By Coach Mel
Which phrase do you hear all the time: “diet and exercise” or “nutrition and movement?” Which phrase resonates with you the most? For me, diet and exercise sounds restrictive and compartmentalized, implying how we should eat and move our bodies. Nutrition and movement seem personally intentional - how we choose to fuel ourselves and how we move throughout life.
Nutrition is how our body interacts with the food we put in it, be it good or bad. If we start thinking about what foods make our bio-individual selves feel good and energized and stop subscribing to fads which claim to “work for everyone,” we begin the process of figuring out what energizes us and what makes us want to move. Movement should not be a box you check off in your day (i.e. going to the gym). Our movement should be intentional throughout our day, every step we take. It is at this point we start to have a symbiotic relationship between the natural processes and desires of our bodies: Nutrition and movement.
Sounds nice, right? Here’s the problem: society is doing everything it possibly can to take us further and farther from the human animals we are intended to be and once were.
Here’s a list of my top LEAST favorite modern day “conveniences,” or, as I call them, “movement stealers,” and the movement they steal from us (in no particular order):
- Back-up car cameras. Stolen Movement: Turning our heads and torso.
- Automatic anything (sinks, towel dispensers, toilets). Stolen Movement: Use of hands and wrists… and arms and shoulders.
- Grocery store delivery services. Stolen Movement: If you are able-bodied you are not too busy to go to a store that already has all the calories we could need to sustain ourselves and put them in a cart on wheels and put them on a conveyor belt and then put them in our cars to drive them home. Next time you want to use these services think: what did hunter gatherers do? Walk, reach, push, pull, carry.
**this service is great for select populations: elderly, sick, injured etc.**
- Speed walkways at the airport. Stolen Movement: Walking. If you are using these you will miss your flight without them then you’d better be running
**same exclusions apply as with the grocery store deliveries**
- Last, but the thing that bothers me maybe the most... Automatic car trunk closing feature. Stolen Movement: Reaching, pulling, pushing. Have things in your hands that make this feature "nice?" Set them down and pick them back up. This would add "squatting" and "lifting" to the stolen movements if using the automatic feature.
Being intentional about our movement can be as simple as avoiding things that steal movement from us. You don’t have to be able to climb a mountain to move all day. We can all move in some way; there is not one “best” movement. All movements are important! Take the stairs, look behind you, take every opportunity you have to move. We, as a culture have become obsessed with scheduling our movement and then calling it good if we got our recommended 30 min at the gym. I am not saying don’t go to the gym… I own one, please come to it. :) I am saying that going to the gym is not enough. We need variety of movement: high intensity, low intensity, reaching, pulling, squatting, twisting. Take a second right now to assess what you are doing and when the last time was that you moved. Get up! Do something! Walk, swim, run, vacuum, bike, lift, climb, crawl, fold the laundry, take the stairs, reach for the highest shelf on your tippiest toes... our bodies are designed for and need constant movement. The more you move, the easier it gets and you’ll probably find the more you crave it. Fuel yourself with the best food you know how (advice on this in a later blog but for now avoid anything man-made) and JUST. KEEP. MOVING.