PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOVEMENT PART 4
I’m going to go ahead and outline the general approach to physical activity that supports a long, healthy lifespan. I want to make sure you know what we’re covering, and give you some actionable steps. I do believe this preliminary material I’m providing you is foundational to developing a proper movement habit, but I want you to be able to go ahead and get started.
Remember, this is a movement habit to promote a long, healthy lifespan. That’s our goal. If you’re looking to break strength and speed records, then you’ll need a different blog series to help you with that.
Movement for Life
We’re going to be focusing on five core concepts that cover the span of proper use of the body. There are many different ways to engage in these concepts. In fact, I will be encouraging you to rotate through different programs over time. But I want you to start with whatever is easiest for you, and whatever feels good, and sounds like it could be fun.
Concept #1: Biomechanical or Kinesthetic Awareness and Posture
The reason I start with this one is that it’s foundational to everything else. In our earlier blog, we did a brief meditation visualization where we paid attention to our body and began to develop awareness about our body and its function. You have to honor your body’s function in order for physical movement to be beneficial to you. Unhealthy movement patterns will actually lead to inflammation, pain, and injury. Proper use of the body will reduce pain, improve function, and improve your ability to really enjoy the overall movement paradigm.
We have to pay attention to how we’re holding and using our body, and this will require our awareness. We have to pay attention to the positioning of our shoulders, neck, and head, how we’re breathing and standing, the use of our feet, the mobility of our hips, the use of our core muscles. This is a very important part of our overall program, and we’ll dedicate one specific post to this.
Concept #2: Overall Daily Movement
This is an easy one. It’s just to simply keep increasing your daily movement. The body is designed for movement. It’s designed to walk, hang, climb, push, pull, squat, and kneel. We’ve already covered that if you have certain limitations, then you have to work within those, but whatever it is you can do, you should do. Take every opportunity to move. This will burn more calories, and help you to feel better. Being in a sedentary position all day long is not consistent with our body’s design, and it will cause you to feel bad.
This is refreshingly simple. Just take the opportunity to stand, to squat, to walk up the stairs, to take a little walk, to stretch, to roll your shoulders around. Just increase overall daily movement.
Concept #3: Strength
It’s essential that we maintain the strength of our body. When you use your muscles to the point of exhaustion, you create a stimulus to your body that results in the upregulation of hormones that will maintain muscle strength and improve bone density and connective tissue health. This is an essential message for your body to receive. It does not have to be often. We’ll go into the details of it in a later blog, but it’s absolutely essential that at least occasionally, you use your muscles to the point of exhaustion.
Concept #4: Sprint
You don’t actually have to sprint. We’re going to recommend that you use something that’s very popular now: high-intensity interval training. It’s a simple concept, a series of fast-paced movements that cause your heart to beat faster and for you to breath heavy, followed by intervals of rest. It doesn’t have to be that long, but it does need to be done. Your biomechanical and your cardiovascular systems are designed to occasionally sprint.
This was a key part of our ancestral health, whether it involved hunting, fighting, or playing games. We’re going to make sure that we honor this. Again, it won’t have to be too long or too often. We’ll describe it in detail in a later post.
If you’re looking for a guide to this, we have it as a free PDF download.
Concept #5: Mobility, Balance, and Connective Tissue Health
We also have to honor our body’s biomechanical frame. This involves stretching, myofascial release, yoga, Pilates, foam rolling, massage, and other methods of lengthening muscles, and improving the health of our biomechanical frame. This is also foundational to physical health.
We’ll also describe the many ways of honoring this principle in a later blog post.
Rest and Recovery
Now, it’s not one of the foundational principles, and we’ll describe it shortly, but rest and recovery is absolutely an essential part of this paradigm as well.
So that’s it.
These are the 5 principles, and we’re going to teach you how to honor them and to work them into your daily life in such a way that it becomes an easy routine to maintain. You’ll find before long that this is one of the easiest things you’ve ever done and that it gives you such positive benefit that you’ll never look back.
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