If you have ever been around young children, you know that they rarely sit still. Children are constantly in motion, exploring their environment and physical possibilities.
In a child’s world playtime = movement…lots of it.
Aside from a few guidelines (like…no, you can’t use the rocking chair as a catapult for your baby sister), there really are no rules to a child’s movement execution and they certainly do not seek permission from anyone on the appropriate mechanics or best “systems” for movement practice.
Children look at movement as a “get to” because it is fun, creative and engaging. Adults look at movement as a “have to” because they have made it such a complex thing with the systems, rules, equipment, and athletic apparel. Is it really any wonder that there is so much resistance around it doing it consistently?
At what point along the timeline of growing up did you decide to put movement in a pretty little box called “exercise” that you begrudgingly force yourself to do for an hour or so several times a week only under the guidance of an “expert”, and most often in a gym or a studio setting?
I mean no disrespect to fitness industry here, or those who work in it (I have been working in the industry for nearly 20 years). But I do think the industry has played a role in creating some false beliefs about what movement is and we have allowed those beliefs to rob us of the simplicity of incorporating more movement into our daily life.
Instructors and classes can be instrumental in helping us to break bad habits, build effective programing for specific goals, or to reach goals more efficiently, but “exercise” is not the end-all-be-all to movement.
You don’t need a gym. You don’t need an instructor. You don’t need a fancy pair of shoes or a yoga mat to MOVE your body. You don’t need a laundry list of principals to abide by and you certainly don’t need permission from anyone other than yourself.
Movement is your nature and your birthright. You need a lot of it to thrive and bring out your happy … just like when you were a kid.
According to the beloved bio-mechanist, Katy Bowman, “People have not exercised throughout history. Exercise is the modern man’s equivalent to nutritional supplements. In the same way supplements should not be bulk of your diet, exercise should not be the bulk of your movement profile.”
Which basically translate to this:
You should be incorporating a ton of non-exercise related movement into your day to give your body all of the movement nutrition it truly needs and deserves.
So what the heck does that look like?
Well…it might look like:
- Standing at work rather than sitting.
- Hanging from things when you can because you can.
- Walking as you talk (be it on the phone or having a meeting).
- Squatting as you read a book or reply to emails.
- Parking in the spot furthest away from the entrance rather than the closest.
- Walking or biking rather than driving whenever possible.
- Carrying your little one on you, rather than pushing them in a stroller.
- Feeling the grass between your toes more often.
- Having a picnic on the living room floor.
- Going to a playground to PLAY with your children rather than observe them.
Get creative and have fun looking for new ways to inject more movement into your day. Your “exercise” sessions will probably improve because of it, and your mental and physical health will hugely benefit from just doing what you were born to do…move.