Food is on almost everyone’s radar these days. The focus on the importance of nourishing our bodies with real, whole, organic and natural food is almost everywhere and it’s growing in scope and intensity. Although this is of great importance we can’t simultaneously underestimate the body’s need for real, whole, organic and natural movement as well. Just as we think of food as being vital for health, wellness and optimal function we need to consider movement as equally important in terms of nourishing a healthy, well and optimally functioning body.
“Just as you are what you eat you are how you move.” ~ Katy Bowman
We look at food as a broad category. We need food to survive. Now we break it down into specifics:
Macronutrients: carbs, fat and protein
Micronutrients: vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals/poly phenols/antioxidants, etc.
We realize how important it is to get an adequate amount of each of all these macro and micronutrients and also how important balance is in the diet. More importantly we realize that when we don’t get enough of a nutrient that something goes wrong and we don’t function well or get sick.
Real, whole, organic, natural, seasonal, diverse and omnivorous foods cover every base and keep us healthy and thriving.
Movement as a broad range of activity is like “food” with lots of intricacies within the greater context of movement. We need movement to survive and well also now break it down into specifics:
Macromovements: Strength, flexibility and endurance.
Micromovements: Planes of motion, range of motion, intensity, duration, speed, tension/pressure, etc.
We realize how it important it is to get movement in general but that’s just like saying “eat food” with no more detail. Acknowledging the importance of moving in ways that challenge strength, endurance and flexibility is analagous to saying we need to eat protein, fat and carbohydrates. We need to think deeper with movement just like we do food. The micro movements matter for our health just as the micronutrients in diet do. When we just look at movement from the macro perspective we miss out on all the micro movement nutrition of moving the body diversely and just like in diet, when we don’t get enough of a movement nutrient something goes wrong and we don’t function well or get sick.
Real, whole, organic, natural, seasonal and diverse movements cover every base and keep us healthy and thriving.
Walking, standing, bending, squatting, climbing, pushing, pulling, twisting and turning are all types of food for our bodies but are only the broad categories of the almost infinite amount of micro movement nourishment we need on a daily and regular basis. Those are the basic movements just like meat, fish, eggs, dairy, fruit, vegetables and nuts are basic nutritional groups. When you look at how much more complicated we get with our dietary recommendations you can see we almost take movement for granted. We need to start thinking of movement with the same amount of detail and we might be able to make some real good strides in getting healthier (pun intended).
“Move more and move more of you when you move.” ~ Katy Bowman
Some More Nourishment Parallels
Just as we have suffered many ails from adopting the Standard American Diet (SAD) we have fallen prey to the Standard American coachPotato Syndrome (SAPS). Artificial, packaged, refined and dull movements, repeated day after day.
Just running is like eating primarily carbs. Just running one style (jogging) is like eating from just one source, like wheat.
Just strength training is like going on a high protein diet. Just lifting weights in a gym is like just eating chicken.
Just doing yoga is like eating a high fat diet. Stick with the same style month after month and that’s like eating just avocados.
Going low carb is like cutting out endurance training- might work in the short term, particularly if you’ve overdone it in the past, but it’s not the answer to long term health.
Following a low fat diet is like limiting flexibility in your life- get away with it for a while but it catches up to you pretty fast.
Limiting protein is akin to forgoing strength training- you might feel good at first but it won’t be long before you get weaker and lose muscle.
Being a vegetarian is like limiting your movement to what you can do in one plane of motion. You can get by for a while and some will feel just fine but without moving through three dimensions most people will never feel optimal.
Movement As Food
The best way to approach this concept is to simply think of movement as food. Every which way your body can move and be expressed is a different food. A healthy, well balanced body diet consists of a variety of movement patterns and styles, as well as having a nice mix of flexibility, strength and endurance. Feed your body good, real, natural based movements full of variety and it will thrive.
I explored movement in a little more detail a while back in an article Be A Conceptual Mover, with a few more examples of movement categories and examples but I hope to publish some quick movement tips in the next few days to expand on this concept of nourishing movement.
Thanks for reading, have a great day!