Ok, we’re long overdue for an installment of “Steve’s Self-Help Recommendations”. This one will probably be the most challenging for a lot of people, as it is something most everyone in modern society has gotten away from – human movement.
Yes, I can hear you: “Whaaaaaat on earth are you talking about?! I’m human, and I move!” Yes, it’s true – most everyone does locomote around pretty much everyday, but the problem is that it is mostly only one movement pattern – walking. Granted, there are people that are avid runners as well, but the movement I’m talking about is the whole array of natural human movement: not just walking and running, but crawling and rolling on the ground, crouching, squatting, twisting, climbing, jumping, and balancing. Even walking sideways along a hill will work the body in a far different manner than the flat, hard, perfectly level surfaces we’re accustomed to. Most people in the modern, developed world are completely removed from our primitive movement patterns, and instead have adopted modern patterns that are injurious to us: repetitive actions such as sitting, typing, and mousing.
With my Kung Fu background, strange and unusual movements are almost habitual for me. I’ve been friends with the ground for most of my life, and I still jump around like a monkey and slither like a snake. I will often go upstairs and downstairs headfirst on all fours just like one of my cats (though not quite as gracefully). As I close in on 50 (is that right? No, it can’t be..!!!), I can honestly say I don’t feel any different than when I was 20. I’m sure that I’ve lost something in stamina, but my balance, coordination, and overall body skill are better. I have no aches or pains and have good range of motion throughout. I only say all this because if I can do it, believe me – anyone can!
Forget paying money for a gym membership – all you need to be strong and fit is your own body and the world around you! Play like a child again; your body and mind will thank you for it. To get you started, I leave you with this exercise: starting on your feet, for 5 minutes, lie down on the ground and get back up again – on your stomach, on your back, on your sides – up and down a different way every time, both as slow and as fast as you can. Many people are wiped out after one single minute of this!
There are also innumerable videos out there that feature people doing the most amazing physical feats and providing step by step instruction, so the time has never been better to reclaim your natural movement patterns and put them to use – preferably barefoot in the grass, outdoors in the sun, while breathing deep!