Let’s go back to basics. Waaaay back. We’re talking about a time when our ancestors didn’t spend the office day slumped over a desk, they didn’t retire to the sofa on evenings and they certainly weren’t driving to the local shop for milk.
Our primal relatives, cavemen and women, didn’t even think about exercise. Exercise was life. Every single day required natural physical movement in order to gather food and water, build homes and simply survive.
We may no longer be sprinting from sabre-toothed tigers, but we’re all still completely capable of these four functional movements. Practice them every day and you’ll slowly reverse the effects of seditionary modern life, building strength, stamina and agility.
The simplest of super-moves, squatting is one of the best exercises for your lower body. It builds strength, mobility and can be directly applied to our daily movements. Whether you’re getting low to reach something from the bottom shelf or squatting down to tie your shoelaces, life is easier when you can squat. But as we get older and less active, squats become harder. Practice this natural movement daily, eventually working your way down to a deep squat (as long as it doesn’t give you any pain).
You might not think of breathing as exercise, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t do it right. Proper optimal breathing requires practice, just like learning to do a handstand would. It’s easy to rush through the day taking shallow breaths, but slowing down and breathing into your belly and back can do wonders for your physical and mental health. You’ll move more efficiently, improve your posture and be able to tackle that tough day at work more easily. Whether you’re stretching or strength training, sitting at your desk or relaxing in the bath, these breathing techniques fundamental to health and fitness.
The benefits of walking are no revelation. Hippocrates told us that ‘walking is a man’s best medicine’ over 2,000 years ago: he’s yet to be proven wrong. Just like breathing, you don’t need us to tell you how to walk – it’s a basic human skill. What you do need to know is that you should be dedicated 150 minutes to brisk walking every week. It doesn’t need to be life-changing: simply getting off the bus a stop earlier or taking the stairs instead of the lift can boost your step-count and improve health and fitness.
There are plenty of ways to make your daily walk more interesting: jump over logs, balance on rocks, carry something with you, or feel like a kid again by trying not to avoid any cracks in the pavement. Bringing play and exploration into your routine will improve natural movement and you’ll be amazed by how much joy it can bring into your fitness regime.
Can you easily shift your body weight from the floor, lifting a toy, without using your hands? Toddlers can. There’s also nothing quite like a heavy shopping trip to show you how much your body can really ache. But lifting objects from the floor and carrying groceries home should be activities that require no thought or skill – they should be completely unchallenging movements. The key is to use proper technique every time you lift. It’s easy to mindlessly bend over and swoop something up – but practising your positioning and breathing, timing and tension daily will strengthen your body and make lifting easier over time.
Our clubs are designed for natural movement. From our kinesis lounge to our playground, each of our fitness zones gives you the power of progressive functional training. Take a look at the cutting-edge equipment you can expect from our clubs and try an EVO club close to you for free.