A few years back, I joined a huge gym with 3 floors. The top floor was packed with cardio equipment and to get there, you had to take the escalator. Almost everyone would avoid climbing the escalator stairs and would opt for a free ride. And then once they arrived on the cardio floor, they would get on the stair master. Bizzare! It always blew my mind to watch that sequence.
You might think, “I’d never do something so silly.” But we outsource our movement ALL THE TIME.
The modern day world has been built to be so convenient. However, in trying to ease and enhance our every experience, we have surrounded ourselves with an environment that encourages sedentarism.
Movement used to be naturally incorporated into the day. As a very primal example, if you needed to eat, you had to:
1. Reach, squat, and climb to gather edible plants
2. Run to catch your meal
3. Wait in a low squat while hunting
Calories were expended before calories could be ingested.
Now the majority of basic life tasks can be taken care of while you’re on your phone sitting on your backside. Press a few buttons and you can find and procure:
1. Food via take out or grocery delivery
2. Lodging by shopping for a house on-line
3. Transportation by buying a car or requesting an Uber ride from the comfort of your living room
4. A mate via on-line dating
So what’s the problem?
Convenience has a heavy cost. We have become used to outsourcing most movement and that choice is crippling us.
Basic movements have become nearly impossible for many people but we don’t recognize how crippled we are because we avoid these movements.
Why Twist & Bend?
These movements challenge your joints, stretch your muscles, and load your muscles in unique and important ways. Regularly bending and twisting in a variety of ways through these basic movements will help align your body so that…
- Your digestion will work more smoothly.
- Your blood will pump more efficiently (certain muscle movements help pump your blood… it’s not all up to your heart).
- Your lymph, which supports detox and immune function, will flow well.
Also, these “exercises” will all help you to be more functionally strong.
In addition to simply doing the aforementioned movement challenges I listed, try to shift your daily behavior to increase movement opportunities by doing the following:
- Ditch the shopping cart. Bring a few sturdy re-usable bags and a backpack to the grocery store and load them up.
- Do errands on foot. Recently, I’ve gone to the library, post office, grocery store, and (an awesome!) local community dog show all on foot. What errands or activities are close enough that you can you walk or bike to them?
- Leave that stroller behind. If you have a baby or toddler, incorporate them into your workout by walking with them in your arms or on your back. If your toddler is walking but stops every few feet to check out a bug or leaf on the ground, squat down with them and hold that squat until they are ready to move on.
- Sit on the floor. Your hips will get a stretch and your core will be strengthened as it works to keep you upright with good posture. When watching TV, hanging out with your family at home, browsing the web, or even eating a meal at home, ditch the chair. If your hips are too tight right now for you to comfortably sit on the floor, perch on the edge of pillow (or a few).
Now get moving!