“Life requires movement.”
Movement has always been an important part of my life. For me, its one of the key ingredients to a happier, healthier existence. Without movement, we stagnate. We stop growing. We fail to learn anything about ourselves, and what we are really made of.
If you’re someone who is looking to move your body more, develop functional fitness, and improve yourself as an athlete and as a human being; check out the FAQs and articles below for a little more info.
What does it mean to be fit and move freely?
For me, it means you’re able to have full body control, and meet the demands of your environment. It means that you’re able do the things you did as a child, before you were told no and before your joints seized up. It means being equally comfortable with lifting your bodyweight as you are with completing a long distance hike. It means being efficient in all components of fitness: strength, speed, stamina, flexibility, motor control…
You’re a Jack of all trades. Useful in an emergency. A well rounded athlete.
Being ‘fully fit’ however is somewhat of an illusion. None of us can ever really reach perfection. But we can definitely strive towards it. We can commit to the long haul, embracing the journey rather than focussing too much on the end goal.
What are the benefits of training the body?
Enjoyment. Body control. Confidence. Freedom. Weight loss and body composition. Heart health. Brain health. Mindfulness. Finding out who you really are, and where your place is in this crazy world. The list is pretty much endless.
How should I train?
There’s no one set answer. How you train will depend on where you are right now, and where you want to head.
Do whatever feels right for you. I like to run, jump, lift, climb, cycle, swim, hike, grapple, strike, kick, throw, stretch, balance. Martial arts, triathlon, football… A couple of strength and flexibility workouts here, some long low intensity bike rides there. I love what I do, and each activity brings a different form of reward.
Single sessions can be great, but I get most of my movement practice in throughout the day. I’ll take a break from work every now and again to practice some hand balancing, or some dynamic stretching.
Just choose whatever you enjoy. Mix it up, and keep it exciting. Train on your own, or get involved with a group. Maybe grease the groove, rather than having set workouts. Approach it as play, rather than something arduous that you have to do. If you don’t have a specific sport or event you want to compete in, build a well rounded body, so you can adapt to almost any situation.
This used to be my approach, and although it sounds cool, it always inevitably led to me burning out, over-training, and getting injured, which isn’t fun…
Respect your body, and don’t always push it to exhaustion. Slow down sometimes. Build base of your pyramid with low intensity, long duration aerobic training, then finish the peak with the high intensity stuff.
Think longevity. Strive to create a machine that is still working properly in 20 years time. When you’re young you can get away with pushing it too hard, but eventually it will catch up with you.
At the same time, accept that injuries are inevitable, no matter how careful you are. But even injuries are great learning tools.
How often should I train?
Again, there’s no one size fits all approach. It depends on the type of movement you’re doing, how fast you can recover, and how far you want to take it. My advice is to listen to your body.
I choose to fuel my body with a whole food, plant based diet, and it seems to work well for me. I feel like I can recover faster from workouts, and I get less inflammation. And it’s not just me – check out these 13 vegan athletes performing at the highest level.
I’ve hit a plateau in my training, how do I break through?
Breaking through the plateau and overcoming the stagnation is usually about re-finding that love for what you do. Stepping back and re-kindling the enjoyment in training.
What is the ‘zone’ I hear people talking about?
The zone is that peaceful place you find yourself in during a long run, that clarity of mind that comes once the chatter has settled down. It’s the no mind state you find yourself in during a grappling match, when time seems to stand still. It’s the ecstasy you feel after an intense strength workout.
It’s a calmness you can carry into your everyday life, when you have tried and tested your physical limits and really gotten to know your body.
How important is posture?
Posture is so important, but often gets overlooked. If you’re not moving and exercising in the correct alignment with structural integrity, you’re building a dysfunctional body, and you’re probably not able to breathe properly. Sooner or later, something’s gonna give.
Our bodies are efficient adaptation machines. If you choose to sit down all day, your body will adapt to facilitate that.
So move often. Work on your mobility daily with some sort of practice or stretching routine.
Remember to keep those shoulders away from the ears, those core muscles engaged, and that pelvis neutral.
I also highly recommend getting your spine checked out by a good chiropractor or sports therapist, if that’s available to you. So many of us are carrying around subluxations in our neck or back, preventing our nervous systems from performing to their full potential. Get those blockages cleared, and give your body the best chance to be healthy.
What supplements should I be taking?
I used to take all the powders and multivitamins I could get my hands on. But I’ve found that I feel and perform better without any of that stuff. Just plenty of water, and whole, plant foods.
That being said, on a vegan diet, there are a handful that I would recommend.
Any decent book recommendations on movement?
There are quite a few movement podcasts that have really inspired me.
I also recommend checking out:
- Body Mind Mastery: Creating Success in Sports and Life – Dan Millman
- Finding Ultra – Rich Roll
- Eat and Run – Scott Jurek
If you wanna join thousands of other readers and discover more about how to:
- Eat a healthy, whole-food, nutrient-dense, plant based diet and make delicious recipes.
- Move freely, correct your postural imbalances, achieve a healthy weight and accomplish your fitness goals.
- Live mindfully and authentically, follow your dreams, and create lasting healthy habits.
- Exist sustainably and simply, and reduce your impact on the planet.
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