Happy New Year! So here we are in January again. At this time of year many people are thinking enthusiastically about their new years resolutions. They’re all motivated and excited to be taking up new hobbies, learning new languages, starting new diets and embarking on new exercise regimes!
Maybe you are one of these people. Resolutions to get fit, or ‘in shape’, or to be more active in general, are very, very common. And intending to get fitter, or stronger, or healthier, or leaner, are of course, great resolutions. But there’s often one glaring problem.
All of these resolutions will require you TO MOVE.
So, your current level of ability to move well is going to be possibly the biggest factor in your success or failure with your new activity or exercise regime.
For example, what if you are already living with chronic muscle pain? How do you plan to begin a new exercise regime or activity, if you are already in pain?
Or what if you don’t necessarily have pain but your body feels stiff and tight, and moving quickly or fluidly seems like a pipe dream?
And what if you try a new activity, or sport and it makes your existing pain worse? Nothing will sap your motivation faster than that.
You may think, “This year will be different, I’ll push through it”. But the reality is many a well-intentioned New Years resolution came to a screeching halt because of injury, pain or just the discomfort of moving in ways that were new and/or unfamiliar.
The above are all reasons why so many people end up making the exact same exercise and health based resolutions every year and make no real progress. Instead, by the first week of February their new years resolutions are shelved for another year. And 12 months later their ability to move is even poorer that it was before, and so another failed resolution the following is almost assured.
How can you break this cycle??
Well in order to start and then maintain a regular exercise regime you need to be able to move well first!
If you go from doing little to no activity, to exerting yourself intensely without being able to move well, there’s a very good chance you will end up getting hurt or injured.
Elite athletes, who do nothing but, train, eat and sleep, need to build back up to competition after injury, or a short time out of their sport. What makes you think you can go back to the gym or field after possibly years of inactivity and not hit some hiccups?
If you want to give yourself the best chance of starting and keeping up a new exercise routine without getting hurt or injured, you need to ensure you can move as freely and easily as possible. To move more freely and easily, you need to improve your Sensory Awareness and your Motor Control.
Your sensory awareness is your ability to sense your muscles, and therefore your self.
You motor control is your ability to control your muscles, and therefore your self.
If you can sense yourself well and move yourself well, learning a new activity, sport or exercise routine will be much easier, and perhaps more importantly much more fun! Particularly if you have good control of your spine and trunk and can move your centre freely and easily.
Because these gross movements of the spine and trunk are fundamental to ALL other movements.
All movement begins at the spine and trunk. From the centre out to the periphery If your spine and trunk can flex, extend, side bend and rotate freely, you will be in a good place to start any new activity that takes your fancy.
On the flip side if you cannot do those simple and fundamental movements freely and easily, then you can pretty much forget about doing any movements that are remotely complex. If your spine and trunk cannot flex, extend, side bend and rotate, new sports or activities will be far more difficult to learn and to perform. And definitely less enjoyable!
Running, weight training, dancing, tennis, golf, rock climbing, martial arts… you name it. They all require a basic level of movement competency to begin with. When you can do these gross movements;
- taking up any new activity will be much easier,
- you will be less likely to get injured,
- you will be able to practice your new activity more,
- with more frequent practice your progress will be quicker,
- when your progress is quicker you will be more motivated to continue
- and suddenly you will have built a new exercise or hobby in to your routine and it won’t be another failed new years resolution
Win, win all round!
And that’s where learning Somatic movements comes in. Somatic movements are all about learning how to sense and move the spine and trunk more freely and easily. Increasing sensory awareness, improving motor control, and relearning, maintaining and refining all these fundamental movement patterns.
They’re also easy to learn and actually feel good to practice. And they offer a lot more than just improved movement too. They are great for stress management and relaxation and they’ll even help you sleep better.
You see moving well, and sleeping well, and being relaxed are all basically the same thing! If your muscles are relaxed its easy to move and its easy to sleep. And if your muscles are relaxed, well then by definition you are not stressed. You can’t be stressed and relaxed at the same time, right?
So why not make Learning Somatics one of your new years resolutions?
You can literally start right now. In less than 6 minutes you can learn how to move your lower back more freely and comfortably using the video below Wouldn’t it be nice to start your new exercise regime with a comfortable back? Well you can!
Make 2021 the year you Learn Somatics and actually enjoy your new years health resolutions!
You can find all the basic Somatic Movements plus many more on my YouTube Channel. But if you’d like some 1:1 help to accelerate your learning and develop a regular Somatic Movement routine, get in touch with me. I’d love to help you move better and feel better in 2021.