Tuesday, April 02, 2024

Built to Move

 I have recently read a book that had a profound impact upon me.  That book was Built to Move by Kelly and Juliet Starrett.

In the last year I have noticed a decline in my ability to move effectively and efficiently. If I have to get down to the floor it is painful, cumbersome and not very graceful for me to rise back to a standing position. That fact has bothered me, and I have 'hoped' that by getting back into a regular exercise routine that I would be able to recover some of my lost mobility that I had seemingly lost overnight.   

It wasn't until I read the book that I realized that this problem had been building for a while, but I had been ignoring it and treating the symptoms by doing things like buying trekking poles to negate my balance issues while hiking. 

The premise of this book is that our modern lifestyles do not utilize our bodies the way they were made to move.   Furthermore, by not using our bodies to their fullest abilities, we have lost a degree of function and effectiveness.    They say that the book is getting everyone to realize and achieve what the body CAN do and not what our bodies are doing.

The book breaks everything down into 10 core 'vital signs' that we should be focusing on.  They included range of motion, squatting, walking, sleep, eating and proper breathing.   For each vital sign they gave a benchmark test for the reader to complete and mobilizations to utilize in order to correct and better yourself.  They also gave research about why the vital sign was so important.  And let me tell you, some of the stats and research were sobering!

Some of the thing that really had an impact on me included:

* A 2010 study showed that people that sit for 6 or more hours a day are 37% more likely to die earlier.  (these numbers did not change for people that exercised regularly)

*Compared to a person that walks 4000 steps, (the average American walks 5117 steps a day), if you up your step count to 8,000 a day you lower your risk of dying early by 51%.   If you up your step count to 12,000 steps a day, you have a 65% lower chance of early death.

*For every inch your head is tilted forward (think looking down at your cell phone) you add 10 pounds of load to your neck, which then affects the arms and back. 

*Micro nutrients are important (which I knew, but have resisted really counting).  They follow the research that if you aim for 800 grams of fruits and veggies a day you will come very close (and most likely meet) your micro nutrient goals.  I like that plan so much better!

*In a study of middle aged women who at only 1 serving of fruit or vegetable a day they were 50% more likely to end up with a physical limitation versus someone eating 2-4 servings.

There was so much more in this book!  I'm telling you, I can't say enough good about this book and HIGHLY recommend it!   It has had a profound impact on me.  I immediately upped my servings of fruits and veggies!  (that 800 grams is about 6 cups a day). I FINALLY hit the button for buying a stand up desk.   I became cognizant of how I am standing and sitting.  I am ready to make changes so that my body can work the way it was intended. 

Once again, I recommend this book 100% .  It is a fabulous read.  I actually got it from the library and I will be buying a hard copy so that I can actually have it handy so that I can do the mobilizations and tests so that I can better myself!  


1 comment:

SANRDJ said...

I'm going to check out this book for sure! Seeing my mother in law go from a healthy woman to basically a rock has taught me that movement is sooo important. She was considered a healthy weight, a healthy woman when she was younger but she never ever moved! No walking, no exercise, nothing. And now she can barely get into a car or step up on a curb. She's in her late 70s and she should be much more mobile. Thanks for the recommendation!