Just like our food system is designed to encourage poor food choices, our environment is designed to perpetuate harmful movements and postures.
Just think about it:
- Desk jobs are notorious for promoting bad posture, leg swelling, and pain in the low back, neck, and shoulders.
- Airplane and car seats encourage an unnatural position that causes back pain, stiff hips, and discomfort.
- High-heel shoes redistribute body weight to the ball of the foot and put the heels, ankles, and knees at risk.
If you want to prevent muscle pain, stiffness, joint pain, bone diseases, and even mental disorders, you have to fight against these environmental conditions every day.
This is something that today’s guest, Aaron Alexander, knows well. Aaron is a movement coach, licensed massage therapist with over 13 years of experience, podcast host, and founder of Align Therapy™, an integrated approach to functional movement.
Aaron has dedicated his career to helping people get out of pain and regain their health through better movement. He believes that the way we move — both in our everyday life and at the gym — influences virtually every aspect of our health, not just our appearance.
Your clothes, shoes, chair, vehicle, and hobbies all alter the movements you make, and those movements are profoundly connected to your gut, brain, muscle, and heart function.
For example, just by hunching over your desk at work, you significantly impair your digestion and reinforce a bad mood. This means our movement can even affect what we think and feel.
Today, Aaron breaks down the movements we should pursue for optimal health, what we can do to create a better movement environment in our lives, and how movement influences our mental and physical health.
In this episode, we go over:
- Why movement is a pillar of health
- What movement adaptation is and why it’s so important
- Integrated vs isolated movements
- How movement affects how you feel and think
- How to change your environment to foster better movement and nutrition
- Why it’s important to figure out your “why” before choosing your exercise
- The link between your posture and gut health
- How footwear can affect your mental health
- The right way to transition between exercises, movements, or postures
- What a neutral spine is, why it matters, and how to achieve it
- Why it’s important to not stress out about your movement and nutrition
- The importance of resting and downtime
- The unusual testosterone-boosting habit Aaron recommends
- Aaron’s tips for reducing stress
Mentioned in This Episode
- Aaron’s website, Align Therapy
- Aaron’s podcast, Align Podcast
- Aaron’s Instagram and Twitter
- Emotions Revealed: Recognizing Faces and Feelings to Improve Communication and Emotional Life by Paul Ekman, Ph.D.