Switch on life, not Netflix.
I see so many health and movement issues in my clients that are driven out of lack of movement or those who do single repetitive movements. The simple notion of moving more feels too hard in the ever increasing demands on our free time. All this busyness drains the brain which makes the body feel tired… yet the whole body hasn’t likely moved much at all!
So ask yourself this - How much of you are you moving and how often?
Sounds like a strange question but think about it for a moment…
Now think about what your body is capable of and how often you actually use all those capabilities.
Our bodies are very smart. If you need it to sit 90% of the time, it’s going to make you really great at sitting… it’ll shorten muscles, slow down your metabolism to energy save, and it even can limit your bathroom breaks, which can trigger constipation and bloating. So, now we’ve adapted to sitting, we’re great at it! But on occasion we then ask our bodies to get active and get moving. Yet we’ve not allowed it time to adapt properly to these functions and can trigger a course of events that at times bring about injury, pain and other stresses like chronic inflammation and immune overload. It’s not a wonder Netflix is more tempting!
So let’s instead focus on this - what do you want your body to be able to do?
Let’s take your neck for example. Would it be fair to say you spend more than 80-90% of your wakeful time with your head facing forwards? How often in the day do you look straight up to the sky? How often in the day do you turn your neck (not your upper body - just your neck!) fully left or fully right?
If you’re like most of us, then I’d take a guess at not that often. So is it a surprise then that generally we’re burdened with pain and movement dysfunctions through our neck and upper thoracic? It shouldn’t be if we’re not regularly asking our body to use the movement to it’s full range.
So how about all those other joints then - your feet, hands, ankles, wrists, spine, shoulders etc. are you really moving those. Probably not - and now we’re really feeling stuck right?
Well I’m a regular exerciser, you might say… but are you mindful of what you’re asking your body to do, and are you missing some key components that would benefit your training programme?
Are you a runner but do little or no hanging or climbing.
Are you a golfer or cricketer and need to “unwind” your spine from the 100’s of swings or bowling in the one plane of motion.
Are you a swimmer and need to have more load bearing exercises on your joints?
What we need to keep in mind is that making our bodies do more balanced movement and activities on a daily basis is in fact what will provide better mobility, better system functions and even better energy. Those of you that already exercise, keep enjoying what you love but fill in any movement gaps before issues appear that could prevent you from doing other things you want or need your body to do.
At the end of the day think of movement like nutrition. A movement version of a nutrient dense diet if you like - for a better and well balanced movement mix - add in things like walking, running, balancing, jumping, crawling, climbing, lifting, carrying, throwing, catching, floor based movements and so on. It doesn’t have to be extreme and it doesn’t have to be intense.
If you take one thing away from this make it this - don’t do one thing 90% of the time, keep mixing it up and keep your body moving. After all they do say that variety is the spice of life!
Related to this you may also want to check out my blog post called Primal Pattern Movements here.
Thanks for reading!