How many of you reading this right now wake up feeling like the tin man?
I bet if we could sneak a hidden camera into your morning routine many of you start the day achy, moaning, and stiff as a board. You waddle and hobble around until the joints are "greased up" and ready to go... I have been there too!
In keeping with our Move by Design seminar we hosted this month, we talked a lot about the importance of movement. We are born to move and we require it over a lifetime to keep our bodies healthy.
A humbling reality check came to me when I was reading a paper that looked at the energy expenditure patterns that our hunter gatherer ancestors had compared to our current guidelines for exercise and movement.
On average, on top of the recommended 30-60 minutes per day of moderate exercise that is recommended (depending which camp you follow), modern day humans would need to walk an additional ...wait for it....12 miles per day to expend the same amount of energy as our ancestors.
12 miles....additional. Holy crap!
Why do I bring up hunter gatherers? Simply because from a genetic perspective, we are still hunter gatherers. Our genes have evolved in a hunter gatherer lifestyle rich in movement, real nutrient dense foods, and social connection.
In other words, our genes still expect us to live that type of lifestyle in order to be healthy. (This is something we talk about in our Eat, Move, and Think by Design seminars if you want to learn more).
Now this certainly doesn't mean we should live like cavemen, it just means it can help point us in the right direction to find the lifestyle that is most suitable to create health. In other words, what are we designed for.
In a recent blog, we talked about the move it or lose it principle. It is a simple concept, but quite profound if you think of it's implications. If we are designed to move, in multiple ranges of motion, with different levels of exertion every day, and much more than we currently are, how can we really expect our bodies to function the way they are supposed to?
For many, your day looks like this: Sit at the breakfast table, sit in the car to get to work, sit at work, sit down for lunch break, sit in the car to get home, sit at the dinner table, sit on the couch watching TV, then go to bed.
Not very much movement is it?
Even if we throw in 30 minutes of moderate exercise, we are still massively deficient in movement. So, naturally, our bodies will wilt and stop working properly. It makes sense that our muscles would get weak and tight if we don't tax them. It makes sense that our bone density would decrease if we don't use them. It makes sense that our joints will become stiff if we don't move them.
Essentially, it makes sense that our bodies will decay if we are deficient in movement. We NEED movement to be healthy, and any deficiency is going to move you away from health and toward sickness.
Now lets go back to our tin man conversation. Most likely you need a drastic increase in movement. However, you might not be ready to add 12 miles of brisk walking into your routine ;)
So let's start simple with mobility. Making sure we have quality of movement is just as important as quantity of movement to build health and prevent injury.
So here is something to help....
Sign up below to receive our simple but super effective Joint To Joint Motion video that helps restore joint motion from head to toe. It only takes 5-6 minutes, and should be done every day. My recommendation would be to do it once before bed, and once right when you wake up. That is when I personally do it because it is easy to make it a habit if its the first and last thing you do each day.
Make it a 30 Day Challenge. Do this religiously for 30 days, and see how much better your body works and feels. Maybe you will even be able to turn down the role in the next Wizard of Oz movie...Enjoy.