Biomechanist Katy Bowman says that natural movement is much more important than working out. In her book called Move Your DNA, Bowman says our sedentary lives are a problem and simply working out at the gym isn’t as fruitful as simply integrating natural movement into our lives. We don’t need to go to the gym to get our bodies in tip-top condition, Bowman says — we need to focus on getting more and different kinds of movement throughout the day.
According to a report in ABC News, while sitting may be the new smoking, Bowman does not suggest standing all day instead either. Katy says that natural movement is much more important. Katy does suggest sitting sometimes, but not necessarily in a chair. On Bowman’s blog, she teaches people how to squat and choose different resting positions that are more similar to our primate cousins’ resting positions. Bowman suggests people also sit directly on the floor and feel the different kind of work our bodies have to do, according to ABC News.
Katy says that diversifying the movements in our hands and feet and the textures they are exposed to is even critical to good health.
“I rarely walk past something I can hang on without hanging on it.”
It may seem like Bowman is just monkeying around, but Katy claims that “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link,” and that you’ve “got to strengthen all of you.”
Katy climbs trees and walks on rough terrain. She calls calloused skin an “area of strength,” and says that “just because you have a few strong areas does not mean that you are strong all over.” Katy says you have to walk up hill and down hill sometimes. Non-skeletal muscles need exercise too, she says. According to ABC, Bowman even chose not to use a stroller when her kids were little.
“We opted for no strollers, so we’ve carried our kids the bulk of the time, which allows them to use a lot more muscle early on. They started walking sooner than what is average. And now they can walk with us two to three miles at a time.”
Bowman walks barefoot and says we should all walk barefoot more often. She’s written a new book called Whole Body Barefoot: Transitioning Well to Minimal Footwear! and she’s accepting pre-orders for that now.
Ladies, Katy even talked about breast health and our DNA in a past episode of Katy Says.
Bowman says that we’re not even sleeping to suit our DNA. She suggests we move our mattresses out of the house eventually and sleep on the floor. She gives pointers on how to make the transition. Katy also points out examples of instinctive sleep positions (found in the the medical journal BMJ) that can help us restore movement in our bodies and naturally align our spines the way other primates do.
Though on social media, people who hate working out at the gym are celebrating her theories, Katy says that natural movement is actually a better workout for your entire body and will result in even greater overall strength. In Move Your DNA, Katy Bowman explains the science behind the human need for natural movement and explains why it’s crucial for becoming “healthy, reflex driven” people.
[Photo via Katy Bowman on Facebook]