In my days as a Certified Personal Trainer, I trained clients mainly for two reasons: to improve athletic performance/lose weight and to improve functional movement in activities of daily living.
But here’s what I noticed in my clients, my peers, and myself:
1 – People pushing themselves beyond their safe physical capabilities in order to achieve what they thought was optimal wellness despite pain
2- Fit people, with pain, assuming point one was enough to help them achieve optimal wellness, therefore resuming a sedentary lifestyle for rest of their day
What I realized by watching all of this is that optimal wellness means so much more than just eating, sleeping, de-stressing and exercising.
It also means movement. Safe, effective, properly-aligned, natural movement in all situations, whether you’re at the gym or walking to your mailbox, so you can avoid PAIN and feel really damn good.
And a workout is just NOT enough to give you all of that.
To accomplish all of the above, you have to think about movement differently, which means remembering that even though modern life doesn’t require a ton of natural movement, our bodies historically do. When they don’t get enough of it, they move out of alignment, freak out, and cause things like injury, chronic pain, decreased bone density, and metabolic dis-ease — all so that you’ll get the message loud and clear.
Keeping our bodies properly-aligned means thinking of movement as a skill and cultivating a habit of natural movement throughout the day to master it; it’s not just something you do in a gym after work to obliterate calories.
It means touching our hands and feet to uneven, textured surfaces found outside in our natural environments, as well as hanging, swinging, climbing, hiking, and sprinting in it.
The point is, optimal wellness is a choice that requires us to be more than just healthy eaters, eight-hour-a-night-sleepers, take-a-deep-breath-de-stressers and habitual exercisers. It requires us to be, in the words of Biomechanist Katy Bowman, “…constantly kinetic human beings…” in both our man-made and natural environments.
So, let’s get moving!