I want you to travel back in time with me, let’s say 15,000 years - no internet, no phones, a tweet was the noise a bird with wings made and we’d have to go hunting for our food. Movement was not only a part of every day life, it was essential to survival. Running, jumping, hunting, climbing tress, squatting instead of sitting on chairs, moving awkward loads continually, all day every day.
Fast forward to modern day and the complete opposite is true. You could literally not leave bed all day, other than when you go to the toilet. You could work on your laptop from home, get Uber Eats to bring you your food, order whatever you need off of Amazon - the need for movement has completely gone.
Or has it?
In reality, you don’t HAVE to move to survive. But surviving and thriving aren’t the same thing. If you want to live your fullest life, movement is essential. Now I’m not arguing our ancestors of 15,000 years ago were healthier than we are now, life expectancy was much lower. And they didn’t have the health interventions we do. My point is that our bodies evolved to move, it’s a necessary part of being a human.
Modern day society has robbed us of that need. However, this does not mean our health doesn’t require it.
A great way to think about health is this…
What did you evolve to do?
(The answer, if you’re a human anyway, is hunt and gather. If you’re reading this and you aren’t human, then please contact me)
What are you currently doing?
(If you’re reading this blog then you’re probably doing what the vast majority of the population are doing, sitting down at a desk)
What are you doing on a day to day basis to account for the fact you aren’t doing what you evolved to do?
Movement is one way to bridge the gap between the two.
So why is it so important?
Movement is the only way to maintain joint health and function. Our bodies operate on a use it or lose it basis, so we need continuous movement to maintain access to ranges of movement we are blessed with at birth. Mobility is the range of movement that we have active access to and the more mobility we have, the more control we have over our joints. The more control we have over our joints, the more control we have over our bodies. The more control we have over our bodies, the more control we have over our movements. The more control we have over our movements, the lower our chances of injuring ourselves.
So avoiding injury is an obvious benefit. Reduction of chronic pain is another. As is the delay in onset of diseases like osteoarthritis. Add on the fact that movement has been shown to improve cognitive function then surely the argument is settled.
Keeping our body healthy allows us to stay active and do the things we love to do on a daily basis - play sport, train, run around with our kids and staying active has its well documented benefits on physical and mental health.
So where to start?
Well the first thing to do is find a routine that you can implement on a daily basis to keep you moving. Personally I prefer a routine called CARs which stands for Controlled Articular Rotations in which I take all of my joints, multiple times a day, through their full, active range of motion. I’m continually telling my body not to reduce my range of movement, and then on top of it doing other work to help increase that range.
At Studio46 we’ll soon be bringing in a class known as Kinstretch that allows for all of the above. It keeps you moving properly so you can continue to do the things you love, pain free, without having to pull out due to injury or fear of getting hurt.
Whatever it is you love doing, the better you move, the better you’ll be at it, and the more you can do of what you love, the happier you’ll be.
Movement is essential for happiness no?
I’d argue that’s the case.
Maybe our ancient cousins would aswell.
Mark is a Movement Specialist, Nutritionist and Health Coach that has an enormous passion to help make everyone he works with healthier. In his opinion, a healthier life is a better life and he aims to inspire and educate his clients to take care of the way they move, breathe, eat, sleep, train and recover to ensure they are getting the most out of their bodies.