We currently live in a time where it’s common to be sitting in one position for the bulk of each day. It is quite ‘normal’ for someone to wake up, sit at the table for breakfast, in the car on the way to work, all day at a desk while at work, on the drive home, at the dinner table, and on the couch at night. Sitting this much wreaks havoc on our bodies, as our tissues and structures adapt over time to the positions we put them in. Many people expose their bodies to a very limited range of possible movements that are available to them, and the consequences are becoming apparent. Progressive loss of mobility, muscle function, and movement are some of the negative effects, which ultimately lead to pain and further dysfunction.
One way that we can offset some of this is by having a movement practice. A movement practice can be any discipline, sport, or activity that exposes our bodies to a variety of different movements and challenges different joint positions. This could include activities like yoga, dance, gymnastics, weightlifting, crossfit, jiu jitsu, martial arts, pilates, stretching or mobility routines. A movement practice should be challenging, and should force us to work into positions that are outside of our normal daily routines. It should also challenge the stability and control of our body in these positions. We quickly lose the ability to get into positions the body doesn’t use.
Having a movement practice is a step in the right direction to health and longevity. It allows us to maintain and improve our mobility, range of motion, and movement. It gets us out of the sustained and limited variety of positions that we adopt day to day, and exposes our bodies to novel stimuli. It allows us to challenge ourselves, and put our bodies into positions that they were designed for (before the days of computers, cars, and cubicles). The good news it that our bodies can and will adapt if we put forth the effort to make them adapt.