Our next installment of The Muscle Movement is a fun one. I’ll give you a little breather from the last couple articles filled with all that “science.” This week’s post deals more with the movement side of things. It comes from an interview with Katy Bowman of Restorativeexercise.com.
She is author of the new book “Move Your DNA,” which delves into how to restore your health through natural movement. Since I couldn’t possibly do justice to all the insight and eloquence that she delivers, I have included a poignant excerpt from her interview that will likely put human movement and exercise in a new light for you.
“Athletic performance is of course an entirely different category than biological sustainability. Meaning not just that you live longer (I’m tired of that being the only parameter), but that your goal is that you feel really good every day.
How are you sleeping? Are you eating and digesting your food well? Are you able to get pregnant and sustain your pregnancies? Going to the bathroom and having sex? I work on the mechanical disease, and a lot of people are struggling with basic biological functions.
So the difference between exercise and movement… Movement is anything that you do with your body where something has changed position. It’s the broadest possible category. So when I’m talking about nutritious movement, I’m not talking about this thing we do called exercise – exercise being a tiny, tiny, infinitesimally small circle within the Venn diagram that is movement. So you have a giant movement bubble and you have a tiny bubble of exercise inside.
Movements are those motions that you make while you are getting something else done in your life. Meaning that you are not moving just for the sake of moving. Exercise is a really specific type of movement, where you’re doing it just to extract some benefit of health by doing this concentrated thing.
The question I get a lot is: How do I reconcile my need for movement with my need for exercise? The first thing is, you don’t need exercise. You don’t require it. You do have huge requirements, epic requirements for movement. A lot of those can be high intensity movements that get out your competitive ya-yas and keep you “peaked” for performance. I’m not saying that’s not essential. It’s just that exercise is not necessarily the way to go about it.
We’re all wrestling with these big problems right? Like how do I get work done, how do I attend to my family and my 10 relationships, and also how I get food on the table? How do I build a community? These are all big things that a lot of people are trying to fit but it’s because they see them as isolated things. “I have to get my exercise for these 20 minutes, which takes me away from these people that I also want to spend more time with.“
Everything is in separate blocks and the thing about nature is everything is in the SAME block. Everything in nature happens organically or at the same time. So as you figure out how to make your life be the time when all of the essential things that you need are happening together, you’ll start to slowly find that you can get all the things done all of the time.
So as a competitive athlete I’m definitely someone who is competitive and fit and my physical prowess has been a part of who I am my whole entire life. But as you know there’s this period of time that comes when all of a sudden you have little kids and it’s like: I really like to go somewhere else to exercise for two hours but it’s not possible. When you’re the mom, it’s even more not possible to disconnect.
So my solution was no strollers. No baby devices. My husband and I pack our children (17 months apart) everywhere physically with us in our arms and in our back. At first I kept thinking “I’m so bummed that my exercise time has been taken away from me by these children.” Instead, now, I think “Wow, these kids have given me an opportunity to carry around 30 and 40 pounds “ and we pack them five to six miles sometimes.
That is way harder than anything else that I’ve ever done and I’ve done some serious races. But I have to tap out of holding these kids sometimes.
Both my husband and I, both former competitive athletes, are in way better shape now plus way better health than we were when we were exclusively training just for the sake of athletic performance. And we’re happier. “
In the interview Katy gets into topics such as:
How sitting affects our foot development and walking/running patterns.
How nursing habits lead to us needing wisdom teeth removed.
How to make your cardiovascular system more efficient by changing your daily movement habits.
Listen to the full interview here:
And tune in next week for our next installment of The Muscle Movement.