We have so many things today that makes doing things easier and convenient so that we are able to move our bodies less and less. I remember the days when we had to get up off the couch to change the channel on the TV set or even turn the volume up and down on the TV, but that was then. Now, today, it’s great! We can sit on the couch and stay there but still change the channel and volume on the TV and all we had to do was move our hand a small amount. Another example is the use of a car. We don’t need to walk anywhere… ever! Even backing up in a car has gotten easier. It used to be where I had to actually twist my body around to look behind me as I was backing up. Now with my newer car, I have a backup camera so I no longer have to turn my body. I just need to turn my head about 10° to look at the camera screen. Really nice! But is it really nice? Not really… Convenience = Less Movement (which means less muscle use).
Think about this, folks. The simple act of getting up off the couch, walking over to the TV, walking back to the couch, and sitting back down again uses a whole slew of different muscles. Do that multiple times in a day and you have squatted multiple times, added “steps” to your step-tracker, used a lot more muscles without even going to the gym to exercise. The first car example is pretty easy to understand. Before cars, people had to do a LOT more walking to accomplish daily tasks than they do today. Again, these people weren’t doing it for the exercise. They were walking (moving!) in order to live their daily lives. The second car example might be a subtle one, however, it’s important. If we lose the ability to twist our necks and backs, we’ve lost a whole bunch of core functionality. If we moved more in the day, we would actually have to exercise less. Try putting some of the things in your kitchen in more inconvenient locations so that you need to reach more or squat down more to get whatever you need to get. I have set my office up like this. Instead of using the top filing drawer for my client files, I use the bottom drawer instead to make me squat or kneel down on the floor to get my filing done. I try to get down differently each time. For example, if I kneel with one knee and keep the other foot on the ground one time, the next time I may kneel with both knees on the ground or with the other knee instead.
The less we use our muscles, the stiffer we all get. The stiffer we all get, the more pain we are in. If we just empower ourselves to change just a bit and move more by doing things in a less convenient way, we would be doing ourselves a whole lot of good. Think about what conveniences are in your life that are outsourcing your muscles and what you can do to change it. I would like to hear your ideas.