Better movement, naturally.
Freedom. Fluidity. Balance. Coordination. Confidence. Wellness. Joy.
Does that describe your relationship with your body and with movement?
If not, why not? Have you lost your connection with your body? Is exercise a struggle for you? Do aches and pains prevent you from doing the things you love? The things that make life worth living?
Humans evolved in a world where the activities of daily life required large quantities of movement. We gathered plants, created shelters, carried our babies, hunted, fished, walked long distances to find food and water, and played, worked, loved and lived in natural environments that demanded that our bodies be strong and agile.
Today, everything’s changed. We’ve become deskbound, chair-bound, and sedentary. And our bodies are paying the price with pain, dysfunction and disease. Even people who exercise regularly end up with body pain issues, joint replacements, osteoporosis, an array of pharmaceuticals, and other diseases of modern life. Traditional exercise is not the answer.
If we hope to live the life we love – now, and as we get older – we need better solutions. Because what we’re doing isn’t working.
We need to move more, and to move better.
Ultimately, we need to move more, and we need to move better. A few hours of fitness-focused exercise each week isn’t enough and typically isn’t the type of movement our bodies actually need.
Instead, we need to give our bodies more of the same types of movement we evolved with: large quantities of varied daily movement that includes walking, squatting, climbing, carrying and using all our muscles, bones and joints.
But we also need to recognize that most of us don’t have the strength, body connection, or skills to achieve the natural movement our bodies are craving. Bodies adapt to their environments, and we’ve all become super adapted to flat pavement, shoes, sitting in chairs (a lot) and very low levels of movement. We can’t just take our modern bodies out into nature and expect wellness to happen – instead, it’s a recipe for injuries.
How much do you sit every day? Use this simple calculator to figure it out.
How to add more natural movement to our lives
To change this, we need safe, effective exercises to help us restore our strength, mobility and function.
We need to learn more optimal daily movement habits.
We need to start making incremental lifestyle changes so that we can add more movement to our daily lives.
And we need to become friends with our bodies again – appreciating the amazing stuff they do every single day instead of punishing them with painful exercises because we want to look a certain way. “No pain, no gain” is not a way to live a better life!
Getting the movement our bodies need isn’t difficult and it never has to hurt. In fact, reconnecting with our bodies is a powerful way to reconnect and bring joy to our lives.
Starting to move better is simple!
Take a step-by-step approach that fits your life, instead of trying to jam everything in all at once. Add little, achievable bits of movement work that you enjoy and that make you feel good. Over time, you’ll be amazed at the difference those small changes make. Every bit counts!
As you explore, you’ll figure out what works for you. You’ll get to know your body and what it needs. And you’ll discover inner strength, become increasingly capable and healing those aches and pains along the way.
My 9 Key Natural Movement Strategies
Here are my 9 key movement strategies you can add to your life right now.
Pick whatever works best for your unique life and start your journey to better movement and better health today!
Walking is a fundamental human movement. It improves everything from cardiovascular health to bone density, and from core strength to mental health. Plus it’s free and fun! Ideally we should be walking 3-6 miles daily which is a lot more than most of us get. And most of us can benefit from improving our walking technique, as well, because all that time in chairs really affects our gait pattern.
Squatting is a fundamental human movement that our bodies depend on. Done right, squats keep our hips, knees and ankles mobile, our pelvic floors functional and our backsides strong. Gentle prep exercises can help us open up our joints so we can learn to squat safely and sustainably. Then, squatting can become a part of daily life so we get all the benefits all of the time.
#3 Hanging, Climbing and Brachiation
Climbing around on the monkey bars is wonderful for our bodies. It builds upper body and core strength, helps bulletproof our shoulders, and supports our heart and lung function. But, when was the last time you hung with your feet off the ground? It’s been a long time, right? Take the time to build shoulder strength and mobility so you can enjoy hanging safely and sustainably.
#4 Transition To Minimal Shoes
Our feet have a huge impact on the rest of our bodies. So making our feet strong and healthy is one of the most powerful movement changes we can make. Thanks to a lifetime of wearing modern shoes, feet are typically one of our weakest, stiffest areas. That means we need to transition out of regular shoes that damage our feet into more minimal shoes, and for that, lots of foot exercises are the key!
#5 Use Less Furniture
I love exercises, but we already know that exercise aren’t enough for full body health. My favourite extra-sneaky way to build more healthy movement into daily life is simply to skip using furniture. No chairs, no sofas, no pillows and no beds mean a lot more body weight exercise and joint mobility, no extra time required!
#6 Improve Your Alignment
Better body alignment makes exercises more effective, strengthens our weakest bits, and decreases daily wear and tear. Just like our cars, our bodies work best when our parts have an optimal relationship to each other. Alignment is a powerful tool that you can use to get the most out of everything else you do, all day long.
Learn what better alignment looks like and how to find it in your own body.
#7 Mobilize Your Joints
Joint mobility means our ability to move our joints freely, smoothly and with control. Good joint mobility allows us perform fundamental movement patterns such as walking, squatting and hanging without unhealthy compensations. It also keeps our joints stronger and more robust with decreased risk of injuries, degeneration and pain.
#8 Take exercise out of the studio and into daily life
Exercises can happen anywhere! The more often we stretch, the better we feel. Adding simple exercises to your daily routine means a lot more healing movement without taking tons of time.
#9 Learn To Let Go Of Tension
Modern lives create a lot of anxiety and our bodies naturally respond by constantly keeping our muscles tight and tense. In the long term, this is a cause of pain, damage and further anxiety and tension. Releasing habitual tension patterns is a key for long term wellness.
We only get to be here on earth once.
And it’s awfully hard to enjoy life when your body hurts.
Giving your body more and better movement is an investment in your future – and it also makes life better right now.
Courses For More Naturally Healing Movement
Take10 Online Movement Coaching
Get stronger, more mobile and learn how to move better so your body can work better and feel better, in bite sized chunks.
Joints For Life Mobility Course
Bulletproof your joints with this simple but powerful daily practice.
More Natural Movement Resources
Move Your DNA by Katy Bowman
The Story Of The Human Body by Daniel Lieberman
Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
My Favourite Simple Daily Mobility Practice (Blog Post)
Why Hanging Is Amazing (Blog Post)
Mini-workout For Your Upper Body (YouTube)
Save Your Knees When Hiking Downhill (YouTube)
A Simple Tip For Getting More Daily Balance & Foot Mobility (YouTube)
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