We Are Built to Move
A sound mind, and a fulfilled spirit, in a lean flexible body is the best way to describe a healthy person. We live in a time were people do not have time for the most basic necessities in life, like family and friends or taking time off to take care of their own health. Despite this lack of time we’ve seen a boom in the fitness industry. As a result of a few distorted beliefs and misplaced ideas the masses have been forced to believe that being able to lift heavy weights or run forever on a treadmill is the perfect picture of fitness and health. These beliefs have created thousands of “fit sick” people.
What does the term healthy mean?
Good health in general is not just the absence of disease. Nor is it looking bulky and strong. It is a state of well-being where you are balanced in the three most important aspects of your life: • Physical ability • Mental strength • Spiritual beliefs Someone who is able to successfully achieve balance in all three of these aspects need not worry about having a body that does not look well-built. Form follows function in this instance and if you are truly healthy you will look healthy.
Here I’m going to talk about physical ability, in the other sections of this blog I discuss ways to strengthen your mind and invigorate your spirit. Please take a look at those sections when you get a chance. Physical Health:
When I ask a client how do you achieve physical health? The most common answer I get is, "Hit the Gym"! There is a reason for this. Great Marketing!!!
Don’t get me wrong. I am not against going to the gym, I mean, I own one after all. I’m against the idea that 3 out of 168hrs a week is enough. In my experience it's not.
We were built to move!
Not just a couple of hours a week, and not just in a couple of monotonous patterns. You are a dynamic creature with a dynamic body all you have to do is explore.
How many people do you know that have been going to the gym for years getting on the same treadmill, walking around the same part of the track and still look and feel the same way? It's time we realized that the basic mantra in getting fit is not in the gym but in letting our body have the freedom to do what it was actually designed to do.
I understand we all have a life. Work, a spouse, children, friends, etc… Most people spend the majority of their adult life at work. And a lot of those people are sitting at desk all day. The human body was not designed to be sitting in a single, static position throughout the whole day. But, that is exactly what we’re doing. Our monotonous lifestyle has slowly killed the immense capabilities our bodies possess. Unlucky for us, the never ending growth in technology has ensured that we remain static and stagnant unless we are deliberate in our attempts to move. This is another reason people are drawn towards a Gym as soon as they become health conscious. However, the true potential of our body can be unlocked in a much simpler way: Primal Patterns. Primal Patterns: Squat, Bend, Lunge, Push, Pull, Twist, and Gait (walking, running)
You can check out my latest book here to get more information about each of those patterns.
These patterns may sound like a set of routine activities to most. The truth is they are not really routine for most people anymore. For most, the only real physical activity these days is walking. We rarely come across situations in our daily life that actually require us to perform any of the above mentioned Patterns. Don’t believe me? Here are a couple examples: • Move objects around while moving to a new house? We have movers for that. • Have a fresh long morning walk along a beach? Nope I’m late to drop the kids off at school. • Sprint to catch the bus that’s just moving from your bus station? Never mind, let me call a cab or Uber. • Have some nice play time with the kids for several hours after your office time? No, the kids are more interested in their X-box.
I can sit here all day. The important part of this introspection is to understand the fact that the answer to most of these examples is just about being deliberate. Take time to move your body. Allowing your body to constantly be in touch with the regular day to day activities will improve your motor skills and improve your physical ability.
As Charles Darwin’s theory of Evolution explains, “the future of any living organism in the world is more dependent on its own actions than any other external factors.” Humans are no exception to this theory. You choose to walk more, your legs and heart become stronger. And you help your digestion with the twisting of your torso. When you choose to hang, push or pull those muscles ligaments and tendons become stronger by the day.
So what actions can you take? I’ll give you 3 basic movements to tryout.
For you folks that have to sit for work or are just getting back into moving your body, try this. Set your alarm to go off every hour. Even at work. Get up from your chair and do 10 breathing squats. It will only take you about 2min. That’s it. If you work 8-9hrs a day, like most, by the end of your work day you would’ve done 80-90 breathing squats. For folks looking for a little more challenge. Find time to do 10 cartwheels . Yes! Cartwheels. Being inverted is something that will challenge your nervous system in a new way. If you do them in succession you’ll be surprised at how fast your heart will start pumping. Now for the people who move on a regular basis and need something a little more challenging I want you to try these movements, try to do them for 10 yards forward and then 10 yards in reverse: These movements are for you to start out with. The point is to have fun and experiment. Enjoy your body and the mobility it brings.