Exercise vs Movement
“Life is movement. Change movement and you can change your life."
I love this quote, it’s simple yet very wise. Every day I’m using this quote to teach my clients the difference between exercise and movement. After all, any abled person can exercise, but the question is can they move? Can you move like you were designed to move? The follow-up question to that is, is the exercise you’re doing today destroying your ability to move for the rest of your life? These are two important questions that need to be asked when looking to engage in any health and fitness program.
Nowadays there are countless exercise programs that have been designed to push your limits and the majority of people flock to them because they’ve been told over and over again by the fitness industry that you have to ‘go hard or go home’. The endless quest to build a beautiful body has lead to mindless exercise routines that create more dysfunction than function. Let’s not forget, exercise is stress, it’s catabolic (meaning to break down). The body is forced to adapt to exercise and, if done correctly (intelligently), this becomes a positive stress, but for some this extra stress will create a negative breakdown resulting in fatigue, injury and a dysfunctional body. They don’t tell you this when you first join a gym, do they?
The time has come to re-educate and rewrite the rules of exercise.
Your goal is to move or train for longevity and that is how you should view your exercise from now on. Not to thrash your body to the point were you can’t walk for the next four days. There is no intelligence in that. Again, anyone can exercise hard, but not everyone can exercise slowly with mindfulness and intention. This should be your goal for every single session. The human body is designed to move and move well, and this isn’t something that can only be done at the gym. Unfortunately, one hour in the gym doesn’t offset what you do for the other 23 hours. Did you know, how you move reflects how you think and how you feel? For example, if you have had a stressful day at work and then go to the gym with this stress, anger and/or depression your body will display patterns of weakness and will actually shut down or over-facilitate certain muscles. You need to use movement as therapy to calm the body and clear the mind in this instance.
One other important aspect of movement lies in your fascial system. Covering your entire body is a web-like structure called fascia. Imagine this fascia is like a sponge and, over time, with little or no exercise, not enough sleep, poor diet and inadequate water intake your fascial tissue dries out (some believe this is the ageing process). The goal is to hydrate your fascial tissue continuously every day by making sure you move. Every time you use large, dynamic, three-dimensional movements it allows water/fluid to pump in and out of the fascial system creating hydration and elasticity. For those of you who are stuck at a desk all day and who don’t get a chance to move, you should be implementing a program that opens and corrects posture while strengthening your core in a controlled matter.
Before you begin your next exercise session, ask yourself these tough questions:
> Is this going to add longevity to my life or will it cripple me in years to come?
> Are these exercises adding negative function to my fascial system, posture and/or dysfunction?
> Will this session be fun or just another mindless sweat session for the sake of exercising?
Remember, the easiest way to change how you feel is to change how you move. I will leave you with one last quote:
“It’s not the exercise itself but the awareness with which you do it that matters most” – Elphinston
Darren Cox is the Director of Total Reformation in Brighton, the ultimate holistic health and wellbeing studio. Through education and investigation they guide dedicated clients through the ‘holistic’ journey of Total Reformation from the inside, out. They offer a number of reformation packages and services, which include group fitness, personal training, yoga classes, sports kinesiology, massage, tailored nutrition support and health and lifestyle coaching. Nourish Melbourne Members save when accessing Total Reformation's services. Click here to find out, or if you're not a member, find out more about our membership here.