Priority #11

Gyms were created as an artificial substitute for labor. Not too many people hunt and gather their food anymore or work in the garden every day to get their dose of essential daily exercise. Sure, there are active jobs like construction, nursing, athletics, and food service, but most of the population sits behind a desk, or a television.

Gyms are fine and serve their purpose but should not be used a sole source of exercise. Human movement is almost always regulated, hindered, and altered mechanically on machines such as elliptical trainers, treadmills, bikes, and weight machines. Repetition for minutes upon hours upon days will, and does, alter natural human movement, which has ramifications not only on the skeleton, but neural drive, programming, and movement as a whole.

 

Taking a look at a treadmill you’ll see that it is basically a conveyor belt. You lift a leg and the belt slips underneath. Sure, there is contact, friction, and push-off, but true forward propulsion through space is not taking place. In fact, if you were to jump in the air, increasing the time you are not in contact with the belt, the treadmill still moves along at the same speed. You did not progress forward to cover the 3.8mph it states on the console. So, is the treadmill the same as walking? Kind of. Are you moving forward through space? No. Human forward propulsion is somewhat hindered, and easily fooled. The treadmill serves its purpose as another tool in your exercise arsenal but certainly not meant to be used as a complete substitute for actual walking, jogging, or sprinting.


~ Read Treadmill Detriments Article ~

 

Resistance training machines, the ones where you put a pin in a weight stack and pull or push on a handle, platform, or bar, also have their problems. Most machines do not adjust to take into account a person’s individual make-up, skeletal lever length, etc. In addition, the path of motion is usually dictated which may or may not be a part of your goal. Options and freedom of motion are limited. Relying solely on these machines for gains in strength, size, or endurance is a mistake.

 

TRY THESE ONCE IN A WHILE

 

Walk, Jog, Hike, & Sprint In A Park That Has Terrain

Not only is the surface different by running on grass, dirt, or mulch, but the body’s adaptation to minute adjustments to hills, rocks, mounds, and other obstacles is super beneficial to balance, coordination, and stamina as opposed to running in a circle on a flat concrete. Navigate your course first to note and avoid any bad obstacles such as holes that aren’t too fun to land in.

 

The School Track

This is a fun way to actually gauge your progress with time and distance since it is marked out. Doing a series of 100m dashes and getting a time is a great challenge to yourself. A nice workout is a couple of walk-trot laps to warm-up, then proceed to doing a 100m sprint, walk back to the start line and perform whatever you are capable of; may 5 or 10 total.

 

Jump Rope

Haven’t done it in a while? It’s like a bike, you never really forget. Start slow, maybe just one minute, or just try and get 50 jumps without missing. Besides the cardio benefits, the rope is great for coordination and ankle/foot complex strength, stability, and mobility.

 

Rowing Machine or Nordic Trac

A couple of the forgotten and unused exercise pieces lurking in the corner of a health club or your basement under laundry. A great arm/leg movement.

 

Climbing

Don’t choose a 50 ft cliff or 80 ft tree right off the bat. Start small and check out the demands of the upper body, lower body, and core trying to hoist your body through space.

 

Lateral Movement

Most of us rarely move to the side, it looks kind of goofy walking down the street sideways. But, exercises such as lateral leaping, squatting to the side, and the exercise slide are all beneficial for muscles, tendons, and ligaments that get ignored usually but need to be challenged for the moments they are called into action.

 

Other Human Movements to Explore

As a human beings, motions we perform are: Walk, Run, Sprint, Jump, Leap, Hop, Bounce, Bend, Reach, Roll, Twist, Grip, Push, Pull, Squat, Crawl, Throw, Catch, Hit. (and more,  and in combination). Try not becoming accustomed to just one, two or three, but explore the other motions once in a while during a workout.

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Get Away From Exercising On Man-Made Machines & Surfaces

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