Stop Killing Yourself

Most of us are privileged enough to have given this functioning and amazing piece of “machinery” at birth called the body. (Yeah, I know none of us is born without a body, smart ass. Read along, it makes sense.) We should be grateful that we are able to move and do all these great things in life that involves using our body to it’s full capacity. Some people with disabilities never get a change to do so. Be grateful of what you’ve got.

We spend most of our childhood and youth doing all things imaginable with our bodies. It’s sad then that as we hit adulthood we start to forget what we’ve learned about movement. We end up sitting eight hours a day at work, few hours during the daily commute and another few hours while watching television. Think about it, we are reverting ourselves back to the pre-birth fetus position. Being hunched up in front of our computers.

I do understand that we all have to work and for some of us work involves a lot of sitting. But there is still ways around it. Some of my clients have standing desks and they are conscious of how much of sitting they do during the day. If standing desk is not an option at your workplace the least you can do is get up as often as possible during the day. Take counter measures and do meetings while standing if possible. Move at least an hour each day trying to undo all the fetus-positioning.
Get on top of things before you have to. In other words, do it before it becomes an issue or worse, before you end up in pain. Use it or lose still holds true.

Relearn and explore all the movement patterns you were given to use. Squat, run , roll around. Undo your sitting as often as possible.*. Depending on your level you might not be able to tackle the toughest movements right off the bat, and that’s fine. As long as you do more than you did the week before you are heading to the right direction.  Just move. And if you can choose, rather do things more often (daily) in smaller amounts than once a week for an hour. Make it a habit.

Then there’s the other thing. If you are getting sick all the time or just feeling tired day in and day out, your body is trying to tell you something. It’s your body’s way of saying “YOU ARE KILLING ME!”. Maybe not now or tomorrow but you are not doing yourself any favors when it comes to longevity.

Imagine that you’ve just broken your leg. Your body will give you signals that things are not okay. You will be in pain and will avoid using that leg as much as humanly possible to not make things worse. Why then, do we keep ignoring similar signs from our bodies when we get sick? It’s your body’s cry for help!

Sure, everyone gets sick now and then, that’s life. But if you keep getting sick all the time you have to think for a second if you are taking care of your body the way it deserves. You can not just keep ignoring the pattern and blame the weather, the kids, the aircon or the shape of the moon. Rather, look in the mirror and ask “what am I doing?”. Draw the lines, connect the dots.

I understand that most of us have work to do and life gets busy. Even so, you only have ONE single body for the rest of your life. Look after it and do whatever you can to make it last.
Ignoring your health is same as buying the most expensive car, taking it to the rally derby and getting the living shit bashed out it. Properly fuck it up. Sure it’s good fun while it lasts but I wouldn’t want to be the one repairing it. Or paying it for that matter.
Of course the difference being that with cars you can go get a new one. But you’ve only got one body that’s meant to last for a lifetime. I am hoping you will make your lifetime a long one rather than short.

After all that, just remember that it doesn’t have to be everything or nothing situation. Unless you let it get that way before taking action, that is. You can still have a drink, eat a piece of cake and do all the other things in life you enjoy. Just balance it out with some frequent movement, plenty of vegetables and find ways to rest and relax.
If you are new to all this or know someone who has lost their way, start by doing ten body weight squats each day, just ten. Now you are moving more than before. Do that for two weeks and then add extra serving of vegetables to each day for two weeks. Boom, now you are eating better. Do that for two weeks and then add 60 seconds of deep breathing each morning or night or whatever. Whoooosh! Instant stress relief and relaxation mode ignited. From there build it up bit by bit.

Like the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is a pound worth of cure.

*One of the big reasons I like crawling exercises is that it’s a powerful movement to undo all the sitting. Think about it, before you are born you’re in the fetus position (quite like sitting) and then learn to roll and then learn to crawl. It’s quite a few step process before you get to running. You can’t expect to go straight from fetus position to full blown running. You have to go through the steps. There’s no short cuts worth taking.


Photo by Jeff Shedon