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Let me start by acknowledging all of you who are committed to their regular gym sessions, be it twice, three times or even more a week. You are rockstars and already doing better than 99% of population.
In this blog I’d like to talk about how to improve and take your well being to the next level, by few little tips and tricks from the way we were intended to function.
As an effect of the Industrial Revolution (the move from hand production methods to machines) people have become became more and more sedentary. Since then we have created the concept of exercise to compensate for the decrease in regular daily movement.
Fifty years on from the birth of structured exercise biological movements such as walking, squatting, flexing, extending and rotating on regular basis have decreased to the point that current youth have no idea of how people moved before the population had stopped moving.
Unfortunately structured exercise isn’t the flip side of the post industrial revolution sedentary coin – movement.
These are movements like walking long distances, squatting to poo and birth, hauling your weight up and over obstacles, and or lowering full body weight. Doing natural movements from birth utilizes not only the large muscle groups we commonly think of when at the gym, but the other five hundred smaller co-ordinated muscles as well. This includes the muscles between the ribs that open and close to inflate the lungs, the intrinsic muscles of the feet that create the arch of the foot, or the muscles that make the pelvic floor.
Exercise, while having much of what makes movement good, carries with it elements that make it far less superior. Elements that include large unnatural and repetitive forces in the joints. It is these characteristics that leave exercise as a poor substitute for movement.
Now I’m not saying that exercise isn’t good for you, but just like with everything balance is the key to survival.
When mimicking the natural movement of humans provides us with the required mechanical stimulation without which we will die. While we tend to think of death only in terms of the whole person, small deaths like that of cartilage, bone, or parts of organs occur due all the time due to lack of the correct stimulation.
It does not occur to us that a lack of movement is the cause of these deaths, but blame other, uncontrollable things like age or genetics. Genetics certainly do play a role, but our genes are turned on and off by our behaviour and environment.
So I’m encouraging you to go beyond your regular gym sessions. To isolate parts of the body or to think of strength as something any less than a whole body event is missing the point. You were designed to be strong yet a supple dynamic creature of endurance and it’s time to start acting like one.
Walk to work instead of taking a car, stand up at your desk, sit on the floor when eating and do some stretching while watching TV.