Your body is a Super-Adapter! Say what?! Your body has evolved to become brilliant at adapting to what you need it to do. What you do every day shapes your body. So if you need your body to climb rock faces for 8 hours a day, it will adapt to become good at climbing rock faces. Equally, if you require your body to sit for 8 hours a day, it will adapt to become very good at sitting.
The ‘problem’ can arise when you suddenly ask your body to do something else, a different movement, one that it isn’t used to and hasn’t adapted to, we do something different and find that our body ‘grumbles’. That grumble might be felt as a sprain or a muscle pull, a tightness, or just an ‘uuumph’ noise when you bend down to pick something up! As a super-adapter your body doesn’t want to do movements that it’s not regularly required to do.
So what can you do? Your body likes VARIETY of movement. Lots of different movement patterns will give your body the ability to respond and react well to changes in its environment. There aren’t ‘good’ or ‘bad’ movements or ‘good’ or ‘bad’ postures. Even sitting, for all the bad rep it gets, isn’t a ‘bad’ posture. The problem is too much of the SAME movement or posture. Remember, your body wants variety of movement.
Your weekly Pilates or Yoga class is a great start, it will help you develop an understanding of your body, explore your range of movement in a safe way, let you explore techniques to keep your joints mobile, and will give you a solid foundation to work from during your daily activity. However, sadly this 45 minute class once a week is probably not going to be enough to help your Super-Adapted body to discover new movement options!
Think little and often. It’s up to you to bring more variety into your movement patterns each day. Think about your shoulder and hip joints, how many different positions do you put these joints into every day? Could you add more variety to your movement? Walk more, stand more, sit on the floor more. Something as simple as sitting on the floor more could make a huge difference. Could you try sitting on the floor instead of on the sofa for the first 10 minutes of your next TV marathon? There are lots of different seated positions you could try. Could you work at your computer in any seated positions other than ‘normal’? Could you place the computer on a low table and work from a seated or kneeling position for a while? Get creative; explore how you could sit in a way that requires your spine to take on a different shape, change the angle of your shoulder or hip joints. Remember, your body will thank you for variety, so keep changing the positions you put your skeleton in as often as you can.
Just keep moving!