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gagara's avatar

Does "returning to nature" way of life helps live longer?

Asked by gagara (102points) December 19th, 2009

I’ve just (re) watched Kurosawa’s Dreams – quite breathtaking imagery, no doubts. Towards the end of the film, there is a part about “Watermill Village”, where people lead “natural way of life” and live till age 100. This notion is quite peculiar, whereas it is a historical fact that the more “natural” way people lived, the shorter their life span was: in the medieval ages people’s average life expectancy was ~30 years (see this wikipedia article, for example). So, what’s up here?

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10 Answers

gagara's avatar

To start if off, I think there are two things here. First, these people leading “natural” way of life also enjoy all the benefits and protection the modern civilization has to offer. There is little doubt people in the year 1600 could have lived till 100, but they were either killed in a war, died from disease, had an accident, or just had to work too hard. The long-livers nowadays may not drive cars, run nuclear power plants, etc., but they still don’t have to fight the nearby villages/towns, get treated by modern doctors, and work much safer and less stringent hours (and probably use modern supermarkets too). This point is often overlooked by the proponents of the “natural way of live”, as well as the people buying into their ideas. To sum this up, some do live in Armenia or Japan now till age 100, but they probably wouldn’t have even 200 years ago. There is also genetics, but I’ll live this off for now…

Zen_Again's avatar

Lights a cigarette. Ya see, puff puff swig from Jack D. I’d love to be one with nature and munch on twigs and gravel but swig, drag to give up the other pleasures of life – well, I’d rather live to 80 and enjoy life, than to 100 sucking on bark and calling it lasagna.


Ansible1's avatar

I’m with Zen

The_Anonymous_Witch's avatar

actually , with a little education , on herbs , plants etc .. living with nature would be very rewarding .. the wild is actually a surper market of food .. if you know what to look for .. for example , you can eat cat tails , cook the whitecore any way you would potatoes .. the root stalk can be made into a white flour great for light bread and biscuites .chickweed can be made into ointments and has many healing properties… seaweed , chicken of the woods (chicken fungus ) , mushrooms , bracken fern are all great foods .. let alone all the healing aspects and health benifits of naturals like wolf berries .. the most nutreiant berry on the planet…
.... and as fot people dying youngr back then .. remember alot of their pots , cookwear etc had lead in them .. this also stunted their growth ,, hence people were shorter back then . research it before you try it though ,,, some stuff out there can kill you too ;-).

Sebulba's avatar

We are a part of nature and living in nature is the natural thing to do

Vintage55's avatar

Life is stressful from the moment I awake to when I return to the sanctity of my humble abode at evening sun. I’ve developed “impersonal, crazed, self-absorbed” city person syndrome along with sinuitis from city pollution. The only thing that keeps me sane and happy are my grandchildren (whom I would love to relocate to the country). To leave the city for points north is bliss – the soul replenishes, one feels the wind in their hair, the sun on their cheek, savour the fresh air, attune to nature’s sounds, gaze night’s dark skies. I’m praying these annual jaunts will add years to my life so when I retire, I’m outta here to a little cabin with my name on it! I can hear the loons now.

Cruiser's avatar

In the long run with no other external influences probably as the fresh air and exercise will certainly help your body stay active and able.

Nothing though can stop the cruel hand of fate so get outdoors and really enjoy the time you have.

rooeytoo's avatar

I agree with @Zen_Again – but it raises an interesting question. Did medival folks die from disease that can be cured today or did wild animals get them, what was the cause of their short life span.

Among the aboriginal people of Australia, the life span for males is still only around 48.

windex's avatar

one word: STRESS!

I can not tell you what a big role stress plays in our lives. This is just from my own personal experience. At one point in my life, I was under so much stress, that my body started to psychically break down.

Imagine waking up everyday from the sunlight shining on you instead of an alarm.
Imagine not having to worry about everyday BS, from remembering to charge your iphone to office politics.
Imagine not having to worry about time itself, and not having a watch.
Imagine a state of mind where running barefoot in a grass field and playing with butterflies does not actually sound ridiculous, or something that only happens in cartoons.

It’s also about priorities and what you think, or what society has made you think your priorities are or should be.

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