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The First Pillar of the MVMNT ™ Method: M Which Represents Movement.

 

 

Movement is something that we often take for granted…until we can’t do it. The reason

why MOVEMENT is the foundational pillar of MVMNTTM is simple: To move is to be

alive. Every living thing on this earth must move, shift, advance, grow, develop or

evolve. But, before we dive deeper into why movement matters, and its purpose, I

I believe it is important to shed light on the very opposite of movement: stagnation. 

Think of a pond that has algae growing on it. The algae grow as a result of the water

ceasing to move or circulate. Thus, the cessation of moving water develops a growth

of bacteria on its surface that makes it less drinkable and less beneficial for the

wildlife around it. In this example, the stagnant water represents a human body that is

motionless and begins to develop tension and stiffness. In the absence of flowing

energy, we become more susceptible to disease and illness. When we are not

moving often and not circulating the blood, especially when dealing with a stressful

external environment, this causes our inner environment to become clogged. The

purpose of movement is vital to our health as a species, just as it was once also

vital for our survival. 

 

Movement for survival

The basics of movement directly correlate to our survival. Early humans migrated all

over our planet in search of food, water and shelter. Early hunter-gatherers needed to

seek out food for the tribe or their family, yet also be able to escape danger and

predators. We went to the oceans, various lakes and streams to get seafood and fresh

fish. We went into the forests to collect nuts, seeds, and various fruits. We created

weapons to protect us and increase our chances of survival. Humans needed to be able

to bend, squat, twist, reach, hinge, jump, and even climb. If you were unable to do these

things then you were not much help to the tribe and community and therefore you

increased your chances of dying.

 

Movement is not exercise

Early humans were not concerned with burning calories or growing large biceps. Thereis a difference between structured exercise and movement. Much of what I am talking about is just general activities of daily living. There is a term called N.E.A.T which stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. It references the general calories burned while moving outside of structured exercise.

 

As a movement coach much of what I recommend to my clients for homework falls into this category. I educate them on how to increase general activity around the home and with friends versus sitting all the time. The goal is to help them come up with a couple of ideas for keeping them active and moving while at home or with friends. I remind my clients that vacuuming and doing yard work counts towards daily movement. The idea here is that it does not require a lot of extra time or effort and can be weaved into your life easily. Below is a short sample list of some of these things:

 

  • Hand wash your car at home
  • Vacuum your whole house
  • Yard work outside like planting flowers or mowing the grass
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Park your car far away from the front door of a building
  • Go to the mall to window shop instead of buying online
  • Use a standup desk at work to vary how much you sit and stand
  • Play some of your fav music and dance 

 

Movement based Body-Weight Practices

You can enhance your movement patterns by cultivating opportunities to develop a wide array of possibilities to move your body. Many people enjoy taking classes that feel as though they are stretching and strengthening their bodies. This is why calisthenics-based practices like tai chi, gymnastics, parkour, all styles of yoga, mat Pilates, and any other forms of martial arts have been popular for many years. These are great ways to get started with some form of body-weight based movements. This is where we see movement as a form of medicine, in that often people are exposed to moving their bodies in ways that they don’t normally do on a daily basis. 

 

Movement is nutrition for your Brain  (games/play)

Asking a client to perform multiple pullups is different then telling them to pretend he/she is like a monkey that can swing or climb from tree branch to tree branch on thepull-up’s bars. The brain loves a good story and visualization that evoke imagery which is a great way to help with building better neural connections to the body. In this way people can become more curious in how they move their bodies are capable of moving. The focus is placed on the external environment, rather than internal thoughts about which muscle to use or if they are lifting heavy enough. When we turn movement into play based focused  people don’t worry about how many calories they burned or if they are doing the exercise “correctly”. 

Our brain craves novelty and getting people to move in new and different ways can be challenging as some individuals might over analyze the details or focus on perfect execution over and over again. That is why game play and imagination can be powerful motivators to move. Turning the gym into an obstacle course for people to pass through is a great interactive way to get everyone moving. Likely, the obstacle course might get them to crawl under objects or hop over barbells. This is where the nervous system can switch from fight or flight to rest and digest. Even though they are moving the might be laughing and solving the problem of getting to the other end of the room without being burned by the hot lava. This process begins a cascade of chemistry (aka feel good hormones) which begin pumping out. Games like the mirror game, red light/green light, or even musical chairs are other great ways to get people moving while laughing and being curious. The games take them away from any stress of the day and more focused on enjoyment. There is no pressure of making a max rep.

 

“Move more and sit less.”

This advice from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention is timeless

and true. By now you may have realized that there are just as many ways to move your

body as there are reasons to do so. As a movement coach I am most concerned with

how your body moves through space, interacts with the ground, and executes daily activities of living. 

 

Dr. Zanis and I believe that movement can be medicine if it is prescribed correctly. Our knowledge of the many different ways to encourage someone to move, as well as ways to move that are pain free, increase the rate of success and improve outcomes for our patients. This approach to movement is based on a quality approach to prescribing the style, type, frequency or environment of how we want our clients and patients to increase their movement bandwidth based on what is most realistic.

 

Interested in learning more about “movement” and how it might increase your performance or help remove pain? Contact Us and we will setup a discovery call to discuss your options. 

 

 Below you'll see Coach Paige walking you through a game for strong ankles:

Move more and sit less.

Another game but this time for quickness! 


About the Author: Coach Paige Fleischmann has always focused on the MVMNT method to help clients regain or maintain their ability to move and enjoy life. Her instructional videos are a tremendous feature and an added benefit to any client who purchases online training courses through the website. Stay tuned for our next blog coming in July!

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