Functional Movement is the ability to move your body using your muscles and joints effortlessly and pain-free. Optimal movement requirements differ from one person to the next. For your elderly relative, optimal movement may be as simple as the ability to tie his or her shoes, for you (and me!), optimal movement may be as bold as being physically capable of scaling the world’s highest mountains!
You would think that your body would naturally just work well, but unfortunately, this is often not true. From birth, you start to build up dominant and weaker muscles, you experience inadequate muscle utilisation, and injury or mishap can further limit your body’s capacity to develop in a well-balanced manner. The end result, you become unable to make full use of the ideal form or support to train functional movement systems for whole-body health and fitness. So many of us get movement wrong – optimum exercise patterns can only be achieved in a sustainable manner once Momentum, Menu and Mindset outcomes have been initiated (see my Healthy Habit Hierarchy, on which The Healthy Habit Handbook is based).
Mastering movement and becoming biomechanically efficient in everything you do, whether it’s for sports and athletics, overall fitness, or everyday life, is vital for sustaining a sound body and avoiding injury. It is also vital to move more often in order to avoid the ill effects of a sedentary lifestyle. In order to maintain optimal vitality, you need to integrate consistent movement into your daily routine.
Choosing the right movement and the most effective way to keep your body active as you evolve and mature is critical to maintaining vitality for life. If you don’t, you will suffer from motion starvation and your body will begin to reflect the dysfunctions that you create inside, manifested as pain, illness and structural deficits.
Movement is a renewable resource that must be replenished daily, responsibly and constantly. The human body is designed for movement, but many of us live sedentary lives and often spend long hours in the same position, such as sitting in front of a computer. This lack of movement results in aches and pains, a lack of energy and often, obesity. A sedentary lifestyle also prematurely decreases the functional capability of your body. You are probably familiar with the adage “use it or lose it”, and this is certainly true for movement and a healthy body.
Move More! You can use activities of daily living to increase incidental movement and improve your health and fitness level. Walk more! Walk the dog, walk to work, walk to the shops. Always use the stairs over the escalator or lift and park further from your destination and walk! Take a class, dance, aerobics, boxing or yoga or join a sports team.
Finally, when you are ready to take your health and fitness to the next level, consider hiring a Coach or Personal Trainer to safely and effectively help you get started.