Kinesiology is defined as the study of the mechanics of body movements – basically, how the human body moves throughout its environment. Rather than get hung up on the study of movement, let’s focus on the movements themselves. The human body is capable of more movements than the mind can even fathom.
We can walk, skip, bound, run, jump, shuffle, squat, lift, push, pull, carry, drag, climb, hold, and crawl – that’s just off the top of my head! The capacity of the human body is astounding; just consider every movement you make throughout the day. It’s truly amazing what we’re capable of and, yet, so many people choose to move as little as possible. To go about their days using only a fraction of their body’s potential. Let’s take a closer look at why, exactly, you should learn to move more every day.
The Benefits of Kinesiology
What’s the importance of movement? Well, for starters, that’s what our bodies were made to do. Think about it, how long do you think the human race would’ve lasted had we not moved? Our ancestors had to move for everything – water, food, shelter, survival. Now we move only when we want to, not because we have to.
More movement will give you better health. Moving everyday will help you take control of your weight; reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers; strengthen your bones and muscles; make you happier and less prone to mental health issues; help you to lead a long, healthy independent life. Yes, all of that from moving more every day.
Notice, I’m not talking about exercise here. While exercise is good and dandy, too many people get hung up on it. For some reason, when we talk about physical activity or movement, there’s an automatic assumption that we’re talking about exercise — not true. Even if you work out religiously, what you do with the rest of your day has a huge impact on your health. Someone who exercises seven days a week and spends the rest of her time lounging around isn’t going to have the same health benefits as someone who may only “exercise” a few times per week but is active the majority of every day.
Weight Loss and Fat Burning Potential
Adding more movement to your day can go a long way to fuel your weight loss efforts. The extra movement requires extra energy (calories), which your body has to get from somewhere (stored fat). To put it simply, the more you move throughout the day, the higher your metabolic rate will be throughout the day. Walking more often, taking the stairs, sitting on the floor vs a chair, taking stretch breaks throughout the day, walking or biking to go to work or run errands – these are all small changes that can make a big impact on your caloric output and on your waistline.
Toning and Muscle Building Potential
We’ve all heard the term “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” When it comes to the skeletal and muscular system, this statement could not be truer. The only way to build, or even maintain, bone density and muscle strength is to use those tissues on a regular basis. Moving more throughout your day will require your muscle to work when they would otherwise remain sedentary and, ultimately, atrophy. Less muscle mass means your body composition will change and you’ll have a higher body fat percentage, even if you’re not overweight.
Using your muscles every day will help maintain optimal levels of lean muscle mass and keep your metabolism working on all cylinders. More movement will not necessarily have you looking like a Crossfitter, but it will definitely get you and keep you looking physically fit.
Classes: What to expect; should I take them?
Surprisingly enough, there are movement classes — because, as a species, we humans have basically forgotten how to move. Sure, walking, hiking and running are natural and great, but what about all of the other ways we are capable of moving?
If you’re looking for something new or are just in need of a little inspiration, you should totally check out a class. A movement class will teach you how to move, not just with your arms and legs but with your whole body. You’ll learn how to crawl, walk on all fours, and move in ways you have probably never moved before.
You can expect to be challenged during the class and, very likely, sore the next day (or two). But you can also expect to have a good time and meet some like-minded people.
Here are a few great class resources we recommend for online or in-person movement training:
Instructional Kinesiology Videos and Tips
Whether you’re looking to moving more every day or applicable suggestions for movement, here are a few videos to get you going in the right direction.
One simple tip to keep in mind when attempting to add more movement to your day: avoid the luxuries of technology and modern life.
For example, rather than pushing a button on your car key to remote start your vehicle, walk out and do it yourself. Instead of buying a bag of shelled nuts, remove the shells yourself. Rather than sitting on that beautiful comfy sofa you had to have, sit on the floor during your Netflix binges – a hard floor will keep you moving and adjusting, unlike the sofa that offers complete support and comfort.
These simple steps can completely change how much you move while also improving your health and quality of life.
Clothes and Proper Attire
If you’re simply adding more movement to your day, go ahead and wear whatever you usually do. You may, however, want to switch to comfier shoes if you’re planning on upping your walking mileage.
Taking a movement class will require comfortable clothes you can move freely in. Opt for workout leggings or shorts for bottoms and tank top or t-shirt for a top. Bare feet are the only way you can move freely and ensure all of those feet muscles are getting sufficient movement as well.