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  • Writer's pictureJulius "Ju" Hearn

MORE MOVEMENT!

Thinking back to as early as you can remember as a child, what was one thing that made you happy? One answer that’s pretty universal: “MOVEMENT.” From the time you came out of the womb squirming, to crawling, walking, and running, there has always been a place for movement of the human body. As a child, your energy was unmatched by any adult. You exhausted them before they could tire you out. You were curious and wanted to touch and see things that were out of your reach. That’s what drove you to move, climb, pull, grab etc. You didn’t give it a second thought. Well guess what? That child still lives inside of you! So I ask you, what changes over time stop us from wanting to move consistently? I can think of a number of reasons. 1) Technology: phones, tablets, laptops, video games, television, etc. 2) Environment: human nature is to adapt to our surroundings. As a child, the room/home/apartment all look and feel significantly bigger than they do as an adult. That space that you once had is no longer relevant; movement is now minimized. Urban cities are also growing at a rapid pace squeezing spaces tighter and tighter. 3) Purity: as child, you’re taught what is right and what is wrong. That teaching usually leads to what you prioritize. So if you were exposed to sports or extra curricular activities as a kid, you’re more likely to continue this physical activity as an adult. Christopher Bergland at Psychology Today writes, “Children and young adults who exercise regularly are more likely to seek physical activity and fitness throughout their lifespan.” Meaning, they prioritize movement in their life. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201506/physically-active-children-grow-be-healthier-adults). When I talk to people about the topic of movement, the first word that usually comes out of my mouth is “flexibility.” That’s because flexibility is one of the foundations of being able to move pain free. If you have a kid(s), niece(s), nephew(s) or cousin(s), at some point in time they’ve probably moved in a way that made you say, “I wish I could do that,” or, “I wish I was that flexible.” We take our flexibility for granted when we’re kids but once puberty hits, stretching becomes a valuable piece that helps us more easily transition our bodies into adulthood. We all know muscle memory is critical to be successful at most things in life. Movement is no different. The body must consistently be taught how to stretch, run, walk, workout, play sports etc. Think of your favorite sport or activity. If you haven’t practiced it in a while, it becomes a lot harder to do. Right? I recently experienced this for myself after not having played basketball for a while. Let’s just say I’m still sore! Catherine Holecko of Very Well Family writes, “stretches should be part of an overall, daily physical activity routine, even though flexibility often seems to come naturally to children.” This reinforces my opinion of having consistent movement at all ages. But teaching and creating muscle memory physically and mentally at a young age is crucial to instill a healthy foundation. (https://www.verywellfamily.com/kids-stretching-and-flexibility-1256998) So what about kids and adults who didn’t have that foundation and want or need a fresh start? My answer will always be that it is never too late to start moving! The body needs and wants us to move in different planes of motion: sagittal (back to front or front to back – waking, running, biking, rowing, squats, deadlifts, etc.) coronal (adduction, abduction, any activity that moves toward or away from the midline; yoga, etc.) , transverse (internal and external rotation, stretching, yoga, etc.). A lot of people rarely incorporate movements along these planes every day, much less every week. But these three planes of motion should be incorporated at some point every single day. They are the key to flexibility, mobility, and staying injury free. The more the body moves along these planes the more overall balance, stability, and strength increase. (Check our this article for more information on the different planes of movement: https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/how-and-why-to-use-all-3-planes-of-motion-to-improve-your-mobility ). I think everyone wants to live a pain free life. But the truth is, this doesn’t get easier as we age but everyone can start taking steps now to help them work towards that ultimate goal. 1) Stretching: start out simple. Stretching can be done a couple ways. I personally like active stretching, meaning the body is moving as opposed to sitting or standing in one position. 2) Foam Rolling: this really helps to loosen up the muscles, increase blood flow and break up lactic acid, and scar tissue if done properly. If you’re not familiar with foam rolling, ask a professional for help before starting out. 3) Pick An Activity: find something you enjoy doing that is low impact on the body to start like swimming, yoga, or walking etc., then progress to other activities as you gain confidence. If you don’t take anything else away from this read just remember the word: MOVEMENT. Plan ahead, make time for yourself, prioritize movement in your life. You’ll be surprised at what a little movement and sweat can do for your body, both mentally and physically. It may seem difficult at first. But remember, it’s the first two to three weeks of breaking bad habits that are the hardest. Once you get past this hump and the body is in auto pilot and is comfortable with moving on a regular basis, it’s a great feeling. I believe good health is the most important aspect of life, and without it everything else falls apart. So do your part to stay healthy. Take advantage of the warm weather and start moving today!



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