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natural movement instead of the gym  RSS feed

 
Jocelyn Campbell
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So...this might be a bit of a "d'oh" to permies, but it was very compelling to me as I'm attempting to move more this year after an even more sedentary year than usual last year.

It's podcast #2 (from 2014) of Katy Says with Katy Bowman all about natural movement. You can find her podcast in your favorite app, or read the transcript here.


(Katy and her family from her website.)

At the end, she makes this comment that it sooo permaculture that I had to post this here:
"everyone thinks, “oh, I need to exercise more,” or “I need to eat better, but I need to spend time with my kids, so if I only have an hour and a half after work, I gotta drop my kids off, I have to find someone to watch them, which costs money, and I need to go exercise because it has to be this high intensity thing because I’m not moving the rest of the day, so I have to make up for it with this high intensity time.” "...we don’t understand that simply just going outside and walking with our family at a slower pace, for a longer period of time, over logs, through water, gets us everything. It doesn’t cost any money, you had time with your family, you got your health, you got to commune with nature, you got to transfer some electrons between the earth’s ground, you didn’t have to buy any packaging which means you didn’t have to go to a place that’s got electricity running, you’re not using electricity to get some exercise. You’re not getting onto a machine that costs the planet just so you can get your movement, because moving over the planet yourself powered by you is too foreign of a concept. Do you see what I mean? The solution to everything is just getting back to our fundamental basics, and then you can add this component of, “there’s all this food to be eating!” Once you start walking through nature, there’s all this food that can be gathered, which is a whole other show – on food foraging – it’s like, it solves so many problems and it solves the most problems for the least amount of time, which is the ultimate solution."

And then there is the part in the podcast about the orcas in captivity versus the wilds of the ocean.

And the part about eye muscles.

Thanks Katy.

As for me, my winter exercise has been snow shoveling. I've really enjoyed it, believe it or not! Or checking mouse traps in the cabins (it's an eighth of a mile walk to the loveshack one way). Or looking for sprouting in the berms as signs of spring, or getting the mail (another eighth of a mile? down then up a steep driveway). It's still not quite enough movement, but I'm trying to get away from the computer and out of the kitchen a bit more.

I know there are a gazillion ways homesteaders, and gardeners, and permies of all sorts get their movement and exercise. What are some of your favorites?


 
Amit Enventres
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Hi,
Yeah... Pretty well agree with some minor adjustments...I was VERY sedentary because of job and commute and small apartment. Then, even more because of a knee injury. It wasn't until I had a yard that I began to really heal. Digging, lifting, squatting, etc. I hate going to the gym, it never made me feel good, but gardening is addictively fun. I then got some physical therapy for the knee which helped a little, but complete healing came with tae kwan do. So, I have to say that normal yard work is okay, but historically humans did more than just walk around the yard: chase prey, climb trees, swim in currented water, etc. Though this hard exercise was not every day. A waxing and waning of adrenaline is probably healthy for humans. Like every few days or once a week.
 
Angelika Maier
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If you do excersise in a group or with a teacher that has more impact. But doing something at home is still good. If you know how to do yoga, even 10 minutes a day makes a huge difference on how flexible you are and how well you sleep. Working in the garden is not enough!
 
Kyle Neath
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I've never been one for gyms — they suck the motivation out of me. One thing that I've found a tremendous amount of enjoyment (and exercise) from the past few years are enjoying public lands. In the summer, I like to go to a new area I've never been to and wander around with my dog. Sometimes I'll bring my kayak and check out a lake I've never been to. Sometimes I'll go fly fishing. Sometimes it's a longer more planned outing like a multi-day hike with a group. During the winters, I've become a huge fan of snowshoeing (a serious workout). Some days I'll bring my powsurfing board along and get a few runs in. It doesn't take too many hikes up a snowy ridge to exercise every muscle in your body.

I think in general people undervalue our public lands. There they're for us and exist in every stage of infrastructure. I've been able to enjoy them with my Dad (in a wheelchair/walker) the same as I've been able to enjoy them with my super-athlete friends who seem to be able to sprint up mountains.

That being said... I'm pretty sure snowboarding & show-shoveling has been my no. 1 exercise this winter by far.
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Cleared the driveway today... again
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A recent snowshowing / powsurfing expedition
 
Travis Johnson
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I kind of agree with her, and I kind of don't.

I am a VERY active person, as a full-time farmer I log everyday and feed and tend sheep just as much, yet it is not enough. The charts say I am overweight at 195 pounds, as I should be 180 pounds, so its not much, but I am admittedly somewhat overweight. I burn enough calories, logging is intensely rigorous after all, and while I can climb, hike, trudge through snow, and piles of slash, if I was to run a 1/4 mile I would be out of breath. A gym (or heavy run) exercises the hear, and that is what I am really lacking, cardiovascular workouts. As much as I toil, I just do not get that.

My wife, she is active as well, and taking care of 4 daughters ages 3, 9,10 and 11; she is active, not to mention she works right along with me in the barn. She does not log, but is very active and the ideal weight. She also works out though, not in a gym, but at home. She is in better shape then I am in for sure.

But the aurthor is right, probably compared to most people with a normal job, family, etc, what she is proposing is better than what they typically do. Our family is a little different, we have been featured on "Discover the Forest" a few times, an outreach program with the US Forest Service in an effort to get families out into forests. Granted we have substantial acreage so we have some flexibility, but we have gone "geostoning" with the kids, that is I planted some geostones out in the woods, took a family hike, discovered them and had a picnic and it was a blast. We also built a fort out in the woods in the middle of winter, made a fire (because snow was on the ground), got some water from a nearby stream and made hot chocolate...all the while our 4th daughter was just an infant. And honestly there has just been numerous family hikes. Our goal is not just health though, it is to show our daughters that the land we have been so blessed with, can, and should be explored!!

So what I am saying is, I agree that families should get out more, but it is NOT going to give a person a healthy heart. I know this because my family lives out what she is proposing. It is better than a sedimentary lifestyle for sure, but admittedly I am lacking in cardiovascular exercising.

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tim rew
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Charts shmarts. That's probably 15 pounds of muscle you'd have to lose, if you are logging. Just play some tag with those kids, if you want an intense burn. I commute 10 miles a day by bike whenever possible, but then I sit at a desk. So I get cardio but no logging muscles. You're probably better off. All just my opinion, of course.
 
Tj Jefferson
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Travis, I quite recently was doing traditional exercise stuff maybe 2-3 times a week. I have access to a gym at work and some weights at home. This was basically Crossfit-style regimen, so very cardio intensive. Then I decided to do some fieldwork, and I am basically wiped after a day of it! When I get a week off I literally need a vacation from my vacation. I haven't done formal exercise for a year at this point. 

You are underestimating how much cardio you are doing more than likely. First, you are doing it all day, not for 45 minutes. Second, there is a benefit to doing functional strength instead of beach body. The BMI charts are a gross oversimplification. I am trying to find the study, but the US Special Forces did a study to find the most effective body fat level for a mix of long-term stamina, strength and occasional speed, and it was way higher than people expect. I want to say 15-20%. Spending 10 hours of your day lifting chains and moving slash out of your drag alley is way more effective than an elliptical machine and a class simulating functional movement, you are using big muscle groups and requiring support groups for balance and coordination. Your heart rate is probably getting to a good level for much of the day, and marathon runners live shorter lives than walkers. Check out this guy, he is a former professional triathlete, and now kind of a paleo guru. You get his workout for free buddy!

That being said, I do still practice core movement exercises because a sitting posture for any length of time is totally unnatural, and tractors and money jobs are loaded with it. I do tai chi, loop bands and squats every so often just to do penance for my sitting. And that is it! The expression "country strong" exists for a reason.
 
Travis Johnson
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I know in the old days loggers had to eat 4 meals a day because they burned so many calories, but while I have not given up my axe yet, the ole crosscut saw has been traded in for a chainsaw (and I probably will not return back).

That being said, I know when I bike or run...oh man I get winded, so I am concerned about my heart, but lets be honest we all know stamina-strength and cardio-health can both be done; shame on me and I deserve the shame.

I actually keep a photo in my drawer of the "Fat Travis", and while I was never really "fat", it is of me and my ex-wife at a company Christmas party when I worked for the railroad. My job was to be the safety coordinator and so I got in a rental car and drove from crew to crew around the country. I spent A LOT of time in a car. And being a safety guy...well you are not loved by any means. All in all it meant eating at a lot of fast food restaurants since I was eating 3 meals a day outside of home, and most of the time through fast-food restaurants. Lets be honest here...I always had a place I had to be and it was not where I was. Anyway my face fattened up, I was slug-like and lethargic...I hated myself. That is why I keep the photo (NOT for the ex-wife in the photo I assure you).

Last year I had knee surgery in early January and was not released until may 27th, then I started logging. I am here to say, I WAS NOT READY FOR THAT. I have since got acclimated to the work load of logging and farming. I actually do both, I log in the morning until lunch, come home and eat, then feed up the sheep and clean out, then go back logging until dark. My worst issue now is not stamina, but sleep. It is lambing season and I get up every few hours to bottle-feed lambs, or check on sheep for newborn lambs. It is embarrassing, but I have seizures so I am on some medication to stop them, but a side-effect is mood swings if a person has been on them long term. I have, and I am at high doses (3 horse pills). Anyway I was concerned they might be causing irritability, but after seeing my neurologist, we deduced it was lack of sleep. I honestly cannot remember getting a full nights sleep; maybe 3-4 years ago

Overall I am just being honest here, I am a good person to judge on Permiculture Lifestyle versus Gym Exercise because I do farm full-time. I posted this photo on Permies on another thread called Men and Women of Permies, and I'll do so again so people can see the "real me". I was a recent photo I assure you, and yes really of me, and no slight or hand with photoshop. You can see in the photo I got a bit of gut, so not all of that 15 pounds is muscle, but I could have a better diet. years ago I went only natural sugars and felt really good, but have slipped and added a bit too much sugar again. Anyway feel free to judge, this is me...





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Angelika Maier
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I believe that weight charts are rubbish and gymns are unhealthy. In a gym you repeat the same movement over and over again, you don't get flexible not are you in the fresh air, you are not training coordination nor balance. You need flexibility and strength. I think that bushwalks a swim in a lake combined with something strechy or dancing (about any style, ballroom, irish, ballet contemporarty) is the way to go. Gardening alone makes you stiff and you urgently need some strechy yoga poses.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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I love all of the replies - especially all the pictures!

I suppose that stretching or yoga, and some increased heart rate stuff could be very good to round out farmstead activities, though I do like everyone's comments in support of "functional strength" and how that can differ from what could be called "gym strength."

From all the sitting I do, it has turned out to be essential for me to stretch my psoas muscles, very specifically, otherwise my pelvis gets pulled/tipped forward and my low back ends up screaming at me. (All the typical low back pain stretches do not help with a pelvis tipped forward by muscles too tight in the front.)

My daughter works out in a gym, and was recently doing something called "snow shovels" but when she heard I'm really doing snow shoveling, and she said I win!

I know someone who has always worked out in a gym, but has such inflammation in her wrists (in her 40's) that she had to stop using a cast iron pan because it was too heavy for her. Counter this with my Grandma R., who in her 70's and 80's would stir through a super-thick, 'play doh' texture cookie dough, with one hand, no mixer, and lift all kinds of things, without batting an eyelash, because she still had so much functional strength.

I've posted this somewhere else on permies, but couldn't find it, so I'm re-posting this "old school workout" here (from imgur though I'm not certain it's the original):



Though my search did turn up other interesting tidbits by permies about natural movement and exercise.

Check out this article about how city/neighborhood design impacts walking (and thereby health): Patterns of street layout, connectivity and obesity. I think this could apply to our homestead designs, too!

Here's a bunch of permies talking yoga:  Yoga - new to it, just one week in... enjoying it so far (this thread was started two years ago).

And here's Casie: Using your unhealthy habits to improve, I think I'm proving it can be done., using her soda habit to get her bicycling more.


 
Hans Quistorff
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From all the sitting I do, it has turned out to be essential for me to stretch my psoas muscles, very specifically, otherwise my pelvis gets pulled/tipped forward and my low back ends up screaming at me. (All the typical low back pain stretches do not help with a pelvis tipped forward by muscles too tight in the front.)

Sitting on a ball is very helpful. The muscles are not allowed to be static but have to respond to every movement of the upper body.
There are three pairs of muscles involved. The psoas pair lift the leg from the spine when walking or pull the spine toward the leg when sitting. Under it is the iliacus which pulls the leg from the inside of the pelvis or conversely tilts the pelvis forward on the femur..  On top of the psoas is the psoas minor. It is not attached to the leg but to the front of the pelvis tilting the pelvis back toward the spine. when walking it engages on the opposite side of the leg being lifted to keep the pelvis from tilting forward.   It should be the principle brace holding you at right angle when sitting but often gets little exercise because of using the chair back. The substitute muscle is the rectus abdominus the so called six pack muscle that is not effective when the abdomen is distended. It also affects the ability of the diaphragm to breath and the balance between the low back and the neck. Remember Paul's neck?
 
Hans Quistorff
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Sarah Houlihan
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My boyfriend and I are both in the best shape we have ever been in.  After 2 years off grid we have muscles that we never knew were there to be had.  All the hard work you do really shows after a while and things that used to be hard are easier and easier.  This has been a huge motivation booster here on our little homestead.
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Joseph Lofthouse
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:I know there are a gazillion ways homesteaders, and gardeners, and permies of all sorts get their movement and exercise. What are some of your favorites?


I've lost about 70 pounds in recent years. It's a combination of lots of big and little changes in lifestyle. Moving more and different were definitely part of the equation. I have never been willing to do exercising in a gym. So I get my exercise on the farm. I do a lot of weeding. Using a wheel hoe is a major core exercise for me. Moving irrigation pipe is a major workout for my arms and chest. I bike to my fields. The round-trip is 14 to 18 miles depending on which fields I visit.

I took up running last November. It's made me a much better farmer. After a few months, I was running myself into an injury, so I had to rethink running. To resolve the issue, I started walking/running barefoot, and/or on uneven ground. That really strengthened my feet, ankles, and hips. I also started walking backwards, sideways, pigeon-toed, splay-footed, uphill, downhill, sidehill, etc. Just to provide a wide array of different movements of different muscles. I come home and stretch after runs. Different stretches each time. My gait has changed, so that my default gait is fox-walking. I've always been quiet, and people tell me not to sneak up on them, but now I'm really quiet!!!

I move easily these days. No more lumbering along for me. I feel light footed and lithe.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Sarah Houlihan wrote:All the hard work you do really shows after a while and things that used to be hard are easier and easier. 


Six months ago I started running. 100 yards, and I was done. My most recent run was a full mile. Breathing was easy. My legs didn't ache. My heart wasn't racing. I have accumulated about 45 miles running in that time and perhaps 70  miles walking. My legs muscles are well defined. I've started wearing clothes that show off my legs. Running now is easy and joyful.

The other day, I weeded more than a half-mile of row-crops in a few minutes. It was simple and easy, because I do it all the time. I have one muscle near my elbow that is hyper developed from weeding. Muscle builders  don't develop that muscle, but I sure have. It's my favorite muscle.
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My favorite muscle
 
K Putnam
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I just saw this thread.  

People are designed to MOVE.  I strength train 3-5 days a week, do pilates twice a week, ride and care for two horses 7 days a week, will probably log 1000 hours as a massage therapist this year, and I am *still* an easy keeper.   That doesn't even include any work around the property or in the garden.  I could easily be 15-20 pounds leaner and still be a curvy, robust woman.  I don't have to imagine what would happen to me if I quit moving...I know what that looks like...60 pounds heavier and less muscle...so probably like 80 pounds of extra fat. 

Move, move, move!   I am very lucky to be able to have a job that allows me to move.  My clients are stuck at computers.  It is slowly killing them. I've been the one stuck at a computer. It was rather rapidly killing me.

BUUUUTTTTTTTTT, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.  I work with a kettlebell trainer....it's just moving pieces of iron around...no machines....and it has changed my life for the better.  There is improved health in physical symmetry and good posture.  As a massage therapist, I can tell you that computer posture is not corrected just by moving around the farm.  Oh, I wish it were so!   Basic postural retraining would benefit anyone who uses a computer or a phone. 

There are great benefits to being stronger.  Hay bales move easier.  Grain bags fly up stairs.  Injuries (should) go down.

But no matter what, the higher the ratio of movement to rest, the better I feel.  I think I probably look younger at coming-36 than 26.   Sure, a few laugh lines in the face, but movement + muscles = reverse aging. 
 
Alexandra Clark
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This is a very interesting thread. As a biologist I always look to the physiology of the animal and how the bones present in order to know what it is genetically created to "DO."  Look at the leg of a horse. The foot is elongated tremendously. The hoof is not the "foot" it is only the toe. The foot ends in what looks like a backwards knee. The knee of the horse is all the way up close to the body and its hip joint is all the way back by its tail. Their legs are made for running and they are far different than human legs, which were made for walking and walking many many miles on varied terrain and NOT in shoes.

We can run if we like, but walking is what we were made for. We can work out just fine, but repetitive motion injuries are common.  As a retired ballerina, I can't even tell you how many injuries I have endured from 2 classes a day with only weekends off. Hyper flexibility also adds to the difficulty because my joints go past the normal range of motion.

I never felt more fit, more strong and more healthy than when I started working our property.  When I would years ago start a "workout" routine with weights and cardio, I would hurt myself all the time and have to stop. Now, I simply can't wait to get out into the garden and pull up vines, dig compost, rake, hoe, trip, coppice. I come inside drenched in sweat and full of life and good vibes. I stretch and that's that.

We each find our own way, but spending time in the garden, fully engaged with the land is probably one of the healthiest things you can do for your body. Functional fitness makes you far stronger than fitness routines. My sister works out constantly with a trainer in the gym and can she hoist a 50 pound bag of mulch over her shoulder? Nope...but I can!
 
Travis Johnson
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This is an interesting post for me because my original reply was a snapshot in history and not very accurate. Since then and now I found out that my pituitary gland quit working, which resulted in my weight-gain and lack of stamina. I have hypothyroidism, but its not from a faulty thyroid, just a faulty pituitary gland that was probably injured during a massive infection I had 2 years ago. Now with the proper medication, I am really on the rebound. My weight is dropping, I am not craving food, nor am I overly thirsty, I have lots of energy, and my outlook on life is much better. Now that I know the problem, it seems obvious something was wrong, but at the time, I just assumed it was old age (43 years old) creeping in. Not so...

 
Todd Parr
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I guess I have a somewhat different take on this than many people.  I spent many, many years weight training and competed in two different strength sports.  In my mind, properly done weight training is one of the most functional and productive ways of exercising that exists.

When I hear about people like Alexandra's sister that works out with a trainer and still can't lift a 50 lb bag of mulch on to her shoulder, it makes me sad.  Any good weight training program would have anyone of normal health doing that in no time.  Part of my training when I was working out regularly was to carry an 80lb sandbag on my shoulder for a mile.  The great thing about weight training is that it builds so much more strength than normal activities, that regular things like carrying a 50 lb bag of chicken feed 100 yards to the coop is ridiculously easy.

Bottom line, any physical activity that you enjoy is far superior to sitting on your ass eating potato chips and swilling soda.  Find something you enjoy doing and do it several times a week, if not every day.  I wouldn't make the mistake though of assuming that working out in a gym is somehow inferior to working in your garden or running, because it just isn't so.
 
Genevieve Higgs
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I would agree with Todd, the best type of activity is the one you love.  And doing one type doesn't stop you from doing another type as well.

If you like the type of exercise you do you are more likely  to keep on doing it, and to favor it over other less healthy options.  If you can stack functions by bike commuting, including your friends or family in the activity or by getting chores done all the better.

There's components of fitness if I remember correctly, something like strength, endurance, power, flexibility, balance, coordination, aerobic cardiovascular and anaerobic cardiovascular. Plus I'd add in focus and calm or some such mental aspect.  It's unlikely that any one thing will get you all of those at once.
 
Sarah Houlihan
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My issue with the gym wasn't that I believed it wasn't effective.  My issues were cost and motivation.   Living off the grid I have no choice but to lug water or cut firewood.  I exercise this way because I have to.  I did, however, do that on purpose.  I knew I would love the exercise so much that it would cease to be a chore.  And it's not only free, but I get tremendous gain besides the exercise when I get a workout.  Heat, water, gardens, a house... It is amazing motivation to lug water when you got up that morning and didn't have enough water for your coffee.
 
Hans Quistorff
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The other day, I weeded more than a half-mile of row-crops in a few minutes. It was simple and easy, because I do it all the time. I have one muscle near my elbow that is hyper developed from weeding. Muscle builders  don't develop that muscle, but I sure have. It's my favorite muscle.

hyper-developed-muscle.jpg
My favorite muscle

I think Joseph that is in part the supinator.  You are probably weeding with a griping, twisting, scooping motion. The name implies turning the back of the hand [spine] down.  People who work at the computer have to weaken that muscle to keep the palms down.  Then they try to play tennis and get tennis elbow.
 
Hans Quistorff
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Move, move, move!   I am very lucky to be able to have a job that allows me to move.  My clients are stuck at computers.  It is slowly killing them. I've been the one stuck at a computer. It was rather rapidly killing me. 

With me it was the other way around. I was working so hard, moving against my injuries so that at 54 I realised I was not going to reach 65. So a change of career, at 55 I got my licence as a massage therapist. At 77 I can do the physical homestead work better than at 54.
So K Putman we should put together a class and call it massage for the homesteader.
 
K Putnam
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@Hans, I love it!     It'd be kind of interesting to put together a self-care program for homesteaders...something that evened people out but also didn't make them feel like they were suffering through the gym.

There is definitely a limit movement.  When I worked for a horse trainer, I was breaking down despite being young...I was working a literal 14 hours per day, 7 days per week, with a half day off every other week.  That amount of movement broke me down.  In that case, rest is what was required. 

But my clients...oh my clients...how they need to move.  They aren't homesteaders.  They aren't farmers.  ANY movement would be better than the status quo. 
 
Hans Quistorff
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I am glad the dalish email reminded me of this thread. K putman and myself are pointing out that injury and fatigue means that our movements are not natural, they are adaptations.
Supposedly at the gym someone should be checkin and advising so that you move naturally and don't  hurt yourself, but often that is not so.
Often even physical therapists will just say do this to strengthen that, without checking whether the movement  will be allowed by the protective reflexes. Then the client that dutifully dose the movement despite the pain gets worse.
The instructor ot the CHECK  Institute came up with this memory aid. If you subtract FUN from functional it is no longer functional. If you keep doing it you are strengthening the dysfunction.
So look for someone that can show you how to do your homestead activities without pain. For example that 80 pound sack mentioned earlier might be carried more safely by some if they would sit on the tailgate and role it up on the back of the nips rather than trying to get it up on the shoulder.
As an example, someone who has been disabled for many years Has taken on the challenge of developing The 5 acres in my signature line. [I still have the suburban lot with the large firs that need to be made int a log home.] Because I helped him out of pain years ago with one visit, he has been willing to resist the urge to fight me off when I touch him and I have been able to direct him to be able to position his body so that protective spasms subside and then do resting restorative movement to rest and repair.  Working with him a few minutes each day has meant great progress in working with his arms without neck pain and now he is progressing in the ability to use tools to work the ground without pain putting him in bed for days.

Get out there and cut grass with a scythe, if done properly the rotational movement refills the discs in your spine that lose height when you sit and don't
 
Burra Maluca
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These women work for hours every day picking water chestnuts, and yet their backs are strong and pain-free.

I think we could learn a lot from how they do it!  Here's a link - Gokhale Method® for a Pain-Free Back
 
Hans Quistorff
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Thank you burra for bringing this up. That is a fine lustration of the difference with the western world where sitting in a chair is the norm.  Notice that their spines remain straight instead of curving. If you sit in chairs with your knees bent eventually the hamstrings, muscles from your sitting bones to below the back of the knee become sort.  You will not be able to bend the hip sockets all the way as these women are doing. Many can not bend that far forward even when sitting therefore they bend the spine which increases the chance of tearing the joints in the spine if they rotate say from picking up something heavy on one side or with one hand.
Whether on the homestead or in the gym, be aware that the artificial environment we have grown up in may have altered our movement so that it is not natural movement therefore inclined to cause injury.
 
Burra Maluca
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Hans Quistorff wrote:TThat is a fine illustration of the difference with the western world where sitting in a chair is the norm.  Notice that their spines remain straight instead of curving.


This was the youtube video that introduced me to that way of movement.

It's from a TEDx talk by Dr. Eric Goodman called The Unexpected Physical Consequences Of Technology

 
Hans Quistorff
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42 pound head



Teaching natural movement often starts with having the person stand and walk with thumbs pointed away from the thighs.  It will feel stressful if your head is forward.  The natural position is pointed forward.  Most of you will find your thumbs pointed toward the thighs.  When on the keyboard the thumbs are pointed toward each other.  The muscles for this position pull on the front side of the shoulder blade and to the spine at the base of the neck pulling the head forward. The muscles that turn your arms so that the thumbs are out pull on the back of the shoulder blade and up to the spine pulling the base of the neck back into position.

No! Your head does not weigh 42 pounds. Those are inch pounds. Your neck is acting as the handle on a wrench exerting that much turning force on the vertebra at the base of your neck.  Now multiply that by the lengths to where your spine connects to the pelvis and you will understand why you have low back pain.

edited by moderator to fix image link
 
Dale Hodgins
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I'll be 53 in a month and  have basically no aches and pains to complain about, but sometimes I still do.

I've never gotten involved in any of the fads.

I've always lifted things in whatever manner works best for me.

I have never succumbed to any of the bullshit presented by the back pain industry and won't be one of their victims. Canada is overrun with people who would like to sell me something to fix a problem that does not exist. They have a whole language of mumbo jumbo terms to describe conditions that don't exist in other jurisdictions. I think the most alarming sounding one is, degenerative disc disease. It means aging, and it's not a disease. Chiropractors came up with it to get your money.
 
Todd Parr
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Dale Hodgins wrote:I'll be 53 in a month and  have basically no aches and pains to complain about, but sometimes I still do.

I've never gotten involved in any of the fads.

I've always lifted things in whatever manner works best for me.

I have never succumbed to any of the bullshit presented by the back pain industry and won't be one of their victims. Canada is overrun with people who would like to sell me something to fix a problem that does not exist. They have a whole language of mumbo jumbo terms to describe conditions that don't exist in other jurisdictions. I think the most alarming sounding one is, degenerative disc disease. It means aging, and it's not a disease. Chiropractors came up with it to get your money.


To say that because you don't have a problem, no problem exists, is beyond narcissistic.  My brother has "degenerative disc disease", and in his case at least, it means the discs are actually deteriorating to the point he is expected to be in a wheelchair in a few years.  His problems weren't caused by aging, they were caused by being a roofer for 25 years.  I'm very glad for you that you have always been able to lift things in whatever manner works best for you, but I would hardly call these kinds of issues "mumbo jumbo".  Maybe being grateful that you are healthy would be a better course than being dismissive of the people that do have these problems?
 
Dale Hodgins
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Not the people with the problems, the back pain industry. They sell things as a disease, rather than a wear-and-tear issue. I have been very aware of these issues since I was a teenager and gave up long distance running, in order to preserve my body for future use.

I have worked with many people who decide to grin and bear it when they are doing the same motion over and over, which is causing pain. One young man was a flooring installer, who refused to mix up his technique or to wear knee pads. I had him on a demolition project and he was virtually useless for many of the tasks that needed to be done. He was 27 years old. This isn't something he was born with. It's something that he did to himself.

The asphalt roofing industry, destroys bodies. My older brother did it for a few years, until he started having some issues. Then he quit and has largely recovered.
........
I've been involved in demolition for 22 years. During that time, I have watched some peers destroy their health in a number of ways. Repetitive motions are right up there, but also giving very little attention to protecting their lungs. Of the dozens of people that I know in demolition, myself and my brother are the only ones who wear asbestos grade masks,  in all dusty conditions. One of my friends died from crap that he inhaled.

One thing that I like about mixed farming and homesteading generally is that there are such a huge variety of things to be done, that there is no need to engage in the repetitive type motions that cause premature physical breakdown.
 
Jami Gaither
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Hunter gatherer people didn't have gym equipment and they seemed to do ok.  Of course, they didn't have potato chips either...
 
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