Movement Is Life
As a human, everything you need to survive and thrive requires movement. Walking, communicating, cooking, and procreating, for example, all require the ability to move. In fact, the purpose of the evolution of the human brain was for movement. The brain governs all movement in the human body to keep you alive and able to perform your daily activities.
Every bodily process requires movement to achieve its purpose, from the motility of your intestines passing food to fuel and nourish your body, to the transfer of signals down your nerves that allows you to contract your muscles. These processes work together to allow you to move your body with the appropriate coordination, force, and speed to achieve whatever goal you have set out to do.
“Ok, I get it; movement is important, but so what?”
Well, if each activity you perform- voluntary or not- is done so by the combination of movements, wouldn’t you want to ensure that these movements are optimal?
If your daily activities are made possible by your muscles, bones, nerves, and joints all working together, wouldn’t you want to ensure that they are all working together properly?
Basically, you can imagine that if you are able to move your body parts and joints better, you will be better at performing your daily activities. This translates into increased ease with almost anything you do: walking up the stairs, carrying groceries, lifting your children up for a hug, getting up out of a chair, and even squatting at the gym.
These are just a few examples, but you get the point. Moving better can translate into a better quality of life!
But wait, there’s more!
Moving your body also helps keep you healthy.
There are a variety of diseases related to the lack of movement, or what is often referred to as a “sedentary epidemic,” that we are experiencing in the US today thanks to the modern era of technology. Diabetes, obesity, hypertension, heart disease, and dyslipidemia- just to name a few- are all diseases caused at least in part by not moving enough. This is not news; we have known for years that exercise (which is really just fast, repetitive movements for prolonged periods of time) helps keep you healthy and free of the diseases mentioned above. However, despite this knowledge, sedentariness has grown exponentially in recent years. Unfortunately, so has the number of people diagnosed with these diseases each year.
Oftentimes, the advice given by fitness and health professionals is to simply move more.
While this is helpful with getting people more active, it is only a part of the solution. People DO need to move and exercise more often, BUT movement quality should not be overlooked. Many injuries, joint degeneration, and painful episodes are caused by poor movement.
For joint longevity and optimal health, movement quality should be prioritized. This means assessing your movement quality and creating a plan to improve it. Finding a movement specialist to assist you with this assessment and plan can not only help you perform your daily activities with greater ease, but also help your body be more resilient to injuries.
Yes, you heard that correctly; moving better = more injury resilience!
You may be wondering how this all comes together…
Imagine that you hurt your back or your shoulder. This will not only affect how you typically do things throughout the day, but it can also cause you to avoid movements or activities all together. If you were actively participating in a sport or going to the gym during the week, you may now start skipping your exercise due to fear of pain, poor clinical advice, or just not knowing how to modify your activities to allow you to stay active throughout the recovery process.
This can lead to weeks, months, or even years without exercising, even after the injury or pain has subsided!
Now, imagine at any point in the above scenario that you see a movement specialist to have your movement evaluated and to create a plan to improve your movement quality. Movement specialists are trained to help you before, during, and after an injury or painful episode. Taking care of that poorly moving shoulder or back can not only help reduce the likelihood of an injury or painful episode, but it can also help decrease the intensity and length of time that you are injured and in pain. Even after you experience an injury, a movement specialist can help you remain active during your rehabilitation by providing modifications to your current exercise regime. Seeing a movement specialist at any point in the above scenario can drastically decrease or eliminate the possibility of heading down a path of frustration, sedentariness, and declining health.
Taking care of your movement is vital in your journey towards optimal health and well-being.
If you are here and have read this blog post, you probably already care about how you are moving. The next step is to take action and work towards optimal movement. If your goal is to thrive, movement quality cannot be ignored.
You only have one body for your entire life; it’s time to take care of it.