Small changes. Better daily movement.

Incorporating subtle little changes in your daily life that lead to being more physically active is something many of us strive towards. While more movement is good, I think that moving in the right patterns is even better. Not only is it more comfortable to do, but also it will allow you to keep moving for many more years to come. Simple things like getting out of bed in the morning, rising from a seated position, and carrying a gallon of milk can prove to get strenuous over the years if we don’t concentrate on the proper movement patterns early in life. So get started now.

In childhood development, it is called motor patterns. In sports, it is called motor patterns. In physical therapy, it is called motor patterns. So what is a motor pattern and why is it important for us to know? Motor patterns are a coordinated set of movements that are both voluntary and involuntary – sometimes we know we are doing them and sometimes we just do them. So in everyday life, it is also important to develop the correct motor patterns to keep us moving injury free and without disruption.

Getting out of a chair seems like a pretty easy task to accomplish. We do it all day long – school chair, work chair, doctor’s office chairs. No brainer, right? But if we move with slight error when we get up then we may strain a muscle in our back because we leaned over first and then rocked ourselves up. And our low back wasn’t able to handle it. But if we continued to sit up straight and then used our butt muscles to rise out of the seat, chances are our body will thank us. Our glutes is a set of muscles that are meant to help us rise from a seated position and meant to help us stand up straight. See an earlier RunDocRyan post about sitting HERE.

How do we learn how to move correctly and with which muscles? Well, short of going to an ergonomics-based training session, we can just watch our kids move. Yes, those little bundles of energy motor patterns have not been exposed to man-made interruptions at great length yet. There is still time for them to continue to be program correctly. So watch them get out of bed in the morning, study them getting up from a seated position (yes, crisscross applesauce position too), and allow them to carry things to see their body position. Kids have an uncanny sense of what will hurt them and what will not – within reason.