Why everyday movement is a must
We live in a world that is far from the hunter-gatherer life our bodies are designed to experience. That is why everyday movement is non-negotiable if we want to adjust our bodies to the mostly sedentary life that we live. In Move Your DNA, biomechanist Katy Bowman states, “Your body is never ‘out of shape’; it is always in a shape created by how you have moved up to this very moment. It is constantly responding and shifting to a continuous stream of input provided by your external and internal environments, even if that input consists only of sitting still, for hours on end.” Enough movement throughout the day is necessary for proper blood flow to be delivered to the different muscles used, which means more oxygen and nutrients, along with “waste removal.” Enough movement throughout the day (along with other variables) is necessary to ensure proper cellular health.
What everyday movement means
When we have to sit for long periods of time, such as when working at a computer, every 30 minutes or so, we want to get up, stretch, and walk a little bit. The same goes if we are at a standing workstation. We want to incorporate movement throughout the day to nourish our cells. A few squats or other simple exercises can be nice little breaks throughout the day. That way, going to the gym after work can be optional. As a matter of fact, if you think that going to the gym for one hour can make up for a long day of sitting for hours, that is not the case. We want to shape our daily life so that it is as similar as possible to how it was during hunter-gatherer times. And when it comes to movement, it has to be varied motion throughout the day. Taking short walks in the morning, at lunch, or after dinner, whenever you have a few minutes can be a great addition to your daily movement regimen. Whatever fits your schedule best and only implement one change at a time to ensure adherence to it.
My daily stretches
Each day, I make sure I do a certain amount of stretches. I start with the upper cat back in the morning and then, throughout the day, I do various stretches whenever I have a minute: the upper cervical rotation self-mobilization, chin tucks, psoas stretch, piriformis stretch, quad stretch, calf stretch, standing calf raises, tricep dips, pec stretch, and a couple of shoulder exercises. I also add the good morning exercise (a Foundation training exercise). At lunch, I usually do several eye drills to fully work the six eye muscles, followed by a couple of Tai Chi exercises for relaxation. Once home, I like to do the side-bridge and regular plank for the core, and on certain days, some squats, kettlebell swings, and balance exercises. At the end of each day, I stretch the hamstrings and stay in the half-lotus position for a bit. Lastly, I do the cat/cow yoga pose for the lower back. Some days I skip some of the stretches, but this is my usual routine for now. I truly believe discipline allows us to stay grounded whatever we have to face each day. And again, everyday movement is non-negotiable!
Katy Ann Bowman. Move Your DNA : Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement. Carlsborg, Wa, Propriometrics Press, 2014, pp. 21, 25, 36–37.
Sisson, Mark. The Primal Blueprint : 21-Day Total Body Transformation. Oxnard, Ca, Primal Blueprint Publishing, 2016, p. 125.
You can also find me on Instagram