🙂

    Our ancesters were hunter gatherers and had to walk a lot, grazing along the way. Then there were other tribes to fight and predators to escape. Yep. Caveman did have an exercise routine. It was called “the survival.workout” 🙂

  2. I imagine theyd be conserving energy whenever possible and would have done next to zero when food was scarce beyond the esentials. In abundance maybe they squatted mammoth tusks. I guess exercise would have been at the forefront for hunters to get the food and then deliver it back to camp whether running or stalking – i bet the soles of their feet were as hard as wood.

  3. List of X says:

    No, thanks, I have a better chance of outrunning a dinosaur on my bicycle. As long as I don’t have to pedal uphill, that is.

  4. Fred Flintstone got plenty of exercise propelling and stopping the family buggy.

  5. ksbeth says:

    they speed-strutted around a lot.

  6. Tony Michele says:

    Haha. I couldn’t resist smiling.


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