Monthly Archive: September 2014

Connect with the Ground to Live Longer

Want to know what makes many people old before their time?

They worry too much about acting “civilized”.

Recently, I took at trip to beautiful Nova Scotia. Everywhere I stopped, there were people — sitting on chairs, walking and talking — all perfectly acceptable behaviours. I spent some of my time acting a bit more childish, scrambling over rocks, rolling down a hill, walking on all fours, even climbing a tree. People may have thought I was a bit crazy, but in fact I was acting in a perfectly humanized fashion.

Why connect with the ground and crawl around on all fours? Well, many adults seem to lose their basic connection with the ground, and the older we get the less and less time we engage the floor. In contrast, children spent a lot of time on the floor — they lie down, they squat, they roll around and play. And when it comes time to stand, they can get up with ease.

How easy can you get up and down off the floor?

Being able to get up and down off the floor with ease is one of the key markers of longevity — so it’s important to practice. So called “animal walks” are great too, as they get us to connect with the ground on all fours and crawl much like we did when we were babies.

Bear walks, crab walks, dragon walks (or spiderman pushups) and even duck walks are great drills to practice. Use them in between sets of other exercises or work on them as skills on their own.

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How to Survive Long Road Trips

Road TripThis long Labour Day weekend, I drove from Toronto to Halifax,  a distance of about 1800km or 1100 miles. I did it in one go,  stopping only to eat, get some much needed coffee, and to take a few mini-naps.

Long road trips like this are tough on the body AND the mind. But I’ve learned a few things over the years…

Try to incorporate some of the following on your next road trip:

    i) Stop frequently and do some joint mobility. Getting out of the car, even for 5 minutes, and doing some arm and leg swings, hip circles, neck rolls, squats and cobras keeps you mobile, gets the blood flowing and increased circulation of synovial fluid (the stuff that literally lubricates your joints).

    ii) Avoid the fast-food rest stops. It’s easy to get off the highway, refuel and grab a quick bite at designated rest stops, but you’ll be limited to corporate-controlled fast-food options. It doesn’t take much longer to exit the highway, go into a small town and find an independent restaurant, coffee shop or grocery store. On my recent trip, I came across a mom-and-pop operation that served an excellent local grilled haddock with vegetables. Supermarkets are great too – for rotisserie chicken, pre-packaged vegetables, fruit and bags of nuts.

    iii) Think outside of the box. Instead of just getting more coffee to stay awake, I found a mountain-fed river off the highway. Knowing I had a towel nearby, I changed into some shorts and jumped in. It was early morning and there was nobody about. The water was FREEZING but it felt so good, and I was rejuvenated and refreshed.

    iv) Find a place to get in 10 minutes of non-stop natural movement. Parks, picnic areas and playgrounds are perfect destinations for natural movement training. Build a simple combination of 4-5 moves and rotate through them. Work at low intensity, but try to keep moving. On my recent trip to Nova Scotia, I combined a few jumps with some crawling, simple vaulting, rock pressing, deadlifting and balancing.

Sitting for hours at a time is a killer. Stopping every now and then will save you!

Check out the video of my movement combo in Nova Scotia. I repeated this combination for 15 minutes in total.

This long Labour Day weekend, I drove from Toronto to Halifax,  a distance of about 1800km or 1100 miles. I did it in one go,  stopping only to eat, get some much needed coffee, and to take a few mini-naps.

Long trips like this are tough on the body AND the mind. But I’ve learned a few things over the years…

Try to incorporate some of the following on your next road trip:

    i) Stop frequently and do some joint mobility. Getting out of the car, even for 5 minutes, and doing some arm and leg swings, hip circles, neck rolls, squats and cobras keeps you mobile, gets the blood flowing and increased circulation of synovial fluid (the stuff that literally lubricates your joints).

    ii) Avoid the fast-food rest stops. It’s easy to get off the highway, refuel and grab a quick bite at designated rest stops, but you’ll be limited to corporate-controlled fast-food options. It doesn’t take much longer to exit the highway, go into a small town and find an independent restaurant, coffee shop or grocery store. On my recent trip, I came across a mom-and-pop operation that served an excellent local grilled haddock with vegetables. Supermarkets are great too – for rotisserie chicken, pre-packaged vegetables, fruit and bags of nuts.

    iii) Think outside of the box. Instead of just getting more coffee to stay awake, I found a mountain-fed river off the highway. Knowing I had a towel nearby, I changed into some shorts and jumped in. It was early morning and there was nobody about. The water was FREEZING but it felt so good, and I was rejuvenated and refreshed.

    iv) Find a place to get in 10 minutes of non-stop natural movement. Parks, picnic areas and playgrounds are perfect destinations for natural movement training. Build a simple combination of 4-5 moves and rotate through them. Work at low intensity, but try to keep moving. On my recent trip to Nova Scotia, I combined a few jumps with some crawling, simple vaulting, rock pressing, deadlifting and balancing.

Sitting for hours at a time is a killer. Stopping every now and then will save you!

Check out the video of my movement combo in Nova Scotia.

 

 

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