Today is a special day. A day those in America celebrate independence and freedom. On a barefoot trail run this morning, I found myself ruminating about freedom.
Movement = Freedom
In many ways, movement is the ultimate expression of freedom. With that in mind, it begs the question- are you as free as you think you are?
Here some ways in which modern or Westernized humans are not as free as they may think they are:
- needing orthotics or specific shoes to walk without pain
- needing canes, crutches or other supports to ambulate
- needing glasses or corrective lenses to see
- needing a specific pillow or bolster to be comfortable enough to sleep while laying in bed
- needing a specific type of desk chair in order to be comfortable or pain free throughout the day
- not being able to get off of the floor without support
- not being able to go hiking or camping without needing poles and/or special mattress pads
- needing an electronic activity device to tell you to move your body
- needing a rigorous exercise routine to counteract the metabolic effects of sitting all day
- needing to brace a joint so as to not experience pain when moving that joint
This list is not intended to be an indictment if you do need any of them currently. My challenge to you though, is to think more deeply about the ways in which you move your body throughout the day that are assisted, corrected or even outsourced to persons or things outside of your own body. Lack of movement eventually becomes the inability to move.
Lack of movement eventually becomes the inability to move.
Consistent use of footwear leads to a lack of strength in the foot muscles and decreased mobility in the foot joints, eventually necessitating arch supports and other corrective measures to walk or stand without pain. Increased screen time and lack of outdoor time leads to more focusing on near objects and failure to focus on objects far away. Eventually, corrective lenses are needed to correct this myopia. Sitting in chairs routinely means that the knee and hip joints are rarely flexed beyond ninety degrees and eventually, a deep knee bend (flat footed squat) becomes an achievement born of hard work instead of normal rest posture.
The ability to move and to move well throughout our entire lifetime is a key determinate of how much freedom you will enjoy in that lifetime. Choose to make movement an everyday practice so that you can ensure mobility and freedom for lifetime.