What is Variety of Movement?
A healthy lifestyle needs variety, especially in body movement. We function best with a rhythm of working/resting/changing what we’re doing. Sitting is the new smoking, too much standing can be harmful and so on.
Why is body movement important at all?
Movement affects everything and every process in the body:
- Maintains circulation of fluids, supplies nutrition to cells, removes waste products
- Supports healthy respiratory exchange of oxygen and CO2
- Staves off hypertension, obesity, and high cholesterol
- Lubricates our joints and connective tissues for gait, posture and lifelong independence
- Supports plasticity and wellness of the central and perineurial nervous systems
In addition to all these vital issues, movement, especially systematic variety of movement, supports a responsive, coordinated body ready to move on demand.
A change is as good as a rest
Most of us have no idea how our bodies work — that we are living systems that are always in process. They thrive on change, diversity, and variation in all aspects of life including exercise. The body that is continuously restricted to do only one thing will break down. Computer keyboarding led to Repetitive Strain Injury, a rare event with the use of typewriters. Sitting too much is thought to stress the spine and hip joints. Musicians and athletes who practice asymmetrical skills without whole-body variation often develop one-sided problems.
The body thrives on contrast. I stand at my computer so my favourite contrasting activity is lying on the floor. The tonic muscles of my back and legs have had a break from the sameness of standing. Look away from the screen, into the distance, take a soft, full breath in and then out. Notice the difference. Did your shoulders drop, your eyes relax? You had a change and a rest. Diversity in movement can be had by changing our activity.
What is the best way to vary movement?
My 3-D Workout program emphasizes moving in the big space around the body. 3-D’ers practice an array of sequences in which the plane of the movement changes from one sequence to another. In this way the joints get lubricated but not stressed or abused. Watch our video series, Moving in Three Dimensions to learn more about the planes, starting with the Sagittal Plane.
Movement can be varied in many other ways such as by changing the activity (as in circuit training or intervals) or by changing the way the same task is performed. Even a small shift provides rest and recuperation for the involved tissues. A change in breathing reduces stress and tension. Changing how we bear weight refreshes our grounding and stability. Expanding the body as in a big stretching action eases the sensation of tightness.
What kind of whole-body movement?
We’re told to get more exercise but seldom told what or how. Since our modern lives do not require much conscious intention to get us from A to B, we need programs to guide us. 3-D Workout is a systematic, whole-body program designed to provide variety of movement and whole-body strength for a lifetime. For 10 to 15 minutes a few times a week, it brings you back to centre and sets you up for every skill you use.