The Movement Solution
The more convenient our life becomes, the sicker we get. Technology has allowed us to get a lot done without spending any energy. Can you imagine the amount of energy it took back in the “olden” days to stalk prey, clean it, haul the food home, collect fire wood, cook the meal, and only then have a chance to sit on the ground and eat?! If I wanted to today, I could literally shop, eat, socialize, date, and go to school while never leaving the couch thanks to the internet. And strangely, people still wonder why America is one of the sickest nations in the world.
I believe the western epidemic of disease can be summed up in 3 words: Not Enough Movement.
Out of the current top 10 leading causes of death in the America, 8 have been agreed to be highly influenced,or directly related to lifestyle choices (accidents and self-harm were the other two in that list according to the latest data released by centers for disease control and prevention). Contrary to popular belief, it’s not a lack of exercise that is the problem (at least, not the first step to solving the problem). In reality, many people today would be a high risk candidate for the “exercise” today’s culture sees as average exertion.
Let me quickly explain. I say “high risk” because these people don’t have full potential of their range of motion (flexibility) nor the ability to actively move through their current range of motion (mobility). Furthermore, the ability to control their available range of motion is called stability, and this is another piece of the puzzle that is lacking. A less wordy way to say that is they don't move well enough to exercise without hurting themselves. Without these pieces of the puzzle, injury is inevitable.
Therefore, I argue that if you can move well you can move often, and if you move often, you have a much higher potential to live a healthy life because things like daily, moderate activity and higher intensity exercise become a possibility without high risk of injury. I’ve known to many people who’ve had every intention to “get back into shape” but got injured along their journey, dropped out of the exercise habit, gained weight, got depressed, relationships suffered, got on increasing amounts of medication, and got sucked into the western lifestyle of allowing medication and technology to make an inactive life comfortable.
There’s good news though! The major problem is a simple fix! Simple, not easy. But I believe people make it out to be a lot harder than it needs to be. Start small, with some simple exercises to regain some mobility. Develop daily routines to learn how to control and master your new found range of motion and slowly begin your journey towards a more active life!
Babies have this figured out. I’ve never seen a baby crawl its way into a sprinter stance and take off running. The baby earns its way to sitting, then crawling, then stumbling, then walking, and then they are off. They advance only after achieving the necessary amount of mobility and stability to support the next progression. Each step along the way is a journey of micro failures (stumbles and falls), but the net gain gets them on two feet with limitless potential.
This short e-book is a collection of simple exercises that require little to no equipment and can be combined into simple, at home routines in order to either maintain your current state of movement, or drastically improve yourself to the point of being able to get up off the couch and enjoy whatever it is that tickles your fancy with your new injury resistant body.
I challenge any who read this, to do two things. Change your idea of what movement is. It is not equivalent to exercise. Exercise is like the doctorate program while movement is pre k through senior year of college. You must develop a solid foundation of quality movement before enjoying a long exercise career. The second challenge is to take 10 minutes out of your day to devote to body maintenance. Pick and choose and experiment with different options that target your problem areas and stick with that for 3 weeks, every day, for 10 min. Then begin a new routine in that same 10 minute slot. By doing this over and over you’ll begin to see what exercises/stretches/movements give you the most relief or challenge your progression to becoming the person you want to be physically.
Everyone starts in a different place and everyone has different goals to achieve. It’s not important WHERE you start, but THAT you start. There is no means to an end with movement but rather a journey. As life changes, your physical weak links will change. Don’t get down when this happens, but simply call an audible and begin to search for your new fix. Ask for help from a qualified professional when needed, but never say the words “I can’t”.
Move well my friends.
DISCLIMER: Each of the following sections are simply meant to be an INRTO into the function and malfunctions leading to pain and injury, of the body. The specific exercises/stretches/movements I suggest were picked based on the most common shortcomings of human locomotion, but are not intended to be used for diagnosis, treatment, or management of any orthopedic conditions. If you have pain, or suspect an injury, you should consult a trained professional such as a Chiropractor, Physical Therapist, or Athletic Trainer to address your problems as soon as possible. I understand times are tough, but remember an investment in your body today will create an exponential ROI in the future.