Society is becoming more closed off every day. You notice it standing in line at the grocery store, sitting in traffic, sitting at your desk, and sitting in a public place. Phones in hands, hunched over staring at screens using only thumbs. The phenomenon has no age boundaries either. People attempt to stand up and stretch, look over at someone else to talk, but it’s to painful for all that moving, so they sit right back down into the hunched position.
From the previous scenario, you may think I’m talking about our lack of social interaction and addiction to devices. Actually, I’m talking about the physical changes our bodies are going through and the pain to correct them back into an upright and anatomically correct position. The sedentary lifestyle of Western civilization affects our muscles and joints that prevents us from moving properly and without pain. Even though some people exercise, they exacerbate the muscle dysfunction and don’t see the results they desire. To move forward, similar to soccer, sometimes you have to move backward and correct the daily postural sins before great results happen for a healthier and more active lifestyle.
The normal daily grind for students and adults of all ages starts with sitting in the car or bus for long periods of time. A short walk to class or work, then more sitting for hours. Maybe there is a physical activity break to walk somewhere further than across the room, and more sitting till the end of the day. Back into the car or bus for another lengthy ride home, and straight inside to sit for homework and watching a device. All of this sitting leads to a forward head and tilt of the upper body, low back pain, inability to stand fully erect, and weakness in the joints below the waist. When attempts to exercise are made, poor form creates injury opportunities from muscles and joints not in proper alignment.
Working with a trainer or a fitness professional who is knowledgeable about corrective exercise has become essential now to avoid injuries and overcome the postural sins the daily grind brings. From a youth standpoint, the lack of true physical education and free play opportunities starts this viscous cycle in elementary school. The next generation of adults is already physically closed off before the age of 16. Unfortunately, few school leaders and PE teachers take the time to invest and teach proper movement techniques to your kids. In addition to physically moving and feeling better, children have less behavioral issues and score higher on achievement tests when they move properly and multiple times throughout the day.
As a natural decline in the human aging process, people do “shrink” from loss of muscle and bone strength. Typically, older adults also reduce their daily physical activity which speeds up the shrinking process. It is work, yes, and the aging process can be slowed down with proper instruction on movement techniques for agility, balance, and coordination. The brain has the ability to rewire itself through neuroplasticity when taught properly by a fitness professional, or using a program specifically designed by professionals for older adults to relearn these lost skills.
Corrective exercise is for everyone. It is a process, not a one and done activity. Even as a personal trainer for over 10 years and being physically active my whole life, I do daily corrective exercises as a warmup to my intense lifting sessions. We are all athletes in the game of life, not just in a sport. Bending, lifting, carrying, squatting, pushing, and pulling are all daily occurrences. The better we prepare ourselves for them, the easier they are, and more time is spent enjoying the fruits of your labor. As a personal trainer and studying to be a Corrective Exercise Specialist, I highly recommend Movement Academy’s Active Aging Program and Youth Movement Skills PE Program. The program takes older adults and students through corrective movements to help them improve their bodies and brains for life’s stresses and activity. No other program I have seen can do both functions. Invest in yourself to learn and relearn proper techniques for movement. I promise you; it is worth the time and money to do so.