I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t perform some kind of regular maintenance on their car. The condition of the car will almost always be directly proportional to how much work is spent on detailing, tune-ups, or general upkeep. Avoiding regular preventative maintenance inevitably leads to very costly breakdowns that put your vehicle out of commission for an extended period of time. Our bodies need the same maintenance in order to avoid “costly breakdowns” and are built to last millions of duty cycles, and yet very few of us spent even as little as five minutes a day working on ourselves. THIS IS CRAZY! Here are 2 simple ways to start taking charge of your body.
1. Move every joint through it’s full range of motion everyday!
- Use it or lose it! To maintain functional movement we need to send a signal to our brain that the range of motion we are using is necessary for our survival.
- Think about all the major joints of your body starting from the top and working your way down (Neck / Shoulders / Elbows / Wrists / Spine / Hips / Knees / Ankles)
- Starting with the neck, move through several circles in each direction then move on to the next joint.
- Never force a position that doesn’t come naturally! This practice is about getting the blood flowing and helping to maintain what you currently have.
- This whole sequence can be performed in less than 5 minutes. Do it first thing in the morning every single day!
2. Mobilize based on your movement
- Identifying areas that need work is as simple as asking 1 question…What movements do I struggle with? Overhead squat? Shoulder Press? Deadlifts? Handstands?
- After identifying the movement pattern that needs work, spend time in the position of restriction. Struggle with deep squats? Spend more time squatting to a safe, challenging range and work the joints involved in the movement (hips / ankles).
- Spend a minimum of 2 minutes of dedicated work on each movement and have a standard that can be measured. This often requires a mirror or video to get a real sense of progress and change.
- Mobilize EVERY DAY and keep working a movement until the desired position is achieved! This may take months of hard work but once the position is achieved it is easy to keep up with tip #1.
Chiropractors, physical therapists, and message therapists offer additional resources and services that can be an incredible addition to your routine, but ultimately YOU are responsible for the everyday condition of your “vehicle.” Don’t wait for a breakdown to start working towards better movement and more pain-free living!