Top 10 principles for a long life of healthy movement
Movement is life. Most people don’t realize this until they are somehow restricted in their ability to move. Either they get older, they get an injury, they are subjected to physical bondage (either willingly or not…a topic for another time), or they slowly loose the ability. If you have ever experienced a major decrease in your ability to move, you know exactly what I mean. So how do we avoid it? How to we keep our bodies from the avoidable fate of immobility? Here is how I would recommend you do it:
- Move every joint in your body through its full range of motion every single day.
- Dr Ed Feinberg, a personal mentor of mine and 2011 American Chiropractic Association Sports Chiropractor of the year, told me this little tidbit once, and I will never forget it. For a fellow who has cracked or bruised half of the structures in his body (sounds familiar), he still moves and feels very well. Moving every way, every day helps to keep your mind “aware” of your body by stimulating proprioceptors and helping you become familiar with your entire functional range. It’s not to say that you have to move every direction with resistance, you just move everything everywhere for fun!
- Learn to breathe ALL THE TIME
- The diaphragm is a muscle that is often overlooked, as can be said about the pelvic floor, two areas which are physiologically connected through breathing (among other things). Learning to use these areas of your body is as simple as this: learn how to breath with control during all of your activities (during exertion, during pain, during stress, during sleep). Not only does this decrease mental stress, it helps control the pH of the body, stabilizes the lumbar spine/core (oooooh the core), and moves your ribs and thoracic spine in ways they wouldn’t otherwise move.
- Pull more than you push
- Although I could make up a deeper meaning about love and personality on this, I mean it in a literal sense. The “pushing” muscles in our body tend to become overactive and act up a lot. The easiest way to counteract this? Pull more, push less! Do more rows than pushups, do more chinups that military presses, do more guillotine chokes than left hooks. Got the picture? The benefits are numerous! It’s good for your posture, great for joint joint health, foundational to functional strength, functional in everyday movements, and especially apt to help and prevent shoulder injury.
- Correct, don’t compensate
- If you notice something wrong, such as an inability to move a certain way, or pain in certain areas, FIX IT. Don’t avoid it. Pretending that the problem is not there, or even worse pretending it is not even a problem, is a one way street to a life of physical struggle. Get it fixed, get it rehabbed, and test to make sure you can perform as you should. It may take time and effort now, but the you of tomorrow will thank you.
- Get outside
- Strength coach and performance guru Dan John has been advocating this one for a long time The longer I live, the more wisdom I see in this. Psychologically,being outside is one of the easiest ways to rid yourself of mental stress and anxieties, regardless of the weather. Physiologically, Vitamin D is one of THE MOST important micronutrients available to us as humans. It has been associated with all sorts of awesomeness including decreased chance of death from nearly every disease out there (I kid you not). The best part? You only need 15 minutes of it to get the benefits. GET OUT THERE!