Continuing my lazy blogging with updates on what I'm experimenting with, researching, discovering and more. My hope is that there are some gems that you find interesting that may spark your own personal research and exploration.
I'll likely be forever exploring the vast world of movement, how it affects exercise performance as well as everyday life. Just like many things in learning the deeper one digs the deeper it gets. One conclusion that has been made even more apparent than ever is the fact that we are in no way matched equally with the environments we live in. From a movement perspective our modern day arrangement is not conducive to an optimally functioning and healthy body.
A few examples of this that come to mind that are unconsciously tied into daily life:
Chairs - up until the late 16th century chairs were not the main mode for sitting, now they are the position we assume most often (desks, cars, tables etc). This has a direct affect on our movement due to the large amount of time spent in this range. If the knee never goes beyond 90 degrees we rarely fully express the movement potential of our legs, hips and low back. This can eventually lead to modern day problems such as low back pain, weakness and tightness.
Solutions I've used to counter the problem:
- Kneeling Thunderbolt: This is a seated position where you are basically kneeling on top of the lower leg. I like to sit this way as often as possible as it helps keep the hips/ankles open while also keep the thoracic spine neutral.
- Maduka Meditation Cushion: when watching TV or sitting at a low table this is a great option I've used to help me increase my overall mobility.
- Resting Squat: I now use this as much as possible for resting or when training clients to keep me out of the fixed chair position.
Shoes - I think of shoes as casts for the feet as they greatly limit our toes/feet to move like they should. I'm sure that sounds hippie dippy but the results and research are real. Here's a research article released recently on the importance of intrinsic foot strength in movement. Many of these ranges do not or can not happen inside our shoes. Outside of that nearly all shoes have either a slightly or very elevated heel leading to other muscular and movement issues within the lower leg.
Solutions I've used:
- Barefoot Walking: I like to walk/run on different surfaces regularly: concrete, grass, rocks (big/small), dirt etc. My suggestion would be to start on grass as it's much more forgiving.
- VIvobarefoot Shoes:: these are by far my favorite brand of shoes. They are zero drop (no heel) and extremely flexible and forgiving. When I move in them I feel nimble and light while also getting the protection I need.
*please note, if you are not used to minimal footwear or going barefoot be cautious with the initial transition. Use logic - if you have been in an elevated tennis shoe for 35 years going minimal 100% of the time right out of the gate will likely make things worse.
Fermenting is back. I was so deep into this about 5 years ago and as the options for good sources continued to pop on the market I didn't feel the need to make my own, but deep down I missed the process. I've started again with the simplest of ferments, sauerkraut.
I really like this option with the air lock lid. It's fairly foolproof. Check out http://www.culturesforhealth.com/ for other info on how to, starters etc.
- Waking Up: A Guide To Spirituality Without Religion by Sam Harris (a re-read). I've read, listened to, read again... it's worth repeating.
- Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Taleb
- Adaptogenic herbs for increased adrenal gland support. Training has been demanding, as has client schedules, teaching etc. I would give myself an A for following my own advice being that I get plenty of quality sleep, balance with quite time and meditation, eat high quality foods - but sometimes you just need a little extra support. I've been tinkering with adaptogenic herbs for years making teas, tinctures and pills but have found this particular product to be very beneficial during stressful times.
These will change and update as needed... please go check out last months post for any new ideas, tips, thoughts.