To be truly healthy we have to move our bodies
A curiosity for movement.
SPARK was born out of my love and curiosity for movement. I've always been drawn to discovering, learning (and more recently teaching people) new ways to move. The search for ways to provide my body and other people's bodies with nourishment through movement is what continues to motivate me.
I've always had inspiring movers around me. My dad is at the top of this list teaching me (well firstly to walk of course) and then how to play tennis, squash and various other activities. In his 70's he continues to plays tennis, golf, go to yoga and pilates, cycle, swim and go to the gym. My brother was a professional ballet dancer & both of my sisters have kept active through tennis, swimming, surfing, pilates and yoga. Most recently my mum has found a new lease on life by discovering yoga in her 70's. It's truly awesome and inspiring to see.
I remember in one of the first yoga classes I attended over 10 years ago the teacher said something to the effect of "Movement is life. When we stop moving, we die". A bit of a depressing thought, but the statement has stuck with me. Many of us lead lifestyles largely based around inactivity. But we are created to move, not sit in 'captivity' at an office desk. We move from bed, to chair, to car/bus/train, to a desk and repeat this pattern over and over again... for hours on end.
We might throw in an hour of exercise a few times a week but overall, our movement diet is unbalanced. We also move from one repetitive movement pattern to another. Many of us go from the office to the gym and jump on a treadmill or similar cardio or weight machine that moves the body in strict, robotic and unilateral patterns. There is little freedom of movement in our lives.
Thankfully there has been a real shift in the fitness industry moving towards more functional training methods that have more real life application. I'm a big believer in feeding our bodies a variety of types of movement in the same way that we should be eating a well balanced, seasonal and wholesome diet.
Lots of people avoid exercise and many people overdo it. Both are just as bad for you. Finding the type/s of exercise you enjoy is just as important as finding the right balance. You'll be more likely to do it and do it with a great attitude. Many people still approach exercise with the 'no pain, no gain attitude'. This tends to lead to exercise becoming a chore or something to dread rather than an expression of freedom or enjoyment (not to mention the potential for injuries). Exercise doesn't always have to be an unpleasant experience leaving you feeling like an exhausted wreck and in pain for several days afterwards.
That said... I do believe that if you really want to change your body shape (either by losing or gaining weight) the most efficient & effective exercise is often unpleasant, uncomfortable and leaves you with the feeling of "thank god that's over". But I'll save that for another post.
In my opinion the end goal is to be moving well into our senior years, just like my parents. Keep challenging the mind and body by trying new things. Move often and in different ways and with a long term approach. Try something new. If you have a friend who has been nagging you to try a particular exercise class or sport, why not give it a go. And if you don't like, try something else. But above all else... MOVE.
*If you are interested in reading more about the idea of introducing more motion into your daily life that I highly recommend a book by Katy Bowman titled 'Move your DNA'. It expands on the science behind our need for movement.