I am on holiday, in Devon. We are having a heatwave (August 22 in case you read this at a different time). It is too hot for some and the gardens are suffering and risk of fires are certainly a downside. But the warm gorgeous mornings and evenings, the shooting stars, stunning sunsets, warm sea and long lovely days make us feel like we are in the med.
My family and I are at the beach every day, up early and in the sea by 8am, no wetsuits, just lots of sun cream and swim wear. The sky is blue, the clouds are few and far between, the sea is warm and inviting and I haven’t once been cold.
So back to the title, functional movement… holidays for me always involve work - always thinking about bodies, studying them, watching, time to read, think, move differently and do. But the beach is about lugging kit, putting up wind breakers and beach tents, pumping up dinghies and paddleboards, digging in the sand. Talking of sand, it is hard to walk on isn’t it, how many times have you been puffed out walking on sand? I know I have countless times. Actually sand and I have a love / hate relationship but that is another story.
My point is that the beach can be quite hard work.
Watching the walks, the postures, the different body shapes and know that the majority of people have niggles and live in some sort of pain ranging from mild to chronic. I wonder how many of these people move and train their bodies to move functionally weekly or daily. My job is mainly working to help people move better, build strength and flexibility to move better, build the confidence to move better. You got it - to move better.
Today I packed the car, pumped up paddle boards, carried heavy stuff to the beach, walked on slippery sand dunes, paddle boarded against waves and the tide for several hours, climbing on and off the board jumping in, carried wet heavy swim wear and washed it all out, wrestled to get 2 paddleboards back up the sliding sand dunes and on the roof rack. What is my point in telling you this? ALL of this required functional movement and strength. The ability to have stability in my core and glutes while on an uneven surface, the strength in my upper body to lift and carry, strength in my core, glutes, legs, back and arms to pump the paddle boards up. The power in my whole body to avoid bad movements leading to pain or even injury.
YES this is why we build strength and movement safety. Yes this is why we keep moving and mobile. YES this is why we need to do resistance training. YES this is why we need functional strength. YES this is why I love my job as I know I make a difference so others can live life well.
If you know me or are one of my clients, you know that YOU can achieve good habits, good movement, an appropriate level of strength relevant to your age that will keep you functional, keep you (or even better improve you) to be able to keep mobile and reduce the likelihood of being sedentary due to reduced muscle tone and mobility.
Paddleboarding may not be your thing, it could be gardening, cycling, walking, tennis or golf. So take a moment to analyse how your body could move and function better.
Pilates, Yoga, Weight training and Breathwork are all ways to live a better life.