"Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day." - Jim Rohn
Pain is vital for healing, as it makes you move differently, think and behave differently. It can, however, become problematic when it doesn't ease off as an injury heals. Sometimes it can act so out of sorts that the pain actually gets worse long after we have healed.
Mornings. Sometimes they can really suck...if you let them.
Most of us have read or heard about the power of having a routine in the morning and how if we can just make use of that morning window then our lives will be so much better. We see articles pop up in our newsfeed about how ‘these 5 gazillionaires do the same 5 things in the morning’ but sometimes it’s hard to relate to them because…well it’s hard to relate to a gazillionaire.
Good question! I realise that as we refer to 'natural movement' more in what we share it would probably be best to clearly define it.
Natural movement can be defined as the movement we do in everyday life without modern intervention or equipment. Many people confuse natural movement as "primal movement" or "functional movement" but sometimes those schools of thought can be a bit derivative, as there is nothing natural about a 150kg back squat. However, the squat pattern in itself is a natural movement.
Quick little follow up to my Facebook video about footwear and how it can impact your alignment. (You can watch that now if you missed it!)
One thing I neglected to talk about in the video is how jandals/flip-flops/clogs/mules - anything that does not have a strap or something securing the shoe to the heel of your foot - can negatively affect your foot mechanics and alignment. Read: LOTS of tension in the foot and lower leg. So even though most of those shoes fall into the category of a neutral or minimal rise, they aren't the best for moving around in. There is already a fantastic article written by Katy Bowman on this topic if you want to read more about that: How Flip Flops Change Your Feet.
Your body is a pretty amazing piece of kit. It can achieve amazing feats of mind boggling endurance and awe inspiring strength. It can learn new movements and information at any age and has the capacity to adapt to incredible ranges of conditions and regenerate from almost anything given time. You might not even be aware of some of the most amazing things your body and brain will do for you. Our brains and nervous system have evolved in such an incredible way that there are a lot of mechanisms that occur without us even being conscious of them. I know right!! Amazing! (I’m a huge fanboy of the human body if you hadn’t guessed).
I've been on a Brené Brown kick as of late (aka. the past six months) and she has this part in her book, Rising Strong, where she talks about her revelation of not being able to skip Act 2 - the "messy" bit. This is the part where you really figure it all out, dig deep, and learn. But everyone tries to skip Act 2. Most people search for the quick fixes and spot treatments, even when they have been told that there isn't a quick fix. And I realise that Brené is talking about sorting out our inner stories but it's a great analogy for how we deal with our bodies as well.
Initially when I thought about writing this article I had wanted to write it on the topic of how injuries happen, but the opposite of optimal movement is broader than just injury. Also, speaking about injury specifically may not resonate with most people, especially if you aren't dealing with an injury.
However, what many of us can relate to are those nagging "things": a knee "thing", a hip "thing", shoulders... those "things" that just don't feel right. They may not be screaming at you that they feel wrong or are in critical danger, but they definitely don't feel awesome and you've accepted your "thing" as an obstacle that you live with.
When we’re looking at changing the human body in any respect, be it making it stronger, leaner or taking the body out of pain and making it move better, everything comes back to what you repeatedly do day to day. Think about the hours you spend sitting, the hours your shoulders are rolled forwards, the amount of external stressors throughout the day that cause your traps to cuddle your ears incessantly. These postures and positions dictate how your body will feel and in the long run will also change how your body can move due to it adapting to the crappy positions we ask it to hold. This is what our bodies know. These are our habits.
Improving your mobility is one of the best things you can do for your health - beyond any exercise program or nutrition plan. But figuring out the best way to do this can be a bit... confusing. If you Google mobility training you'll get pages of results giving all sorts of conflicting information. There is nothing more disheartening than having all of the "go" but none of the "know", or even worse, finding out that you you've been wasting your precious time doing something ineffective or detrimental.
For our first article I thought I would take the time to write about something that has become relevant and personal to me as of late. Meditation has been popping up on my radar a lot recently and it couldn't come at a more perfect time because, as a high-functioning person, I know I can always use more of this in my life (read: any... I have not been practicing meditation at all lately). To be honest, everyone can benefit from some meditation in their lives, but communicating that to the uninitiated can be a bit of a challenge.