I believe that I’ve come up with the fountain of youth. The trifecta. Today is part 1.
These principles are not new. In fact, they’re as old as time. But in times past, we didn’t have to think about them. They were part of daily life. We can hem and haw and be super displeased with how we’ve lost sight of what “should be,” or we can do something about it.
And these are things you can put into practice immediately. So for today’s 1st principle, we’re going to talk about mobility…because it’s the lack of perpetual motion that causes most of our aches and pains and makes us feel far beyond our years.
Joseph Pilates said, “We are only as young as our spines are flexible.”
We just get it when we hear that quote. You may have read that and thought…geesh, I must be old because my spine is NOT flexible.
Few spines are over the age of, I’ll say it, 30. Why so young? Because although we may LOOK younger than our grandparents did at our age, we we are aging faster due to less activity than they had.
When we talk about mobility, we’re speaking of the ease at which you can move your body through space and perform the functional day to day motions you need to be, and stay, independent.
Squatting down to pick something up without groaning or feeling decrepit when you stand up, putting something up on a shelf without spraining a back muscle, turning your head when you’re called without dealing with a week of neck pain…
These are things we don’t give much thought to until we find ourselves hurting, and then we shrug it off in the spirit of “just getting old.”
I’m here to speak some truth. It’s more than likely because you’re just not moving enough. “But, Lisa, I do 1 hour of cycling 7 days a week!” I’m speaking to you, too. Even an hour a day of movement doesn’t offset the multitude of hours of little to no movement.
Your range of motion should allow you to do all I mentioned and so much more. I want that for you. So excuse me while I grab my soap box so I can look straight into your eyes (I’m only 5′, so it’s a pretty tall soap box)…
The twinges and aches are likely because you are sitting WAY too much! Dr. Vernikos, who was responsible for the health of astronauts in the 70’s, observed that the astronauts were prematurely aging while in space and having similar side effects as those who are bedridden…
The common denominator? Gravity…or lack thereof. At the advent of the computer age, not to mention cell phones, we are sitting more than ever. Head jutting forward, shoulders hunched forward, hip flexors drawn up from a 90 degree angle for too long…it’s all a recipe for structural disaster and feeling years beyond our age.
GOOD NEWS! You can reverse the damage if you decide to be UBER intentional. And it’s FREE. Crazy thing is that free isn’t always easy. I mean, what I’m about to propose is simple, but not easy…
Because it’s going to take thought, planning, and, here’s that word again, intention. You simply must make a decision that you want, and are worthy of, a life of independence through freedom on motion.
MOVING YOUR BODY THROUGHOUT THE DAY
Let’s get practical, because if you take away the following from this post, I’ve done my job and you’re on your way to aging better…I’ll go further…you’re on your way to aging dynamically!
Step 1: Set a timer on your phone or watch for every 30 minutes if you want to rock it out right outta the gate, or set it for every 45 minutes if you just want to dip your toe in the water. (have you done it, yet? If not, pause now to set your 30 or 45 minute timer).
Step 2: When your timer goes off, get up and move around for 3-5 minutes. This can look like:
* Walking around your office or house
* Doing some light stretching
* Doing a few squats or lunges
* Bouncing on the balls of your feet
* Doing some old school calisthenics (think ‘head, shoulders, knees, and toes’)
* Moving on a stability ball. Keeping a large stability ball handy to lightly bounce on during your 3-5 minutes, can make a huge difference…and bonus, you can sit on it while you’re working which will keep your core engaged and allow small shifts in your positioning to prevent tightness.
Or any other combination of movements. Notice I didn’t say go run around your office building or house for 3 laps. We are not being extreme here, although I do understand that if you’re accustomed to sitting for hours, this can feel extreme…
But, let me take you back to the fact that movement is free, and you are so worth feeling amazing as you age.
One of my personal care routines to keep me flexible and mobile is utilizing the ROMWOD app (Range of Motion Workout of the Day. Get a week free with that link). I like to do a 10-20 minute routine in the morning and it has been an amazing addition to all of my micro-movements!
I hope I’ve made a case that hourly movements should become part of your life. Research has shown that perpetually moving your body trumps an hour of exercise a day if you are sitting for many hours, and that perpetual motion has enormous cardiovascular benefits…it all adds up, friend!
Sitting has been deemed the new smoking. So how about we take it equally as seriously and reclaim that mobility we thought was gone for good!
This one principle set in motion will revolutionize the way your body feels. Prove me wrong by trying it for 2 weeks and tell me you don’t notice a difference!
Please feel free to share this blog with your friends because friends don’t let friends miss out on foundational principles that will change their lives!
Be watching for parts 2 and 3 of the fountain of youth trifecta coming soon!