Last updated on Jun 22nd, 2021 at 02:54 pm

One of the mind shifts I had to make when dealing with adrenal burnout was how I looked at movement and exercise.

The body is an amazing machine: it can keep going for a long time before we realise the warning signals it is sending us are urgent and important ones.

As is the case with diet fads and trends, we face a barrage of information when it comes to exercise and how much of it we need to do.

Our bodies are not built to handle stress of the kinds and proportions we deal with on a daily basis, and they are also not designed for spending a great deal of time in forced, unnatural, and often static positions.

It is little wonder, then, that the lifestyle diseases we accept as commonplace did not exist (or were rare occurrences) a few generations ago.

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Biomechanist Katy Bowman refers to our current state of being (or non-being) as “life in captivity”

She likens the curved dorsal fin found in many captive orcas (killer whales) – a phenomenon not usually observed in the wild – to what we are doing to our bodies by forcing them to sit on chairs, use standing desks (yes, any static position maintained for too long is detrimental to our health), or live a life without, or with minimal, functional movement.

In her book Move Your DNA, Bowman states that “movement, like food, is not optional… ailments you may be experiencing are simply (and complexly) symptoms of movement hunger in response to a movement diet that is dangerously low in terms of quantity and poor in terms of quality – meaning that you aren’t getting the full spectrum of movement nutrition necessary for a baseline human function.”

I spoke to two other experts in the field: Dylan Labuschagne (personal trainer, sports conditioner, and CrossFit coach) and Pino (SpiNo) Barecchia (fitness fanatic and extraordinary indoor cycling instructor) to make sense of all this.

Labuschagne subscribes to the holistic and functional movement approach espoused by CrossFit. He explains: “Physical fitness is measured by 10 components: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, coordination, balance, and accuracy.

In this sense, ‘speciality sports’ such as marathon running or weightlifting are not holistic forms of physical fitness. You need to be able to perform basic tasks across all components to qualify as holistically physically fit.”

For Barecchia, high intensity interval training (HIIT) is the ultimate workout in terms of physical conditioning, but he also promotes the psychological benefits of this type of exercise: “I believe in always being active and never keeping still for extended periods. We are not trees – we are built to move.

Read more: Workouts for weight loss: Does interval training work?

Keeping active not only strengthens your muscles and your body physically, but it also strengthens you psychologically: discipline increases as your motivation and commitment to healthy living does.”

In short, you have a simple choice: be part of the movement ‘drought’ we are experiencing as a species, or commit to healthy, functional, and effective movement and exercise.

If you missed Part 1, read it here
Part 2 is available here

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.