Movement is Medicine. Even just small doses of movement can extend longevity and can prevent and treat disease.
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, suggested that physical activity was essential for good health. This has been confirmed with recent (and not so recent) studies which tell us that exercise reduces all-cause mortality risk, cardiovascular-related events, as well as warding off chronic lifestyle conditions such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cancer.
Every single system in the body relies on us moving. Mental health and cognitive function, muscles and joints, hearts and lungs, hormones and mood, digestive health and gut microbiome, metabolism and blood pressure – you name it, it needs us to move frequently and purposefully to be healthy.
At the heart of chiropractic care, is making sure that every single joint in your spine is freely moving and flexible. Loss of motion to any of the 33 bones that make up your spine will result in arthritis and degeneration.
How to Move Your Body in 6 Minutes
Below I share with you a routine I use to move my entire body every day in approximately 6 minutes.
I think of this routine as my daily spine hygiene. Just like you brush your teeth to prevent cavities, I perform this movement to lubricate my joints, mobilize the primary movers of my body and keep it healthy. I don't consider this a stretching routine.
So performing this routine doesn't have to feel ‘stretchy'. The point here is to get fluid pumping throughout the tissues of your body and slather your joint surfaces with synovial fluid.
This routine includes 12 movements.
To make it easy to use on a daily basis, I've also included an illustrated guide that acts as a quick reference for this routine.
Should you do this in the AM? the PM? Before working out?
I think all of the above are good options. I personally do this routine during my morning wake up routine.
Hope you find it beneficial!
Most of the above movement do not demand Herculean exercise efforts. Always remember that small increments of activity have been shown to have a positive effect. Small steps toward a more active life transform into big health gains over time.