9 Principles To Help You Move Naturally
Natural movement principles were developed by the late Dr. Ida Rolf, who is considered one of the founders of modern day movement science. She believed that to heal the body, you must respect its ability to naturally move, and her work has transformed the lives of many athletes as well as non-athletes who wish to improve their movement quality and live pain-free lives. If you’re not sure what natural movement principles are or how they can help you, read on for more information!
Principle 1: Take care of your body
To move naturally, you have to first be physically fit. No amount of natural movement can make up for a person who isn’t fit. Get your body in shape through natural exercise methods such as running and calisthenics. Push-ups and pull-ups are a great way to tone and build your muscles without having to use heavy weights or specialized equipment—just body weight. Rounding out your workout with core exercises like crunches, leg raises, and planks will help you achieve that lean, toned look naturally. As a bonus side effect, strong muscles will help protect you from injury during movements like squatting or lunging! There is no substitute for fitness when it comes to natural human movement. Exercise regularly and get your heart pumping—you’ll see how much easier natural human movement becomes when you work out regularly.
Principle 2: Understand joint health
Healthy joints create healthy movement. Our joints—especially in our hips, shoulders and knees—must be properly aligned to allow us to move naturally. Joint alignment is key for pain-free movement. When you experience pain in your body or when you can’t perform an exercise properly, don’t just shrug it off and keep going; try to get a trained professional to help you figure out what’s going on with your body! One of those professionals could be a physical therapist or a chiropractor who will help pinpoint issues with your joint health that are preventing you from moving naturally. And by addressing these issues early on, they might even prevent bigger problems down the road.
Principle 3: Stay mobile
While studies have shown that a moderate level of fitness can improve quality of life for those in their 80s and 90s, we shouldn’t forget about staying mobile when we’re younger. This is one area where many Americans are lacking: According to researchers at Tufts University, over 56 percent of high school students do not get 30 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity five days per week. Getting moving is beneficial no matter your age or fitness level and doing so naturally—by developing a routine around natural movement patterns—will help you stay mobile as you age.
Principle 4: Train in an intelligent way
Training in an intelligent way means paying attention to how your body moves, and adjusting what you do accordingly. When we move mindlessly, our muscles may not be working as efficiently as they could. We can use our brain and nervous system to help move naturally and get more out of every movement that we make. Working smarter isn’t something that just happens when you’re at work or school; it also applies to moving around with purpose each day!
Principle 5: Move around your environment frequently throughout the day
It’s important to get up and move around when you feel stagnant. If you’re sitting at a desk all day, there are a few things you can do to break up your routine: every hour or so, stand up and take a 5-minute walk; go into another room for a few minutes—maybe even find someone to talk with; go outside for some fresh air; or just do some stretches. Getting up from your desk will help keep your circulation going, which is important for brain function. Our brains need blood flow in order to work optimally—plus getting out of your chair offers a change of scenery and gets you out of that box you may have gotten into throughout the day.
Principle 6: Lift with good technique
How you lift something is just as important as how much you lift. When we understand how to move with proper alignment and natural movement patterns, we are able to safely perform more weight without injury or pain. If you have bad habits when it comes to lifting weights, read our guide on HOW TO LIFT HEAVY WITHOUT GETTING INJURED! Trust us, your back will thank you later!
Principle 7: Have fun moving your body around!
Do you know what humans have that other animals don’t? (Besides opposable thumbs, of course.) The gift of laughter. Not only is it good for your heart, but it’s good for your blood pressure, muscles and joints. Stand up and act like a crazy chicken or horse—do anything you want to as long as you are smiling! If you’re not having fun moving your body around, do something else until you find one that does. After all, there is no wrong way to move your body around… just make sure that movement feels natural and helps keep you healthy!
Principle 8: Stretch out at least once every 24 hours
Even if it’s for only 10 minutes, try to get out of your seat and take part in a form of natural human movement such as walking, stretching or practicing calisthenics. When you go for long periods without stretching or engaging in light exercise, tension builds up within your muscles and joints. Stretching helps you relieve that tension—and prevents aches and pains. In addition to helping with tightness, stretching can also help improve circulation, which can reduce pain caused by lack of blood flow to certain areas. If you’re an athlete or extremely active person who frequently gets injured, consider doing some form of light stretches every hour while at work just as way to protect yourself from injuries that may arise from being constantly stressed or fatigued.
Principle 9: Sleep well, it matters!
Getting a good night’s sleep is important for your health, mood, and performance. Recent research has shown that people who get less than 6 hours of sleep are two to three times more likely to suffer from depression. It is important to consistently get between 7-8 hours of sleep each night in order to avoid not only depression but also many physical problems. If you’re looking for some natural ways to help you fall asleep quickly or improve your overall quality of sleep, try these 9 principles