Read ahead to find out how to get more daily movement!
By now it is getting hard to deny the health benefits of getting more movement in our daily lives. Multiple studies from around the world have demonstrated that those who move more often suffer less incidence of diseases like high blood pressure, and diabetes. They have also been shown to have less pain than folks who live more sedentary lifestyles.
While that is all well and good, some people find themselves at a loss of just how to get more movement in their daily lives. I personally think squeezing in more of what are referred to as the “foundational movements” is a great place to start. There are six of them in total, and they are as follows:
- Squat – Any time you are go to sit down or get up from a chair (including your toilet), you’re doing a squat! When you think about it that way it is easy to see why being proficient at this movement is good for your well being. The best way to improve this skill is to just do it more often.
- Lunge – You can think of this one as a quasi-modified squat. Lunging enables us to do things like kneel, and even comes in handy for going up and down stairs. It should be practiced regularly as well, and in multiple directions!
- Hip Hinge – This movement is crucial for protecting your spine when doing repetitive or heavy lifting tasks. By pushing your butt back to bend forward you take stress out of your spine and put it into the strong muscles in your hips and thighs. A solid way to squeeze more hinging into your daily routine is by doing an exercise called a “good morning.”
- Push – Pressing movements are important for gaining and maintaining strength of the shoulder girdle, which can have an impact on neck and upper back pain. The press can be varied fairly easily by changing the position of your arms. With arms to the side we can perform a dip, out in front we can do a push up or bench press, lastly we can press upward for an overhead press.
- Pull – On the flip side of the upper body press is the pull. Of all the movements listed so far, I tend to see people getting the least of this one. This can usually be attributed to the fact that aside from opening doors or walking unruly dogs, we don’t do a whole heck of a lot of pulling routinely. That being the case, this is a movement I would highly recommend finding a way to do more of, particularly if you have neck, shoulder, or upper back problems.
- Carry – Working on your ability to carry heavy or awkwardly shaped objects over a distance can improve whole body strength and coordination. Becoming proficient in this movement means fewer trips to and from the car on grocery day. It’s a great way to get more benefit from daily walks as well!
There ya have it! The six foundational movements. I try to make it a goal to do some form of each of them every day. Even one to two sets of a small number of each movement would go a long way to improving your strength and overall health. Getting more of these movements in can be as simple as doing chair squats each time you sit down or get up. Carrying your work bag or purse at your side instead of on your shoulder. Hip hinging when emptying the dishwasher, etc. You’re really only limited by your imagination, and perhaps on how much shame you have for exercising in public.
If you have any questions about these movements, would like to discuss variations, or get your form checked, be sure to ask about it at your next appointment! Until next time…
If you are looking for a chiropractor in Denver, we provide individualized chiropractic treatment plans for your back pain, neck pain, hip pain, shoulder pain, and more! Click this link to go to our scheduling page, or give us a call at (720)263-0594 to schedule an appointment.