…Your movement diet, that is.
You already know that your body needs specific nutritional inputs – like proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins and minerals – to work at its best. While we don’t always agree on what the ‘healthiest’ diet comprises, we all know that some diets are better than others.
For instance, if you only ate at McDonalds, you’d get sick pretty fast. Or if you only ate ice cream. Or fried chicken.
But what if you chose something really healthy – like green smoothies – and only ate them? Wouldn’t work, right? Because no matter how healthy a single food, type of food, or food group, your body needs a full spectrum of key nutrients in order to thrive. Your cells require chemical inputs – nutrients – to carry out all their functions. To live a healthy life, you need to eat a wide range of foods. That’s what you, as a human animal, are adapted to require and it’s not optional.
What’s not generally considered is that exactly the same principle applies movement. Your cells need mechanical nutrients, too, and they don’t work right when you don’t provide them.
Hominid bodies spent some 3 million years adapted to a life that required large quantities of daily movement, on natural surfaces (which are infinitely varied). Every day, your ancestors regularly carried out typical human behaviours: walking around 6 miles, squatting multiple times, and climbing, carrying, throwing and hauling stuff as they foraged, cared for children and created shelters.
All those movement behaviours created mechanical inputs – “movement nutrients” – that affected their every cell in their bodies – and the human body evolved to need those inputs in order to work properly.
All that walking? Their bone density was off the charts. Climbing a tree to get some tasty honey? This supported breath mechanics by keeping their spines and ribcage in the places they belonged. And their pelvic floors would likely never leak thanks to frequent squats.
Literally every single physical process in your body TODAY still needs those mechanical inputs (even ones you never think about), and we are just not getting them in today’s world.
You and I will never be hunter gatherers, but if you want to live actively and pain-free until your 90s (I know I do!), you need to start thinking about how you can increase the variety and the quality of your movement nutrition.
Today’s modern lifestyle is the movement equivalent of all McDonalds, all the time. Even if you make it to the gym regularly, the total amount of time you exercise and the way you exercise doesn’t actually make you much healthier than a total couch potato.
I’m not saying this to be a jerk – its just that the gym is the movement equivalent of a homemade burger and fries. Tasty, better than fast food, but not really all that different in terms of its body impact. If you’ve been wondering why exercise doesn’t make up for sitting a lot, this is the reason – movement malnutrition. Not even close to enough movement, and not even close to the right type of movement to help your body meet its needs.
So Here’s The Big News!!
With all this in mind, I’m thrilled to announce that Restorative Exercise™ is changing its name to Nutritious Movement™.
I’m excited about the new name – I think it helps explain what I do a lot better than the old one did. My job is work with you to find the gaps in your current movement diet, and then help you fill those gaps in a way that will, gently and safely, give your body more of what it needs to function the way it should. Yum!
Intrigued by the idea of movement nutrients? You can learn more from this podcast from Katy Bowman on Nutritious Movement.
Want to learn more about what it feels like in practice? You can book an intro private session – they’re only $25. Or you can try a free ‘Intro to Nutritious Movement’ group class – the second Saturday of every month at Boomerang Pilates, starting this December. I have a tonne of small group pre-registered classes starting in January. And there are also the amazing Alignment Snack classes – only $5 for a 20-30 minute class, which is pretty affordable even with our crappy exchange rate. All these resources will help you create healthy new movement habits, skip processed movement options like treadmills, pick the wholesome movement superfoods that nourish your body, and start enjoying how awesome your body can feel!