The Importance of Form for Functional Movement and Whole-Body Health
Posted Apr 06 2012 12:31am
Are your daily habits helping or hurting your body? Do you want to feel great and can’t figure out why you don’t? Is form and functional movement something that you focus on during your workouts and daily-life activities?
I hate to admit that I’ve been chronically sick most of my life! Always active – thank goodness… Can’t imagine what shape I’d be in right now if exercise wasn’t a daily part of my routine. But nonetheless, congenital lower back problems, and a seemingly endless list of chronic pain & injuries have had me always striving to feel better. I suppose the good news is that rather than throwing my hands in the air and giving up – I’ve always kept a positive attitude and held the belief that if I could just do the right things, I’ll feel better!
Well after 47 years with moments of success, and moments of failure, I’m finally starting to feel like all my efforts, hard work, and dedication to the cause of health improvement are paying off! What’s the biggest difference? I think it’s the right combination of things coming together at the right time for success to be really noticeable! And every moment of success is a moment of encouragement to keep up my efforts and continue reaping the rewards for improved whole-body health.
I believe that our body was designed for optimal form and function. The problem is that we treat it so poorly that rather that working a peak efficiency, we struggle and spend most of our time running at a third or less of what we’re capable of. Kind of like a car engine trying to go on three cylinders instead of six or eight. If everything is firing well, we’ve got more power, speed, stamina and can go farther, faster with less effort.
This same principle goes for the work we do with our body! For functional movement, the more correct and efficient our form is, the more correctly the muscles can fire to move us around for exercise and daily life activities.
From an organ functioning standpoint, if our posture is poor, the organs are squished and out of place. Without the space in our body to be in the correct position – our organ function will be less than optimal. Good posture has our muscles functioning not only to provide us with efficient functional movement, but good muscle function also helps support good posture, which in turn supports good organ function.
Think about this… the heart is a pump it goes non-stop from conception to death. Good thing our heart muscle is strong, if it gets weak what happens? Heart attack, stroke, aneurism, death. What keeps our heart healthy? Eating good foods, and exercise!
Now what about the intestines? These are the tubes that are the vehicles for the food we eat to be utilized in the body. They take what goes in one end, move it through our system, and sends what we don’t need out the other end! Our intestines are not muscular, they are hollow tubes. So what helps push (pump) food through our system? The action of the diaphragm working when we breathe correctly pumping up & down from the top, and the contraction of the abdominal muscles pulling up, in, and back from underneath. If our breathing is inefficient, the diaphragm muscle/pump is not working well. If the core muscles are weak, the guts end up spilling out over your belt, so not only do you experience lower back pain, but the food you eat gets stuck in your system! Think about this… (The intestines are being held outside the shell of your structure, rather than inside the body) Do you really think your digestive system has a shot at processing nutrients and eliminating waste?
So What’s My Point?
Good form and functional movement isn’t just for what’s happening to develop strength and flexibility for your muscles. It’s about developing good function for every system in your body: Circulatory, Digestive, Endocrine, Immune, Lymphatic, Muscular, Nervous, Reproductive, Respiratory, Skeletal, and Urinary.
Do you really think that any of these systems can function optimally if any one system is out of balance?
Nothing is in balance if any small piece of the equation is not functioning optimally!
Nothing to be sad or distressed about, but awareness is key. We all know that we are what we eat. The foods we are nourishing our bodies with will affect performance.
If you are struggling with anything for health and wellness it may be time for a tune-up.
Assess How You’re Feeling:
What’s your energy level like?
Do you struggle with depression?
How are your eating habits?
What is your posture like?
How active are you?
How much sleep/rest do you get?
How’s your stress level?
How happy are you?
Any chronic medical issues?
Any chronic muscular issues/injuries/pain?
Are there any of your body systems that aren’t functioning optimally?
Become aware of your body, your choices, and then decide… How Important Is Your Health?
Do you want to feel great and enjoy improved form and function?
YOU are in charge of the results you are getting for health improvement! It may be time to evaluate your life, habits, and lifestyle choices to see if what you are doing is really serving you to meet your needs for enjoying optimal functional movement and whole-body health. Start becoming more aware of your daily habits, then be pro-active to make changes to improve your health. It doesn’t matter where you’re at today, what matters is that you stay positive, and take steps in the right direction to find balance for ALL your body systems to be healthy!
Good Form and Functional Movement starts with GREAT Posture. Check out the what discovering can do for you!