Your Body Is Your Vehicle
Jul 05, 2019
Have you every taken a moment to reflect on your whereabouts during the day - how you got from one place to another, what you were thinking and doing at the time, how you felt?
Here's an example: My alarm goes off at 4:00 am. I am laying on my side usually. I will roll to shut off my alarm then I use my elbow/arm to push against my bed to help push me into the sitting position off the side of my bed. I use my thumb and index finger to turn on my lamp then I stagger to the bathroom. I sit down and consciously breath to void so that I don't "push pee." After I wash my hands, I walk back to my bedroom and begin making my bed. I am aware of the shifting of my body as I pull/tuck in the sheets and replace the heavy comforter onto my bed. I make 2-3 trips to the other side so that I don't strain myself trying to place my sheets - because I usually have to fix it anyways. As I do this, I am aware that if I don't think about it, I will hold my breath when I pick up my mattress to tuck my sheets in and throw my comforter on the bed...
How do you perform the activities in your daily life? By activities of daily life, I am referring to getting in and out of bed, in and out of your car, how do you put a shirt on and off, how you hold your rib cage when your arms reach up to the top shelf in your closet, and how you put in/take out the car seat. How do pick up your toddler each time? Do you always carry your toddler on the same side?
Consider this: You have a vehicle. This vehicle requires regular maintenance including but not limited to tire rotations, oil changes, air filter changes, fluid checks, brake pads, battery replacement, spark plug replacement, etc... If you fail to keep up with regular maintenance, the car becomes less efficient at best -- parts fail at worst. If your car fails, you can get a new one. Imagine your body as your "life vehicle." It allows you to get from one place to another. It allows you to experience the world. Similar to a car, it needs regular care and careful maintenance. The difference here is you only get one.
When you start to have pain and discomfort - unless it was a traumatic incident, your healing process begins in developing an internal awareness of what you are doing when you're not paying attention. This may or may not include what you are doing at the gym. If you are active and care about moving well - you likely are paying attention to your form while exercising. It is not uncommon for me to find that the athletes I treat place unnecessary wear and tear on their body everywhere but outside of their training environment.
Imagine the most important activities in your life besides work... The ones that bring you joy and meaning. For me - it is being around friends and family, CrossFit/exercise and hiking with my friends. When I am doing my work duties or cleaning my apartment - I am respectful to my body and utilize safe but variable movement to avoid "overusing" my shoulders to spare them for activities I know I use them more (such as overhead pressing). If you are a runner - pay attention to the way your sitting and/or driving. Avoid sitting in awkward hip positions that predispose certain muscles from getting tight - which may be affecting your freedom of movement when you run.
Thank you for taking the time to read. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please reach out to me. I'd love to hear from you.