Something very important got lost in the human culture after people invented machines and devices to replace a human effort. As Pete Egoscue said in one of his books, we are not what we eat but rather what we do to eat.
In the modern world, our day-to-day living requires less and less functional strength. We have all sorts of machines supposedly making our life easier. But is it a good thing?
Human bodies are designed to move. They cannot function properly without an adequate motion.
Every single system in our body depends on it. The more sedentary life style we live the more our health deteriorates.
Our musculoskeletal system changes in response to the demands placed on it. If your daily motion consists only of a few very limited activities, very soon you will be able to function only within these limited movements.
For example, if we use an electric blender to beat up eggs it sure saves time. But when our grandmothers were using their wrists for the same process, guess what? They had stronger hands and arms, and their joints were moved, strengthened, and lubricated in the process.
I have a few clients who proudly told me at the first visit that their daily workout was an hour on the elliptical machine. When I asked them to stop for a week and just go for a walk the same amount of time, they got really surprised to find out that they lost an ability to walk for 30-45 minutes without experiencing back, knee, or hip pain. They cannot understand why.
The answer however is very simple. If you use an elliptical regularly you become a better “ellipticaller”.
It does not replace walking. And if you only doing an elliptical or any other single machine what do you think is going to happen when once in a while you need to reach something on the top shelf? Or throw a ball to a kid, or lift a heavy piece of furniture? Pain.
I am not against fitness equipment. Treadmill can be very useful when it’s freezing cold outside, raining, or snowing. It cannot replace however walking, running, jumping, crawling, and throwing a ball outside.
We need a wide variety of movements in order to preserve musculoskeletal functions and live pain free.
We need to make a daily effort to expand and preserve our ability to move and enjoy movement.
This effort does not have to be strenuous. Incorporate just a few movements into your daily life. You can even do it in front of the TV.
Jump a rope, get on your hands and knees and crawl around the room a few times, bend forward and back, left and right, rotate the upper body at the waist, and then lower body thru the hips. Rotate your hands at the wrist.
If you have kids, go outside and play with them. Have fun with it. Go for a walk. Do something.
That’s why I practice an Egoscue® method.
When my clients complain that it is a hard to find time to exercise every day I often tell them: believe it or not but this requirement is the best thing that has ever happened to you.
If you continue your daily practice it will not only help you to be much more functional now but will tremendously improve your life quality when you are older.
From a simple pleasure of walking without a cane to a better posture, better health and better mood.
Be Upright. Be Happy. Live Pain Free.