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Get Moving Again

Do you get enough physical activity?

We all need more physical activity than we get (yes, even you exercisers). Lack of physical activity is a major risk factor for our most common preventable diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, chronic pain, and obesity. 

Human bodies are specialized for continuous movement throughout the day, yet our modern environment and lifestyles are almost completely sedentary. Our very survival used to require a lot of work, but we no longer need more than minimal movement to get food, water, shelter, clothing, or to go to the bathroom. 

For a few decades, we've tried to mitigate the health risks of our increasing sedentarism by exercising. Exercise has many benefits, for sure, but its greatest shortcoming is that it does not replace the all-day, whole-body movement we need to remain healthy. If fact, the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health agree that to improve health outcomes, we should all be seeking more movement throughout the day instead of exercising and then sitting the rest of the day. <Insert links>

What does it mean to move more? 

It's not hard to convince most people that they need to be more physically active. It's the how that stumps people. Before you can figure out how to move more, you need to understand what it means to move more.

I'm not talking about running more miles or hitting the gym more often. I'm talking about more intermittent movement throughout the day. This can include traditional exercise, but it must also include frequent and varied non-exercise movements, such as: 

  • Sitting on and standing up from the floor
  • Carrying your groceries in your arms instead of using a cart
  • Walking to school or work
  • Reaching overhead with your arms
  • Hanging from a bar or tree limb
  •  Squatting and crawling
  • Walking on hills and unpaved surfaces (or simulated surfaces if you're not near trails) 

In other words, to stay healthy and active, you have to move more parts of your body more often. 

 

I already run/walk/do Zumba/Crossfit, etc. Are you saying I need to move more?  

Yes, in fact I am. And I get it when people are skeptical to hear that exercise isn't all it was cracked up to be. If you're still reading, you may want to check out the concept of "diseases of captivity" drawn out by Katy Bowman here and in her book Move Your DNA as well as Professor Daniel Lieberman's The Story of the Human Body

In essence, our human bodies are specialized to a movement-rich lifestyle that our modern lives no longer require. Both authors posit the theory that much of our modern suffering from pain and disease is caused by the mismatch in our bodies (that are primed for lots of physical activity) and our environment, which requires very little activity of most of us.  

Do this little experiment to get an idea of what we're talking about: Make notes while you prepare your dinner this evening.

How did you get your food into your house? (Was it brought to you? Purchased in a store using a shopping cart and bags for carrying home?) What kind of prep work did your food require? Was it already chopped/cleaned/packaged for you? How many appliances did you use to warm your food and what kind of movement did this require? (Pressing a few buttons? Maybe leaning over to open an oven door? How did you clean your dishes, scrubbing or putting in the dishwasher?) 

Now, if you've ever been camping, remember all the work making a meal outside requires. Write down all the steps you take to procure food, store it (did you put it in a big cooler with ice?), carry it to your campsite (boy, that cooler sure was heavy!) , prep it (remember the time you forgot your kindling and your axe so you had to tear tiny pieces of wood off your big logs by hand?), gather and/or chop wood to build a fire to cook over, cook the food, and clean up after cooking. (Did you have a water spigot nearby? A creek? How many trips to the water source did you have to make for that one meal?) 

Part 3: Imagine a hunter and gatherer who must go collect water and carry it back to her home site daily for meals, who must forage for edible seeds, berries, nuts and other plants daily. Hunters would have gone out on hunting expeditions, and may have engaged in what Lieberman calls subsistence hunting, which is running down an animal like a deer over a period of several hours. (The animal eventually overheated and collapsed.) Hunter gatherers didn't have chairs, so they prepared meals and rested in a squatting position or sat on the ground. Their meal ingredients didn't come shrink-wrapped in pre-cut portions. They would have done all the cutting, peeling, pounding, and grinding by hand or with hand-made tools.

How much walking on terrain, reaching, climbing, crawling, squatting, running, carrying heavy loads, pounding, and grinding does your mean preparation require? Likely very little.  

 

How can you teach me to be a more dynamic mover? 

The Movement Makeover with Julie is your opportunity to see the way you move differently. We'll assess your current alignment and movement patters to check for areas we can improve.

After all, it's hard to move more when your body hurts. 

I'll give you a set of corrective exercises to help you ease into moving your sedentary parts, and we'll develop a strategy for you to introduce smart movement goals.

This isn't a one-size-fits-all approach. It's not about fitting into your old jeans or running a 20-minute 5k. Those may happen, but they're byproducts of better health, not end goals of this program. 

This program is a doorway to improved health for the long haul. It offers you ownership of your own health and well being, improved confidence, and fulfillment that you'll explore and build on for the rest of your life.

This program is based on science. It incorporates biomechanics, research on human activity, and behavior modification techniques. 

About me

I'm a movement teacher and a problem solver. My biomechanics training enables me to address specific physical issues like back, knee, and foot pain. Corrective exercises to help restore balanced alignment to the body and heal pain caused by poor movement patterns.

The next step is help you customize a movement plan for your lifestyle. Whether you're an athlete or a couch potato or somewhere in between, I can help you love being more physically active.