Tag Archives for " movement "

May 30, 2023

How to reshape your body for better movement and less pain with Katy Bowman

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In her book, Rethink Your Position, Katy Bowman teaches us how to improve our posture and movement and feel less pain as a result. On episode 592 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss how you can do simple things to look and feel better.


Let's Say Hello

[00:03:21.050] – Allan

Hey, Ras, how are you?

[00:03:22.780] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:03:25.020] – Allan

I'm doing okay. We're getting packed up for our trip and heading back to the States for the wedding, Summer's wedding. So this is daughter number two. All kids married out. Two are going through divorces already. But the cycle of life.

[00:03:44.310] – Rachel

It happens.

[00:03:45.600] – Allan

It happens. It happens. And they'll be happy with it when they get done with it. But it is what it is. Anyway, so we're headed back. We'll see family. We'll do the wedding stuff. And then Tammy and I will spend a weekend together in that whole three week period of time traveling around doing stuff. And then we'll head back. Hopefully, it's just an uneventful get in a rental car, drive around, see everybody, have a good time, and then I'm back.

[00:04:14.790] – Rachel

That sounds wonderful. Yes. Well, it'll be nice to see your family and celebrate the wedding. It'll be a lovely time to make those connections again and then go back home to your retreat.

[00:04:29.920] – Allan

Yes. Beautiful place. And so this weekend we adopted another dog. There was a guy, he got married and they want to go on a long honeymoon, like six months, seven countries. And he had this dog and they were posting a picture of the dog. The dog and the dog looks, on the picture, it looked almost identical to our dog Buster. Angel passed not long ago. Buster's been by himself, the only dog. And then so we look at this dog and it could be Buster's little brother. I mean, it's just weird how close together these dogs look and how much they act alike and the whole thing. So anyway, we brought him over. His name is Love. Love will be with us six months or maybe forever. It's just when the guy gets back, or I guess at some point he'll decide if it's just better for Love to have a home, a steady home because he's going to want to travel, is what he was saying. So he was just like, Maybe can't. So we might have Love permanently or part time, but however it works, he and Buster initially were not seeing eye to eye.

[00:05:34.350] – Allan

They had a few doggy conversations and now they're getting along a lot better.

[00:05:39.930] – Rachel

Good. I'm glad they're getting along. That's awesome.

[00:05:44.410] – Allan

How are things up there?

[00:05:45.950] – Rachel

Good. I mentioned last time that I had hit menopause, and that my…

[00:05:53.180] – Allan

It's not as… You've been running this ultra marathon for 50 some odd years. And then, yeah, you thought you were going to finish line.

[00:06:00.680] – Rachel

Yeah, I need a T shirt to celebrate this with.

[00:06:04.970] – Allan

Yeah. So my guess is who's got my kid, dude, where's my kidney?

[00:06:09.840] – Rachel

Yeah, exactly. But it's part of this. My thyroid is broken and so I've been taking this medicine for my thyroid. And I told you that I have to take it in the morning and then wait 30 minutes before I can eat or drink anything. And if you know me, coffee goes in my body the first time in the morning. If I wake up, coffee is going in. And so this 30 minute leg time is quite a challenge for me, to put it mildly. But I decided that I would start doing yoga in the morning for that 30 minute period. And truthfully, it is difficult. It's a hard habit to break, but I have started doing yoga as soon as I get up and I feel great. It feels really good. I really need the stretching. I need the gentle way to wake up and the movement, and it's really hard to change habits. I'm not even going to kid you, but I am making changes and seeing progress, and it feels pretty good.

[00:07:06.850] – Allan

Awesome. That's outstanding.

[00:07:08.560] – Rachel

Yeah, thanks.

[00:07:09.940] – Allan

Great. Now, there's one other thing I wanted to say. I was on a podcast episode recently because I told you guys I was doing some of this. Well, the name of the podcast is called direction, not perfection. And the host of that is Lindsay House. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/lindsey. That's L I N D S E Y. And you can hear my episode, which was 225. And basically we talk about Fit For Task. But I give a lot of tips in that. And so it's again, it's the name of the podcast is direction, not perfection podcast. You can find it anywhere that you like to listen to podcasts. But if you'd like to go to a link where I have it on the web, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/lindsey.

[00:07:55.040] – Rachel

Cool. That sounds good. I love that Fit for Task stuff. That would be great.

[00:07:58.850] – Allan

All right. Well, Rachel, are you ready to have a conversation with Katy Bowman?

[00:08:03.050] – Rachel



[00:09:12.930] – Allan

Katy, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:09:15.890] – Katy

Thanks for having me back years later.

[00:09:18.240] – Allan

Years later. I did miss a book. I apologize for that. But interestingly, we were having this conversation before. You're in Costa Rica and I'm in Panama. So quite literally, we're probably not more than 150 miles away from each other at this point. So it's interesting where you find yourself. The name of the book is Rethink Your Position: Reshape Your Exercise, Yoga, and Everyday Movement One Part at a Time. And I love movement and personal trainer and nutrition coach and doing all that thing. But what was really interesting about your book as I got into it was it was completely backwards to everything I've ever been coached or told in my entire life.

[00:10:06.250] – Katy

Wow. I want to know more about that.

[00:10:10.080] – Allan

Because everything else always starts from the ground. And works up. Your book started from the top and worked down. And at first I was like, okay, I'm really interested in why Katy would do that. Obviously, I've read the book, so I know why Katy did that. Will you tell me, why did you start from the top and work down rather than the floor and work up?

[00:10:38.730] – Katy

That's the first time I've done that. I usually always do it the other way, like so many other people. But to mix things up a little bit is like the general answer reading is such a sedentary activity. I knew the reader was going to be engaged with this material for the next few days or weeks or however long it takes you to read a book. And I wanted to start off right away with a movement that could be done in volume while you are reading the book to make my point that movement is something that transcends the experience of exercise. It can go on to an activity like reading. And that movement was the head ramp. It was a head and shoulder adjustment. And so for that reason, I decided to go from the top down.

[00:11:28.780] – Allan

Yeah. And that's what was so cool is you literally were changing my behavior while I was reading your book.

[00:11:35.930] – Katy

That was the plan.

[00:11:39.360] – Allan

Okay. Your evil plan came true. Or actually not evil, but… Okay. Why is body alignment so important?

[00:11:49.710] – Katy

I do think we tend to think of posture as something that affects how you look. The reason that you do it is for how you present to the eyes. But alignment is different than posture in that it's about the way things work. And so our body, not to get too overly mechanistic, is not a machine. It's biological, it's organic, it grows, it responds, it adapts, but it still operates similar to machinery in a lot of different ways. And so the alignment of our body is important for the same reason. The alignment of our car is important, or the reason that you don't run your coffee maker on an angle counter to 30 degrees is because the orientation of things affects the way things work. And that goes for your car and that goes for your coffee maker, and it goes for your body as well. And that's why alignment matters quite simply. That's the most simple way I can explain it is there's a lot of things happening in the body. There's a lot of physical experiences not so pleasurable. The way we view aging, a lot of times has more to do with the orientation of our parts, the way we've organized our body relative to gravity and the frequency with which we do that, it can have negative outcomes.

[00:13:19.730] – Katy

Just knowing like, oh, you have some options here when it comes to the orientation of your parts, that's the message that I'm trying to get across.

[00:13:27.870] – Allan

Yeah. Now I'm on an island and we get a lot of surfers and hitchhikers and whatnot. I watch them walk. As I'm walking to work, I'm around them, I see them. I know you're a people person, watch your person too, because it's like fascinating to watch how people move. I'm watching them carry a very heavy pack on their back or a very heavy pack on their stomach or both. They're like camels walking through the streets. But one thing I've noticed, and this is very young people, I'm not talking about people in their 40s and 50s, but people who are in their 20s and I'm thinking, Wow, you keep doing this and 20, 30 years from now, this is going to be fantastic in a terrible way. But this is this thing called tech neck.

[00:14:15.130] – Allan

Where they're at their phone or on their phone so much with basically their shoulders hunched forward, their chest is compressed, their elbows are down, their head is down. And it creates this thing technique, I guess, is what it's been classed as. Can you talk a little bit about that and how someone who… Well, quite frankly, we almost have to be on our phones because that's how we communicate with everybody now. And nobody shows up where they're supposed to. My generation is like, Hey, I'll meet you at the restaurant at six o'clock. We all just showed up at the restaurant at six o'clock. We didn't think about it again. Now it's like, No, let's go to a different restaurant. Now there's a whole chain and we're all going to go somewhere else. And we never make it to the restaurant we were originally going to go to. That's quite normal. So as we get older, we're still doing this and we're changing our head structure, our neck structure, and the whole kinetic chain. Let's talk about tech neck and what we can do to manage that.

[00:15:12.600] – Katy

Well, tech neck is just a rebranding. It feels like a rebranding to me. That posture is old posture. It's an upper body forward curve and a neck. The upper body rounds forward. It's called hyperkifosis. But the neck really bends back in the opposite direction. It's like hyperlardosis. So you get this deepening of the upper back and the neck curves that is similar to what we would have found in older populations over a longer period of time. That wasn't tech neck, that was just hyperkifosis and hyperlardosis. But we are seeing that body position now not show up when someone is in their late 80s. We're seeing it in teenagers. We're seeing it in 20 year olds who are otherwise active. Maybe that's why it gets a rebranding because it's no longer associated with age or a particular level of physical robusticity. It's just a shape that is brought about when you look down at a device quite a lot, you get that same set of curves. And to go back to that first question, why does it matter? Is it simply about how it looks? And no, not really. It's about I in the book, I try to show swallowing is affected by this position.

[00:16:31.100] – Katy

Space for the lungs to deploy fully is affected by this. Spinal loads to the disk and to the bones of the spinal column are affected by this. Shoulders and the way that they can move are affected by this position. This position, this tech neck, forward head, position of the body ends up reducing the total amount of movement of things like your shoulders and your head. And it's not talking about the fact that you just drop into the position. It's when your body strengthens and stiffens in this position and you can no longer stand up straight. You can no longer slide your head back because everything is so stiff and tense and habitually in this position that it ends up affecting how things work from the head to the rib cage, breathing, swallowing, and then the way things feel, achy in the upper back, achy in the headaches and things like that. So it's important to realize that the environment that we're choosing to be in quite often is setting us up for some of these issues. But as I try to point out in the book, your phone doesn't require that you stand like that.

[00:17:53.730] – Katy

That's just the way we use our phones mindlessly. So that's another one of the early exercises also. I figure you're going to be spending a lot of time reading this book right now and also if you're like most people on some device. So you can adjust those curves quite simply. It's not required. We're just not being thoughtful about positioning our body when we're on the phone, like we might be thoughtful about positioning our body in other situations. We have mindless phone tech use habits, and it goes all the way into the body. So it's just developing more mindful physical practice around all the things that we do, including when you're using your phone. You're going to do those same upper back and head adjustments. And then you might have to hold your phone up a little higher, but so be it. It makes using your phone better for you.

[00:18:45.420] – Allan

I want to take one step back because, like I said, you changed my behavior by putting the head and neck in the front and then working your way down. And you gave us this exercise in the book of basically bringing your head back in alignment. Can you talk us through that?

[00:19:04.890] – Katy

Sure. It might be easiest for folks to try it against a wall for those listening. You don't have to have a wall, but standing against the wall helps. And if you reach your hand back behind you and if you feel where there's a part of your rib cage, the middle back where a heart rate monitor strap would sit or a bra strap sits, that goes against the wall. It's touching the wall. So your upper middle back is against the wall. And for many people, that would mean their head is now off in front of them. So the exercise is to keeping that middle back touching the wall. Low back doesn't have to touch, just the middle back. Sliding your head back towards the wall as well without tipping your head back. So you're not tipping your head back where your chin lifts. It's sliding the head back. But because of the way the vertebrae are shaped in the upper back and the neck, sliding your head back also means sliding your head up. So if you think of lifting your head up towards the ceiling, that often brings your head back on its own. So you're doing two directions.

[00:20:14.610] – Katy

You're actually doing three, but we'll just make it easy. Your head is going back and your head is going up towards the ceiling at the same time. And then what that does is it reduces that excessive curve in the upper back and it reduces the excessive opposing direction curve in the neck or what's called lardosis. You get two curve adjustments for one movement, which is, again, why I led with it. It is such an impactful, simple move that requires no equipment that you can do no matter the activity you're doing. So why bury the lead? Put it in chapter one. Put it in the first part of chapter one.

[00:20:52.180] – Allan

And unlike your grandfather, you'll be taller for it.

[00:20:55.270] – Katy

And that's right. My dad. That was my dad.

[00:20:57.320] – Allan

Your dad. Your dad. That's right.

[00:20:59.780] – Katy

So yes, and showing how this changes height. The book is done in essays, so you can really drop into it wherever you want. You don't have to read it through. But if improved swallowing or addressing why maybe the shoulders aren't functioning isn't that motivating. You can go simply through, you'll be taller by the time you're done with this exercise.

[00:21:20.170] – Allan

There you go. I love that. Now, you wrote a sentence in your book, and then you actually re-repeated it because it's probably the most important sentence that's ever been written for someone who's really looking at the way to maintain their body, maintain their joints. And I think this should be printed out and put in every gym in America and around the world because it is such an important statement. I'm actually going to probably end up saying it twice myself. The ligaments are not the breaks of the joint. The muscles are.

[00:21:55.860] – Allan

Could you take a moment to talk through that? Because when I read that sentence, it was the same thing. I was like, Whoa, that's important. This means something. And so many people are going through pain of movement because they don't understand this fundamental thing.

[00:22:16.400] – Katy

Right. We're not really taught movement. We're not modeled moving well. And so it's no wonder. But yet we are still fairly dynamic. As sedentary as we are, our bodies are our vehicles, our vessels are moving around from point A to point B. So what that statement means is, what's the best way to explain it? You're using your joints all the time to pick things up and set things down. Talking about your arms, your legs are also essentially doing the same thing as your arms. Only the thing that it's picking up and setting down is your torso weight and your arms, the rest of your body. Musculoskeletal muscles are contracting and relaxing. And when they can do it with control, when you're able to generate enough force to move you and to lower you, well, the muscle does the work throughout the entire arc of, let's say, a movement, getting up out of a chair, walking down a flight of stairs. Different muscles are doing different things at different times, but some are holding and lifting parts, some are slowly lowering parts and gently setting you down. That would be the optimal situation where your muscles are able to carry, yes, your total body weight, but really the way muscles work is that each set of muscles are carrying the weight of various segments to and fro.

[00:23:44.850] – Katy

So you might be able to be like, look, I can stand. I can carry my body weight. I can move across the floor. Yes. But if you're walking with a really heavy landing, like every foot strike is a thunk or a thud, you've probably read it many times, walking is just controlled falling. I disagree with that. I think that a lot of people are in a controlled falling state, but that would be an example of your muscles are not strong enough to carry you through a gait cycle. So there's these heavy landings. And instead, what you're using are the ligaments. You're using more passive connective tissues. And some connective tissue like fascia can generate a little bit of force, but it's not in the same way that you don't want to use your connective tissue in lieu of your musculoskeletal muscle. You want to be using that as a primary force generator with everything else supporting. Right now, we're getting a lot of crash landings in all of the movement that we do. And that means that these tissues that don't have the same adaptive property as muscle… One of muscle's amazing defining properties is that it adapts to load and gets bigger.

[00:25:01.400] – Katy

It gets more voluminous. It's like, what are you doing with your body? How can I assist? Let me feel that. Let me increase in mass so that you do that better and more safely. We're rarely using our musculoskeletal system. We are using the more connective tissue that does not have that same, let me feel what you're doing and adapt and change. It has to take it. So like a seat belt in your car, if you're going fast towards the wall, the best thing for the car parts and the body inside of it is to apply the brake. That's the musculoskeletal system. What we tend to do is hit the wall and depend on the seat belt to stop the impact. And if you imagine doing that in a car over and over again, not only would you total the car, which is a joint, so to speak, the seat belt, the ligament, begins to after a repetitive load in that way, and it does not have the properties to adapt like muscle does, you begin to thin or fray or otherwise damage the ligament, loosen, however you want to think about it. And then there's some people who have connective tissue issues or disorders who already have connective tissue that is more lax than others.

[00:26:30.840] – Katy

And that group tends to use their ligaments for deceleration. So in a culture where people are so sedentary or when they do move, it's so repetitive, everyone, whether you have a ligament issue that already gives you loose… Loose is the easiest way to understand it. Or you've already done some damage to ligaments. In either case, learning how to use your muscloskeletal system better with more control over a greater range of motion will benefit not only your musculoskeletal parts, your joints, the part that tend to hurt, it also makes you more metabolically healthy. You end up addressing those metabolical reasons that we are moving more when you approach it that way. So yeah, thanks for bringing that up because I do love that sentiment.

[00:27:25.330] – Allan

And the way I broke this down myself was I see people who know they have a problem with their knees, and so they do quarter squats or half squats. And that's using the ligaments as breaks. And that's part of the reasons why they're still hurting. They want to do something. They want to squat. And they're like, just get down into the squat. Keep your weight reasonable, your load reasonable. Get down below parallel. And now it's your glutes that have to fire because they're the only breaks left. And it's a lot easier to do that than to really focus on your quadriceps or the breaks because, again, you end up with the ligaments taking the brunt of that. And the walking downstairs, I liked how you went through the process of explaining how we can drop our hip and basically, again, use our glutes as the primary muscle that's the break and then holding us as we bring the other foot forward. So can you talk just a little about that, about how we can focus on those muscles and use them the right way. In the book, I think you did it brilliant, and you did a little exercise you called the pelvic lift.

[00:28:37.360] – Katy


[00:28:38.000] – Allan

List. Okay. Can you talk just a little bit about that?

[00:28:42.580] – Katy

Well, culturally, we share a lot of movement habits. The biggest one is that most people listening to this, grew up in a culture where chairs are fairly ubiquitous, which means we're not really comfortable dropping our hips down below the height of our knees. Our cars, our desks at school, our desks at work, the chairs in our home, getting down to the bed, our toilet, everything is at the height of the hips getting to the same altitude or elevation as the knee. So what's happened is we are a culture that is stronger, more used to using the front of the thigh. We don't really use the back of the thigh. We don't use our glutes, we don't use our hamstrings, nearly to the same degree that we use the front of our body. You can see it in standing posture is when the hips rest forward, we're even standing at rest. We're using the muscles on the front of the thigh to hold us up, and the back of the thigh and the glutes don't do much for our entire life. And so for many people, knee pain is going to resonate. And also knee pain while taking the stairs, usually going upstairs, but downstairs is usually the killer.

[00:29:58.750] – Katy

A lot of people can go up, but they can't come down. And I'm trying to flesh out why that is. It's because when you're trying to lower your body down something, we come with all these joints to share the work distribution over our body. Well, we don't share it. When you think of the human skeleton, think of the pelvis. Think of the… If you've never held a femur, which is that upper thighbone in your hand, it's massive. And it's massive because it has to be able to withstand the tension that is placed upon it by these musclesthat can carry our body weight with every step, but have never really had to do it. We've given it to the quads, and the knees are like, I can't carry you down this hill. I've carried you every other step that you've taken in your entire life. And I'm sorry, we don't go downhill anymore. That's a little cartoon, but that's really what the narrative is. We can't do it. That body part is tapping out of going downhill, which is fine because that's not really your downhill primary mover. You've got these massive lateral hip muscles that have really great leverage that come with strong bones that could have strong bones.

[00:31:12.670] – Katy

If you would use this piston like action, I'm using my hands because we can see each other, but those listening can't. There's a piston action to your size. When you have one leg that's free and you drop one hip when your pelvis lists to one side, that is an easy way to get your heavy mass, adults are heavy, down something without having to use the knees. And so a large part of what I do is say, let me reintroduce you or introduce you for the first time to large parts of your body that have been pretty much unused most of your life, even if you're already an active person. I have Olympian athletes who will come and go through this same process of having these major sedentary spots within their otherwise fit and active body. So you can be full body sedentary or you can be part by part sedentary. And learning how to list, again, is one of the most important things we can do to preserve our knee joints, but more importantly, to preserve the activities we'd like to do with our legs that our knees are tapping out of.

[00:32:27.380] – Allan

You mentioned earlier the chair. Some people might argue, the best invention ever, because I get to sit down and it's easy and then I can get back up. I can watch what I want to watch and do what I want to do, sitting there comfortably for hours and hours. And then you mentioned my favorite workout implement, I think it might be yours too, the floor.

[00:32:51.120] – Katy

The floor is great. It's right there. It's just right there. It's always underfoot.

[00:32:55.780] – Allan

Yes. Let's talk about the floor and how this can be a big part of your overall fitness and movement. Just getting.

[00:33:04.240] – Katy

Down to it. Again, it's one of those things. It's always around for the most part. We've done a disservice to ourselves by putting all of our understanding of movement on this thing called exercise, where you go to the place and you use the thing, the equipment, and that's it.

[00:33:23.410] – Allan

And usually sitting there, too.

[00:33:25.470] – Katy

Oftentimes, a lot of times people will take their exercise sitting down. Again, because they're not paying attention to the fact that the legs have lost the ability to hold up the body for a long period of time. And the idea is, but I'd still like to exercise, which is great, but functionally speaking, there's a lot of experiences that you carrying yourself around on your body weight opens up. And so because we've pulled fitness a lot of times out of the practical because we see it as something I need to do 30 minutes for my heart or my lungs or for my cholesterol or for my resting blood pressure, we forget that movement is a feedback loop of when you move your body in a certain way, you become more able to move your body in that way. And that exercise is great medicine in that if you can't currently carry your body well on body parts like your legs or your arms, you can't use your limbs. They're not able to carry your weight around. You can use movement as a tool to restore that ability in many cases. And that's a much richer definition of movement versus using it, taking it and sitting down.

[00:34:42.480] – Katy

So anyway, to go back to your question about the floor, it's very practical to get down to the floor and get back up again. That is a major exercise, if you will, in that it mobilizes multiple joints. It challenges the muscles of many parts to be able to get back up. It's a very nutritious food, so to speak. There's a lot of nutrient density to that move, and yet it's very hard to make us do something like that. So floor exercises are great because there's always this period of time where you have to get down and get back up. But just getting to the floor and getting back up can be an exercise itself. Just getting down to the floor, sitting in three different positions while you're down there and getting back up is equally an exercise that you adapt to, just like anything else that you're calling exercise that uses similar muscles. So get more familiar with the floor, not only during exercise time, but during non exercise time. If you take in entertainment in the evening, get down on the floor while you do it. Once you're down on the floor, you will feel just the pressure.

[00:35:56.260] – Katy

Chairs aren't only problematic for their geometry, that they reduce the full range of motion of our parts, they're often usually covered in fluff, which means we are missing out on pressure. Pressure itself is another movement our bodies are not only accustomed to throughout the human timeline, but need. We have all these sensors all over our body that need physical pressure, and we've made the world quite soft. So get on the floor and just roll around on the floor, roll from your back to your front. It's very similar to what happens when you're getting a massage. It's not as enjoyable, I'll be truthful, but it uses more of you. It's tenderizing your body. It's breaking up. Same thing that you do to other meat when you're trying to break up some of that overgrown connection that's happened between parts. We need movement, we need pressure to be able to deal with that. Yeah.

[00:36:49.960] – Allan

And you said functional, and I think that's why I really like this is because I can tell you a story. My wife, at the time, she's my girlfriend, her son was dating this woman who had a daughter. And for one reason or another, the daughter was just terrified of me, just terrified. And I wanted to fix this. And I'm like, Okay, how do I fix a relationship with a child? And I'm like, Well, I'm not going to fix it by being an adult. I'm going to fix it by being a child.

[00:37:21.390] – Allan

And so I literally took my laptop and I put on Sponge Bob, which I knew was her favorite. And I went over on the floor and I set my laptop down. I started watching Sponge Bob. And she came over and sat next to me. And we sat there and watched a few episodes of Sponge Bob together, and it changed everything. And so when you start looking at, Okay, what if I fall? What if someone else falls? What if I want to get on the floor and crawl around with my grandchild or me now, I've got some dogs and one of them has hip dysplasia, and so she can't move around a whole lot. I make a point once a day in the morning while my coffee is brewing to go sit on the floor and just hang out with Angel. She loves it. It's like, I'm at her level. I'm down there with her. And it's a tile floor. It's not comfortable. But it helps because what I found is that I can just get down and I can get back up and then I can get back down. And so it's not exercise, it's movement, it's function.

[00:38:21.880] – Allan

And me having a great relationship with my granddaughter or having a great relationship with my dog or just knowing if I found myself on the floor, it's no big deal to just get back up. I think that's really important. And so I am glad the floor is there, and I think people should use it more.

[00:38:40.640] – Katy

I agree.

[00:38:41.830] – Allan

Katy, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:38:51.280] – Katy

Well, I imagine that the easy answers would be intake excellent dietary nutrition, regular movement, and good sleep. Those are the three, but I imagine those are three are given all the time. So I'd want to modify those three. And one would be… I mean, I want to modify one of the three movement because that's my field. And one would be get movement every day, but one, make sure some of it's outside. Expose yourself to some nature through your physical movement. That could be doing your exercise outside. That could be just taking a walk outside. That could be gardening. It could be spending time with animals or kids outside. It's this idea that you are consciously going, I need to move my body outside a little bit every day, which is just a level up from move every day. Another one would be to add community, to add some community to your physical time. You're going to be most supported. You're going to be able to move more when you try to overlap your need for movement with your need for others. And the pay off is, like you said, there's more to movement than just health.

[00:40:14.350] – Katy

There is the relationship aspect of it. And when you get down to the floor and invite other people to get down there with you, you're changing the movement culture a little bit. And then the third step for me is I like to be grateful. I always am most grateful for my health when it's poorest, when something hurts, if I've injured something is when I long most for when my body felt really capable and felt great, which seems like it was just yesterday or three days ago, whatever it was from the time of the injury. Those moments remind me to check in daily with appreciation for all that you can do. It's really easy to focus on all the things that you can't, what you feel like you've lost, this way that you feel that's bad. We need to give more attention and awareness to how much of us feels good and how capable and able we are. Even if we're not choosing to use it all the time, it's a form of gratitude practice. It's just giving a little bit of gratitude to yourself every day. I'm so glad that I don't hurt today or make my back hurts.

[00:41:30.090] – Katy

I'm so glad my shoulders feel so great. Let me just move them around a little bit. That little gratitude for your physical capability, totally able to be scaled to what you can do, I do think is a part of our whole wellbeing, physical and mental.

[00:41:45.100] – Allan

Thank you. Katie, if someone wanted to learn more about you and your book, we got lots of books, but your current book, Rethink Your Position, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:41:55.230] – Katy

You can go to rypbook.com or your local bookstore. And you can get it any place books are found. But if you come to my website, I think there's a discount code for podcast guests.

[00:42:08.920] – Allan

Okay, well, we'll get that offline and I'll make sure to list it in the show notes. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/590, and I'll be sure to have a link there. Katie, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness,again.

[00:42:23.470] – Katy

Thank you for having me. I'm 40 plus. I love it.

Here is a discount code for 25% off Rethink Your Position if purchased via nutritiousmovement.com.

Code: RETHINK25 (active 5/1/23-12/31/23)
Direct link to book: 

Rethink Your Position: Reshape Your Exercise, Yoga, and Everyday Movement, One Part at a Time—PAPERBACK

Post Show/Recap

[00:42:36.400] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:42:38.800] – Rachel

Hey, Allan, I love listening about posture. It's such an important reminder because I do spend quite a bit of my own time hunched over. When I eat, I eat hunched over. When I do dishes at the sink, I'm hunched over. And of course, I'm on my phone like everybody else, hunched over. So it's good to have the reminder to be a little bit more cognizant of my posture periodically.

[00:43:03.880] – Allan

I have the workstation, it's a movable desk. It rises up and goes down and I have my camera. So if I'm on a call, it's up high above the monitor. I probably could put a little higher and it would be better. But basically I'd like the monitor up. And so right now it's generally at eye contact level. And so that helps a lot. But I do read a lot and I'm on my laptop a lot. I'm not on a phone a lot. A lot of people get on their phones. I don't like reading anything on a phone. I just don't.

[00:43:33.360] – Rachel

It's too small.

[00:43:34.250] – Allan

I don't like typing on a phone. I can type about 120 words per minute. So when I get on a phone, it's like I feel like a caveman. And so I okay, Allan, you are a caveman because you don't want to use the phone. Go back to your computer, caveman. But it's easier. It allows me to have a better posture, a slightly better posture than I would if I was on the phone. Given the amount of time that I spent, if I was going to read a book, a digital book, and I'm going to read the heads down. And so it was just funny when she first starts the book, it's like, I know you're going to be hunched over reading this book or looking at it on the screen, like on your Kindle or something. And so I want you to do these exercises. Suddenly, your whole… You just change. You're like, Okay, crap. Now I've got to do this crap. And as I went through her book, I did, which was great. And it was just interesting that she and the Starretts and Jill Miller all came out with books around the same time because it's a similar topic.

[00:44:34.660] – Allan

Our bodies were made to move. They were made to move certain ways. And if we move the right way, we're doing the right things for our body, we're going to be healthier and fitter as we age. And things that you see happen to other people, particularly when it's posture related, you see it like the hunch back women and the old rickety men that can't straighten their legs. There's a way to age that way. And if you're spending a lot of time on your phone, you're probably already experiencing some of that. If you get headaches, if you notice, okay, there's backache, it's probably a posture problem. So working on the posture is going to go a long way towards eliminating pain or preventing it in the first place.

[00:45:20.060] – Rachel

Well, she mentioned standing up against the wall to realign and feel where your head and neck are sitting. And you had just recently mentioned about maybe getting on the floor instead or on a workout bench or something.

[00:45:32.320] – Allan

Yeah, I can tell if I've been reading a book on my laptop, it's about 6 to 10 hours that I have my head lunch down because my laptop is sitting on a desk and not raised, I notice I go to lay down on the bench and my head doesn't immediately just go down and rest on the bench. There's a little gap there. I'm like, okay, I've been looking down too much. I need to go to my office, raise my desk up and spend more time looking up. It might be more uncomfortable to type that way, but so be it. I'm reading a book, I'm not typing. So just look for ways that you can change your work, change your posture, change your movement. It's going to go a long way.

[00:46:15.960] – Rachel

Well, like Katy had mentioned, too, with the tech neck, with that forward leaning head and your shoulders hunched over, she mentions it's not good for swallowing. It compresses the lungs, so you're not giving deep breaths. And with the shoulders in, which I do also, I have my shoulders in quite a bit, it just restricts your movement. It just doesn't feel very good. And just notice, be body aware and feel when this is happening, and then just make the cognizant change to do something about it, to stand up straight or stand against the wall or lay on the floor and try and get yourself real aligned. Yeah.

[00:46:53.480] – Allan

Well, there's a productivity trick or hack called the palmodoro method. W hat the Palmodoro method is, is this concept that we really weren't designed to sit and focus on something for hours and hours and hours. Our brain isn't wired that way. Our bodies aren't wired that way. We're wired to move and look for differences and keep moving. So if you're going to find yourself sitting and working, what this palmodoro method is, is where you would set a Timer for 25 minutes and then you would focus. You wouldn't take phone calls, you wouldn't answer emails. You don't do anything but focus on that one task for that 25 minutes. When your alarm goes off at 25 minutes, you get up and move around for 5 minutes.

[00:47:40.670] – Allan

And what they found is that you can get more work done in an hour taking 10 minutes off to five minute rest breaks. You get more work done in that hour and it's higher quality work.

[00:47:55.370] – Allan

So when you say, I don't have time to exercise, I don't have time to do stretches. You do. You just have to structure the way you think and work a little bit differently. And the Palmadoro method is a great way to say, Okay, 25 minutes, focus, get this done. You may not get it all done, but 25 minutes over, stop and get to moving. Stretch out, move around, do something, walk. Just get yourself out, work on all that, and then come back and focus on that task and you'll get it done. But you'll get more done in that hour than you would have if you just sat there and tried to grind it out.

[00:48:31.430] – Rachel

That sounds awesome. That sounds like a good reminder.

[00:48:35.030] – Allan

Yeah. And there's even apps you can put on your phone or on your computer that every 25 minutes just runs the numbers for you. So you go through your work day, you're like, yeah, I've got to sit here for eight to 10 hours. Well, set your Timer, set your alarm, do your 25 minutes. What's the task? I got to get done. Focus on the first one first and then just run through them and just look for ways to do shortcuts. I've got another one for you here. It's an application I use every day, every week. Sometimes it saves me hours a week. And it's called Text Expander, and it's an app. You do have to pay for it. It's on my computer. And what it does is if there's something I type a lot, like my signature on an email, or maybe there's just a phrase like when I'm going to invite someone to the podcast, I have a template that I use. Or when I'm going to do my show plan, I have a template that I send out. Instead of typing all that stuff up or going and finding it and copying and pasting, I just do hot key stroke.

[00:49:33.800] – Allan

So I've got a little system where I know what those key strokes are. And so three or four key strokes and it types the whole thing. And so because I'm not having to type it each time, it's saving me that amount of time that it would take for me to type it. And so each week, I get a report from them. This week it was you saved 24 minutes, and this is 60 weeks in a row of using this app. And so this app has saved me hours and hours and hours over the course of the last year plus just not having to type the same things or going and finding it on another document and then copying and pasting just to save the typing. And so it's a lot fewer key strokes, a lot less time on the typewriter or on the keyboard. Yeah. Again, caveman. But it's just a lot less time doing that stuff. And so I can get a lot more done. And it's really up to you as how much memory you have in your head as how many key strokes you'd use. You can leave a cheat sheet somewhere.

[00:50:36.780] – Allan

This is like, okay, here's all my codes. Here's the things. So I know my hot codes to do. But literally, once you get it set up, every time you find yourself typing the same thing again, you can just make it a text clip and text expander will do the work for you. And so that's just another one where you're saying, okay, it's hard for me to get enough time to do something. Well, if this thing saves you 24 minutes in a week, well, that's a workout.

[00:51:05.980] – Rachel

Yeah, that's a lot. That's great. Super cool. Yeah.

[00:51:10.770] – Allan

All right. I guess with that, I'll talk to you next week, Rachel.

[00:51:14.640] – Rachel

Sounds good. Take care.

[00:51:16.210] – Allan

You, too.

Music by Dave Gerhart


The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Leigh Tanner
– Debbie Ralston– John Dachauer– Tim Alexander
– Eliza Lamb

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


How to move freely and live fully with Juliet and Kelly Starrett

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

When you optimize your movement, everything you do gets easier. Juliet and Kelly Starrett have put together a manual to help you do just that with their new book, Built to Move. On episode 584 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we dive in and learn how we can improve our movement and our life.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:46.790] – Allan

Hey, Ras.

[00:02:47.770] – Rachel

Hey, Allan.

[00:02:48.990] – Allan

How's the last few minutes of your life been?

[00:02:51.460] – Rachel

Pretty quiet.

[00:02:52.690] – Rachel

It's nice to be holed up here in my office.

[00:02:56.150] – Allan

Yeah, our hello section. We're doing two episodes at the same time, so nothing's changed other than a few minutes on the clock since we did the last one. But just thought we'd take a moment to have our little hello session anyway. So, Ras, are you ready to have a conversation with Juliet and Kelly Starrett?

[00:03:13.750] – Rachel



[00:04:13.650] – Allan

Juliet, Kelly, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:04:16.940] – Juliet

Thanks so much for having us, Allan.

[00:04:18.590] – Kelly

Thank you.

[00:04:19.140] – Allan

Now, your book is called Built to Move: the Ten Essential Habits to Help You Move Freely and Live Fully. And the interesting thing was when Becoming a Supple Leopard came out, loved the book. When the second edition of it came out, I bought it again and gave the first edition away. And then when Deskbound came out, I bought that. Those are both sitting on my bookshelf over here. And then this one comes out and I'm like, how did you write a better book than the best books that are already out there? And you guys did it. You did it.

[00:04:52.720] – Juliet

Thank you so much. Thank you so much. We're really excited about it.

[00:04:56.480] – Kelly

Well, I think what you can see is some evolution in our thinking that we maybe have been very keen on our roots are high performance, that's where we came from. But as we've progressed and gotten a little bit more old or mature or wise or our lives have gotten up, we're looking around and seeing that we had to have a slightly different conversation because some of the things that we were talking about ten years ago really haven't come to pass. And if we were going to take a crack, honestly, at saying, hey, fitness and wellness has left a lot of people behind, what does that look like to us and what's important to us now as we start to crest 50? And it turns out that all of that experience has been integrated into this book. And if we were going to be honest, something that Juliet I talked about is that those other books really lacked this blueprint, this daily manual about how to go about your life. That was what was missing from our writing.

[00:05:47.910] – Juliet

In some ways we think of this book almost as a prequel to Supple Leopard because this is sort of again, we think of them as base camp practices and Supple Leopard is sort of like the advanced class.

[00:05:59.890] – Allan

Yeah, well, I always talk to my clients and we talk on this podcast that fitness is not CrossFit. I mean, CrossFit is great. I love CrossFit, but they call that the fittest person on the earth when they do their competitions. And that's great. But for us, fitness is fit for task. So it's being the best grandmother you can be. It's being out with your friends and feeling confident and comfortable that you can play tennis or pickleball. It's being late for the bus and having to take a little sprint there to catch the bus stop before the bus pulls away. It's the things we do in our everyday life that is what real fitness is about. And I've always also said there's not a user manual for us, but built to move. Well, there it is. You've basically given us the user's manual for how to move our bodies. And if our bodies are not moving the way they're supposed to, we can evaluate and then we can do something about it. And that's the beautiful part of this. It's not just saying, here's your diagnosis, good luck. Your doctor says eat less and move more, then you're like, okay, but you guys are actually giving us more of a manual of how to do it and how to actually improve it and if it's already working, how to keep it going, which again, I just think it's brilliant. Thank you.

[00:07:14.350] – Juliet

Well, and I really love how you're framing the idea of fitness. And one of the things we really wanted to do with this book is make it as accessible as possible. And one of the ways we frame fitness in our own minds is just simply being able to do the things you want to do physically for as long as you want to be able to do them. And that is really wide ranging, as you said. I mean, that can be just having the stamina to walk 25,000 steps with your grandchildren at Disneyland or that can be you want to be a 65 year old triathlete. I mean, it's very wide ranging. But I do think we've overly narrowed the definition of fitness to people think it is sort of like the CrossFit body or whatever that means. But to us it's really much broader. And I think that's how our own thinking has evolved over the years.

[00:07:58.760] – Kelly

And let me say that one of the things that we know was the truth about some of our earlier work was that we had objective measures. And our objective measures were your native range of motion. That's the underpinning of sort of our old work. What is it that everyone agrees the shoulder should be able to do? How can we get you back to those positions? And then the proof was in the output, the wattage, the poundage. And one of the things that we realized was that we hadn't given people clear objective measures or vital signs, physical vital signs, around some of the other features of our behaviors, whether it's nutrition or sleep or walking or moving. So what we've done here is recognize that if anyone can know what decent blood pressure is 120 over 80. That's not great blood pressure, but it knows it's a range where you're saying, hey, I need to pay attention, or I need to make a change. And what we've tried to do in Bolton move is give people objective vital signs where you can say, hey, I have a newborn, or I'm on a deadline and my sleep is awful, but I'm just below the vital sign line right now.

[00:08:57.790] – Kelly

This objective measure, and it gives you a place to say, I should pay attention to that or helps to inform you about some blind spots, because, frankly, people are working. They're crazy. They're working hard and have complicated lives, and we need to show them that it's not all or nothing.

[00:09:12.380] – Allan

Yeah. And to kind of give folks an idea, what we're talking about from a range is you guys saw that commercial with the old man trying to lift up his granddaughter. I ball every time I watch.

[00:09:23.650] – Juliet

Me, too. I watch it, like three times a year and just cry my eyes out.

[00:09:26.790] – Allan

I cry every time I see it. And you've got that. So the guy's just trying to lift up his granddaughter to put a star on the tree that he bought for her, and it's just that moment he's been training for. And to go as far as Juliet, your father, who's out there rafting and hiking and doing these things with his kids and keeping up with them, yeah, it's hard, but he's doing it because he's at that level. This is a wide range of fitness that we get ourselves into at this age group, and so it's right for all of us. So I think that's what's really beautiful is this is not just something if you have bad movement patterns. This is a great book. Even if you do, this is how you keep having those patterns and you keep moving. Well, yeah.

[00:10:07.540] – Kelly

One of the things that Julian and I are fortunate enough to be in is a world of high performance sport, and we get to work with alongside a lot of superhumans men and women and really complicated, amazing teams. And what we've realized is that our grounding is in this high performance, but that only is important because it informs us what good practice looks like. And part of what Juliet and I have been trying to do is say, hey, if sport and high performance environments is a laboratory, and that's how we've kind of always viewed them, that if we don't actually apply that science to society and transform our communities, then that stuff is less important to the both of us. It's more hate circus and entertainment. And so we're really trying to sort of conjoin those behaviors. And one of the questions that we regularly ask and you're pointing out is, how is it going? Are we being served by our current lab results? And it turns out that just about anything you care about probably is trending in the wrong direction globally or even nationally, from obesity to being overweight to depression, substance abuse, pain.

[00:11:16.260] – Kelly

And one of the things that we have come to realize is that the underpinnings of any high performance environment is this book. And it's not diet and exercise. And what we're seeing is if we are going to in fact be 100 plus years old, which we're definitely trending towards more and more with science and drugs and surgeries and all the things that are coming, we better think differently about how we're living our lives because the environment person sort of interaction is becoming a little bit more convoluted and complicated.

[00:11:45.990] – Juliet

And one thing I would add to that too is it is a myth that all of these high performers actually are checking all the boxes as well. I think it's easy for those of us who are weekend warrior types to think, okay, well the Starretts work with these elite athletes and they've checked every single box. And in some ways because I think we have gotten so much more sophisticated in training, so much more knowledge is widely available thanks to the Internet. We have this explosion of technology that can be applied to fitness that there's an assumption that all these high performers are getting the basics right, but in some ways they're not. In fact, because of all this, Sophistication they too have forgotten to focus on the basics. And so I think it's important for your listeners to know that the things that we are prescribing to do for weekend warriors everyday movers are the exact same things we are actually prescribing for the highest performers to be doing as well.

[00:12:41.750] – Allan

Yeah. Now there was one thing that you brought up in the book that I think is really important because if you go into any bookstore and you start looking for fitness books that relate to people over 50, you're going to find the stretching books because we've lost a lot of flexibility, we lost a lot of mobility. And so when you bring up mobilization or mobility training, which I bring up a lot, they default to this oh well, I already stretch before I do my workout and I stretch after my workout, therefore I'm covered. Can you kind of compare and contrast what is the difference between mobilization and stretching?

[00:13:18.630] – Kelly

May I, should I take a swing at this?

[00:13:19.720] – Juliet

oh yeah.

[00:13:23.090] – Kelly

When people say stretching, it really is sort of a nebulous term. If I said diet, that could include traditional diets, paleo juice, cleanse keto. It's a really nonspecific idea. And one of the things that we're trying to say with mobilizations that we're prescribing is that you are a complex, amazing, systems based human being. If you just feel tension in a muscle or a tissue that's not necessarily making changes in that muscle or tissue. Because I think when what's happened is we've all known, hey, we should stretch, but we all don't know why. To what end? What is enough? And is it working? Because remember, the goal here is to restore our native range of motion. In fact, what we want everyone to be thinking about here is that your range of motion and ability to move freely has nothing to do with your age. It's the one aspect of your movement that sort of is age independent and age proof that it's more difficult to heal as you get a little bit older. We slow down, but we still heal, but it's slower. It's harder to keep muscle mass on. We know it's harder to change body composition, to lose those stubborn few pounds.

[00:14:34.850] – Kelly

But your range of motion, that's a really stable system. And what we know is that as we get older, maintaining our range of motion allows us to maintain movement options. Movement solutions. Your balance will improve if you have better ankle range of motion. You are more likely to have fewer aches and pains if your hips do what hips are supposed to do. So what we're talking about in the mobilizations are saying, hey, here are some targeted techniques that we actually call in house position transfer exercises. We're doing this slightly different variation on restoring what your tissue should do to a specific aim of restoring a range of motion you should already have. So you might stretch because it feels good, right? Like you just move your neck around. But we can think about stretching. If someone said, hey, I go to yoga, isn't that enough? Well, yoga is a movement practice, and you may feel tension in your musculature and tissues while you do that, but that may be an incomplete way of addressing a range of motion. So what we're trying to do with these mobilizations are introduce some other techniques like contract, relax, and some other sort of key concepts to help people be able to return to their native range of motion in a specific way.

[00:15:49.890] – Kelly

So this is more akin to an exercise that restores your range of motion than, hey, I'm passively pulling on something because someone told me this is good for me at one point in my life.

[00:15:59.590] – Allan

Yeah, and it's sort of that concept. We do the stretching because we want it to prevent us from hurting ourselves. But the reality is it's mobilization and being able to move through the full range of motion that allows our body to do the things it's supposed to do so we don't get injured.

[00:16:15.530] – Kelly

And what you're bringing up is a really important thing. Oftentimes when people come I think when we were working with younger populations and we were earlier in our careers, 15 20 years ago, we were using these sets of mobilizations and ideas of restoring to how your tissues slide and glide and what your joints do. We were using them to restore positions so that our athletes could go out and win world championships. That's great. But that has nothing to do with me as a 50 year old man. And what it turns out is that those same mobilizations oftentimes can be employed to return my, again, native range of motion. What is it my body should be able to do? Everyone agrees that this is what your shoulder should be able to do. Every physical therapist, every doctor, every surgeon, there are these native ranges to every human, not gymnast ranges. I'm not talking about that would be nice, but that's not the reality. What we saw was that when people had pain or stiffness, one of the easiest things we could do was do something to change their physiology. So by getting some input into the tissues that was different than just tension stretching, we saw that sometimes that was enough to restore or change how their brain was thinking about the tissue.

[00:17:25.430] – Kelly

So suddenly that pain didn't mean I was injured. My body was throwing up an error message. And immobilization was a simple way of turning that message off. By changing some aspect of my tissue or by mobilizing, I was able to return or change or improve my range of motion. And my brain thought that was different. So we ended up realizing that we had this sort of spinning coin. And on one side was, let's return your positions so that you can do what you want to do. On the other side was, hey, I'm in pain. Well, what can I do about it? I can restore my positions and own my shapes and own how my tissues move. And that may be enough to get me out of pain or change how my brain is perceiving what's going on in my body.

[00:18:05.260] – Juliet

And one of the things we're really trying to change the perception about in this book, and I think this is particularly relevant for those of us over 40 who do suffer from aches and pains because we're trying to use and move our bodies, is that and Kelly alluded to this a little bit, but pain doesn't necessarily mean you're injured. And I think that's where people often go in their minds, like, oh, I have knee pain. I'm injured. And one of the things we're trying to be evangelist about is, hey, before you take time off work and get seven MRIs and go see twelve chiropractors and physical therapists, you really can take a crack at some basic soft tissue and mobility work and really potentially affect change in your own body. And I'll give you an example. I can't tell you how many people we've had come to Kelly saying, oh my God, I have knee pain. Should I go get an MRI? And I should probably go see the orthopedist

[00:18:59.840] – Kelly

we call this the pain spiral. And it's very common,

[00:19:02.240] – Juliet

and it sort of leads to this medical intervention situation that often ends in a physician not seeing anything on an MRI and instead just telling that person, well, you should stop doing what's hurting. So you may love running, it may bring you joy, but you definitely should stop doing that, which is not what people want to hear. Instead, we're able to say, hey, look, your knee is a system connected above and below with muscles and tons of soft tissue and connective tissue. And I can't tell you how many people we've said, hey, you need to spend seven days doing soft tissue work on your quads and your calves, ten minutes a day that are connected to your knee. And people are blown away like they don't believe us at first that it's going to make a change in their knee pain because they think for sure they're injured. And so one of the things we're trying to do, and we do have some sort of pain toolkits in this book, is to try to reframe thinking a little bit, such that if you do have aches and pains in your joints and shoulders, there obviously will be a time at which it's totally appropriate to go see a physician.

[00:20:05.820] – Juliet

But maybe that shouldn't be your first course of action. Maybe you take ten minutes for a few days to just see if you can make change. Because the amount of people we've been able to see who can is astounding.

[00:20:16.990] – Kelly

And if I may just jump in there. The other side of that is that people fail to appreciate that the environment, the lifestyle decisions we make influence how regular and how tough and durable our tissues are and how our brains perceive what's happening in our bodies. So one of the first conversations we have with anyone when we're dealing with an acute injury or chronic injury or persistent pain is we actually look at their sleep. And then what we know is that if you're a stressed person who's getting less than 7 hours of sleep a night, we know that that is not helping you sort of calm this ringing bell down and that if you want to heal, change your body composition, grow, put on muscle, get skinnier. Whatever your goal is, it turns out eight is a really magic number. So the rest of the book it seems like, and this is what's really confusing, I think, about how we presented fitness and wellness to people is that we are a system and that my moving during the day affects my sleep and my sleep quality and sleep density. But if I can sleep more, I can oftentimes heal more effectively or even just get my brain to stop being so twitchy and freaked out and perceive my body as a threat.

[00:21:29.030] – Kelly

So if pain is a request for change, we want to sort of expand what that means. Well, hey, we can work locally and change some aspect of your tissue or get some different input. But also let's look at these other things that may be contributing to a system that sort of has a blanket.

[00:21:43.250] – Allan

and in the book, you kind of identify basically as that. It's like, okay, here are some things, and you have ten vital signs, is what you call them vital signs, but they're basically checks to kind of do that, check in with yourself, how am I doing with this? How am I doing with that? And it's not subjective. In some cases, it's a little subjective, but in a general sense, you've put measurements. You said, okay, let's try to do this and see how you do. And then from there, we kind of have an assessment of where we stand. And that's always a good thing, because when we talk about goals, you got to have a measurement. You got to know when you're successful, all those different things that go into writing a really good goal. This is the perfect start, the perfect benchmark, and then the tool that makes that stuff happen. So we sound complicated when we start talking about tissue and moving and this and that, and, okay, if it's my knees hurting, how could it actually be my hips that's causing this? And so that's the hard part that you guys have worked out, is you do these assessments, you have a better understanding of where you stand.

[00:22:44.320] – Allan

You do the exercises, the pain goes away, your movement improves. And all of these things, all ten of them, they literally build on each other to form a platform for you to be a better human, to move better, to live that life fully that we talked about all the way through the century mark. And so can you go through just briefly and kind of talk about each of the ten vital signs you have in the book? A little bit about why they're important, each of them is important, and then a little bit about how we could kind of maybe assess them and understand where our weaknesses and strengths are, and then just kind of how to put it all together.

[00:23:20.210] – Kelly

Before we jump into that. I just want to appreciate that the most important part of the book is something that Juliet and I came to work and understand, working with people who are very busy. So if we went to the Marine Aviation Weapons Tactical School, which is a very intense program where they're teaching marine aviation advanced techniques, no one is sleeping. So if we walked in and said, sleep more, that's not a solution. And if we had busy working parents with young people, and we said, hey, we need you to spend an hour a day at the end of your day doing this checklist of things, we also saw that that was impossible for people. And so Juliet and I spent better part of the last decade coming up with something we called a 24 hours duty cycle. And this is important in context, because what I want everyone to understand is you don't have to run this perfect checklist. We've really started to conceive that behavior change starts, when are you going to have some control and agency? When are you going to fit this into your life? So it's yet not another thing you've got to get done.

[00:24:21.280] – Kelly

And our motto around the house is, let's be consistent before we're heroic. And if we don't help people conceptualize where they can sort of layer or feather these things into their lives, it's not going to make a change. So that's the first thing I want people to understand about the book, is that it's a really easy starting place to begin to make fundamental changes. And let me give you an example. If we look at the first vital sign of getting up and down off the floor without your hands, it's really a sneaky vital sign about looking at hip flexion and what your hips should be able to do. But the easiest expression of that is, can you sit cross legged and get up and down off the floor without using your hands or putting your knee down? And that's not a strength issue, and it's definitely not a big range of motion I need to be a gymnast to sit crisscross applesauce. But one of the easiest ways to begin to change that is to say, hey, I'm going to watch TV tonight and sit on the ground for ten minutes while I'm watching TV.

[00:25:15.050] – Kelly

And every time I get uncomfortable, I'm going to fidget. So if most of us are watching TV in the evenings, which we are, right, watching news, we're getting caught up, we're self regulating, we're calming down. All we need you to do is get onto the floor and lean up against your couch and you've already begun to change your behavior, which is putting range of motion into your hips. You're changing shapes, and you're going to have to get up and down off the floor before you go to bed or get that snack or something else.

[00:25:41.140] – Allan

Or just sleep, right there.

[00:25:44.030] – Kelly

We've constrained the environment. We've shaped a behavior without having to make another choice. And that's one of the things we're really trying to do here.

[00:25:51.760] – Juliet

And one interesting note from a data perspective on this particular vital sign, which is get up off the floor. And it's the first one we put in the book, in part because it's kind of a fun test to do and you can get your whole family involved, and I think you learn really quickly where you are when you do that test. But one of the things we know is that in countries where people sleep and toilet on the floor, they suffer from much fewer low back pain orthopedic injuries, hip replacements, knee replacements, and fall risk. Fall risk, which everybody knows once you fall, especially as an elderly person, that's sort of the beginning of the end. And so there's some really interesting data behind it. But what we love about this particular vital sign is that it is so easy to immediately get some information about how your body's working. And then it's also the practices that we have around it, one of which literally is sitting on the floor more often while you watch television. And we know also from data that everybody is watching quite a bit of television a day. It's just an easy way to fit it into literally any busy life.

[00:26:54.120] – Juliet

And just to add a little bit of further context to what Kelly said, and I think it's important on these vital signs, I mean, we spent a lot of years thinking about which ones we did and did not want to include in this book. And the ultimate question for us is what do we do? We are users, we are busy parents of two kids and we work full time jobs and we are like normal people. We're not fitness people that spend 24 hours a day making Instagram videos about our abs like that's not what our life is like.

[00:27:24.180] – Kelly

I would like to have making 24.

[00:27:26.050] – Juliet

Hours, but we are users and these are the basic practices, all ten of these vital signs that we actually are focused on implementing in our own lives. And so getting off the floor is the first one.

[00:27:39.720] – Juliet

I believe our second vital sign is breathing. And people have started to, I think, get some concept of the importance of a breath practice. People have heard of Wim HOF cold therapy plus breathing. But interestingly as people may or may not know, kelly's a physical therapist. And when he has a client come in, especially a client that is complaining of low back pain, which is a very common problem, and I'm sure many of your listeners have or have had the first order of business Kelly does with them is work on their breathing. And we find it to be so critical in terms of how your body functions and also how your brain can think about and manage things like pain.

[00:28:23.280] – Kelly

What's interesting is, again, instead of saying, okay, now here's another practice that you have to do, what are you going to kick out? You're going to kick out making breakfast for your kids so you can do a breathing practice? What we are trying to say is we've got something called a blood oxygen level test, the Bolt test in there and it was popularized by a really brilliant thinker named Patrick McCone, and he is oxygen advantage. And it's a simple idea of understanding how CO2 tolerant we are. So hang on in there everyone. Remember that Juliet and I are really obsessed with being old and maintaining the things that we love to do as long as we can. But the other side of that is that we realize that we never have to have a compromise between being durable and longevity and performance. When we focus on helping the body do what it should do and improve its capacities, it turns out you can play more pickleball and you can do that spin class or whatever it is you like to do more effectively. And one of the things that I think is misunderstood about sort of some of our breathing traditions like yoga or meditation is sometimes we didn't always appreciate the impacts on the physiology.

[00:29:33.580] – Kelly

And that when I could get someone to breathe and do some breath practices. One of the things that we know, for example, is that you can strip off more oxygen off of the hemoglobin. Remember that blood is carrying oxygen, but the mechanism by which that oxygen comes off that blood cell is actually driven by your CO2 levels, the carbon dioxide gas. And so the more I can get my brain comfortable with having higher CO2 levels in the bloodstream because the CO2 is what triggers me to breathe. Suddenly, what we see is that you can actually access more oxygen, which means it's easier to go upstairs, which means if I have pneumonia or emphysema or I'm dealing with a chronic condition or I want to hike more effectively, and destroy the people in my hiking club or my bike group. I'm talking about this is the conversation we've had with our elite Tour de France cyclists. That this same idea of, hey, let's improve the efficiency of the system ends up going a long ways, but it also improves how well your rib cage moves, and it improves how well you can take a big breath, which changes your Vo2 max and makes it easier for you to move and balance and put your arms over your head.

[00:30:43.150] – Kelly

So when we start to see breathing not as a meditation alone practice, but as a mechanical practice, it's shocking the impacts that it has downstream.

[00:30:52.850] – Juliet

And just a note on the practices in our breathing chapter. And again, because our whole focus has been how can we fit this into our lives without adding another hour long breathing meditation practice? We recommend, and we are inspired, of course, by Jacob Nester's amazing book Breathe that one of our future chapters that we can discuss is walking More. And so we don't have a separate breathing practice. We suggest that while you're walking more, you actually just practice nose only breathing. Or one of the things we do a lot in our own practices whenever we're exercising, part of our warm up is just to work on a little bit of breath practice during our warm up. So again, it's not an added new practice. It's something that we're conscious of, we know the importance of, but we're figuring out how to just layer it into other things we're already doing and just bring an awareness to it. So we obviously are huge fans of walking and adding in generally more movement in the day. And so the time when I practice most of my nose only mouth closed conscious breathing is while I'm walking.

[00:31:51.340] – Kelly

What you can start to see in the book is that almost the book is split into sort of two categories. One of them, for example, and another vital sign is extend your hips. We're really trying to look at hip extension, which is my ability to walk and bring my knee behind my butt like I was in a lunge position. Because of the amount of time we're spending sitting, because of just the nature of being a human in today's world. We've seen that this inability or loss of capacity or loss of freedom to put the hip behind us ends up with a phenomenon called tail wagging the dog, where as soon as my leg starts to come behind me, it ends up taking my pelvis with it just because I'm a little bit stiff in that lunge position. And if you look at any of our movement traditions like Pilates or yoga, they are obsessed with hip extension. If you look at our sprinting and some of those practices, they're obsessed with hip extension. So I'd like to be known as the knees behind butt guy. And the idea is that we find that when we're managing again, restoring what the body can do.

[00:32:51.320] – Kelly

And we have something in a test called the couch stretch, which, if you follow our work, you know, is the arch nemesis of every human being. But the idea is it's just, hey, let's take this leg into some extension and challenge the tissues here. And what we find is that ironically, just by improving the shape, we often see commensurate changes in pain around the knee or people's low back starts to feel better and they can go up the stairs, run, get into lunges more effectively, have more movement choice. And again, what we're seeing is part of the book is saying here are some objective measures, like putting your arms over your head, being able to sort of take a breath, looking at balance, and then some end up being very much around the behaviors that make a robust person. Like nutrition, like sleep, like not sitting too much. And so I think what ends up happening in these vital signs, so we don't just kill people with boredom over all the ten, is you take the ones that were maybe a blind spot for you and we can see. Was that sort of a behavior or was that a movement behavior?

[00:33:53.030] – Kelly

Was that a way I was living my life? Or hey, I didn't realize this is something I didn't have access to?

[00:33:57.420] – Juliet

And just one quick backstory on that. I mean, we really backed into what we call sort of these lifestyle conversations. And, you know, from reading our other book, Deskbound, we never set out to be like the standing desk people or the walking people. It's not that sexy, it's way sexier to say that we work with the 49ers or something. But we've really backed into these lifestyle practices. Again, seeing that we've really just missed these base behaviors. People are in our neighborhood, moms and dads are saying, hey, should I be keto? Should I be taking what supplements should I be taking? And what we always go back to is the basics. We say, okay, wait a second. Before you embark on some diet or start taking a bunch of supplements or buy some kind of pod that you sleep in at night, like, are you sleeping? Are you eating fruits and vegetables? Are you moving enough throughout your day? Can you move your body into the shapes that allow you to be able to do the things you want to do? If that's pickleball, great. And so we really did sort of back into the lifestyle side of this book.

[00:34:57.100] – Juliet

And again, also because these are the things that we've realized in order to feel good and be able to move the way we want to do, those are the things we have to prioritize in our own life.

[00:35:06.310] – Allan

Yeah, and I think you said something that's really important there is you stack this stuff, which is really good about when you go through your 21 day challenge, you stack this stuff and you say, okay, we're going to talk about walking. But at the same time you're walking, there's a breathing technique and there's some things you can do to mix both. I think everyone can relate to the fact that there's kind of this running joke amongst people that I know I'm not getting on the floor until I have a plan to get back up. And so if you relate to that, then there's something in this book for you. The breathing, I think, is kind of an interesting thing because a lot of us can relate to going up a flight of stairs and getting a little winded. I'm carrying luggage and talking to my guests at our bed and breakfast. Sometimes when you're carrying about 50 60 lbs of luggage and you're going up a flight of stairs and you're talking, you get to the top and you're kind of like, wow, I'm a little winded. But instead of me going out there and saying, you know, what I need to do is get up in the morning and run these stairs about 20 times so that I build up this endurance to do this stuff.

[00:36:06.680] – Allan

A breathing technique of just getting my body used to taking in just a little bit more and holding carbon dioxide and being a little more comfortable with that is going to allow my body to use oxygen more efficiently and I'm less likely to get winded walking up the stairs talking. And then for me, mobility has always been a struggle. And it's really a struggle because you spend the first 40 years of your life doing everything wrong. If you're a bodybuilder,

[00:36:32.130] – Kelly

well, you can do whatever you want. Let's be honest, that's the magic, right?

[00:36:35.760] – Allan

But the thing is, you're training as a bodybuilder and it's like full extension is not what they teach you to do. They teach you to do tight and stay tight. So lengthening your hips, because you sit all day, those types of things. As you kind of go through this, I think you're going to go through every vital sign and say, wow, that's important. Oh, that one's important too. Oh, I'm not eating like I'm going to live forever. I'm eating like Twinkies are going to go out, and I'm not going to get another one.

[00:37:02.390] – Kelly

Well, you brought up something, I think that's really great here one is we're talking about a movement practice, or essentially is, can you be useful? Can you do what you want to do? Do you feel like, hey, I'm afraid to ride this bike, or I'm having a hard time skiing because my hips are getting stiff? We have all these conversations. They're all on a continuum. The next question is, okay, what do I do about that? And the next question is, okay, when do I do that? And then how do I get consistent? That right. Well, if I schedule yoga and I go yoga every two weeks, that's probably an incomplete solution. We think that that's great. Go do yoga.

[00:37:37.580] – Kelly

Go it's a movement practice. Breath. It's fantastic. Tons of end range Isometrics built in there. But what we'd rather you do is spend the last ten minutes of the day when you actually have some control in your life or in the evening towards the end of the day, getting on the ground or working on a tissue or working on a position. And what we found clinically was that if we said, okay, take off your shoes, hike up your dress at work, get on the ground in the office, no one's doing that. That's crazy. But if I said, hey, once you're down, shifted a little bit at home, put the roller or a ball next to the TV, next to your coffee table, and let's spend and ask ourselves, what feels stiff? What feels tight? What haven't I done? Where did I work today? What's kind of barking at me a little bit? And now we've connected a soft tissue mobilization practice with what's really happened with someone in the day, and we've done it in a way that they can be really consistent at it. Because we saw that ten minutes ended up being a really sort of critical mark.

[00:38:33.810] – Kelly

If I said 15 minutes or 20 minutes out the door, I'm out. But ten minutes, everyone has ten minutes. And you can do a lot of other things while you're doing that. You could do a breath practice. You could just zone out and watch TV. But if you spent that ten minutes and you aggregated that five or seven days a week, a month, two, it's pretty transformational. So you really brought up this important idea of, hey, I need some additional inputs. Why? To maintain my range of motion. And if something is good, then I don't need to work on it because I've sort of above the minimum, but some other area where I've sort of contest myself or see what's going on or even ask what's sore or what wasn't I able to do today? What we found is that when people made that commitment to just ten minutes with a simple set of tools like a foam pool tool noodle. Or roll on a ball of wine, whatever it is you need to do, we saw that we could actually impact how they felt and impact how they move. Another thing we have around the shop is athletes that feel better, perform better, human beings that feel better, have better lives.

[00:39:32.860] – Kelly

So I think that's a really important piece that you bring up there.

[00:39:35.750] – Juliet

And one of the things we do on this, encouraging people to actually do these things which are difficult to do again, because we all have busy lives and sometimes that one thing is just one too many things is we do this thing called Peppering Our Environment which we are huge fans of this idea. And if you came over to our house and saw our living room because we love TV and we often end our night by sitting down and actually watching TV for an hour, like it's a nice transition for us. And so if you look at our TV room you will see that it is littered with lacrosse balls, foam rollers, different mobility tools. I recently bought these little kind of yoga mats that you can sit on because we do a lot of sitting on the floor and I realized that our floor was super uncomfortable and that was limiting the amount of time I wanted to sit on the floor. So I'm trying to take all these little micro steps to make these habits as easy as possible for me to actually do.

[00:40:30.620] – Kelly

We want you to spend your willpower and doing really hard things.

[00:40:34.240] – Juliet

I just wanted to not take care of your body. One of the other vital signs we think is so important is underlooked. I think overall is balance and it's one of the first things to go as people age. In fact, as we're cresting into 50 we're actually starting to have more and more friends who are reporting feeling that their balance is starting to go even as early as 50. And again, nobody is going to say okay, let's go to a balance class for an hour. Nobody is going to do that. One of the things we do is pepper our environment. We have these little portable slack lines we keep around our kitchen called a slack block. And we have little balance tools in our garage, like an endo board. And we just have little tools around our house and at our desks at work so that we can incorporate things like a really simple balance practice into our day. Again, without adding on, having to go somewhere, go to a class, add on a new behavior. It's just another stacking behavior.

[00:41:29.970] – Kelly

Even the test is a great daily practice that you don't have to do anything. And if you haven't ever seen the old man test, one of our friends, Chris Henshaw, came up with this, and he was an elite triathlete who was trying to come up with a task that he could beat his kids at. And they were such good athletes. And literally is stand on one leg, don't put your other leg down. And put your socks and shoes on. Then stand on the other leg without ever touching the ground again. Put your socks and shoes on. And if you just did that every day, if you just practiced in a year, you would spend hours working on your dynamic balance, trying to balance on one foot, you're going to do it.

[00:42:07.830] – Kelly

So let's just work this in. And now we've just taken that off the table. Holy crap.

[00:42:13.650] – Juliet

And the other thing we've tried to do is make it fun, because I think that's another thing that we've done a horrible job of in the fitness business is we've made it just so like drudgery, where you've got to go to the gym and check these boxes. It's not fun. And just these little balance tools we have around the house are very playful and fun and sitting on the ground with your kids at night and working on your mobility and practicing your balance. And we've just been in our living room with our own kids doing the old man test, and it's hilarious and fun and we don't always make it. And so we've just sort of tried to add like, an element of fun and play to this. Because, again, our thinking here is that a lot of what's out there in this space is about restriction. How can I restrict my diet and restrict the things I'm doing? And we want this book to be about expansion. In our nutrition chapter, for example, there's no restriction. Our nutrition suggestions are appropriate for any diet anyone follows, whether you're vegan or carnivore.

[00:43:10.410] – Kelly

But hold on, I challenge you to hit those two benchmarks. Good luck with it.

[00:43:16.190] – Juliet

What people need is some expansion and less restriction. And in our nutrition chapter, we're just saying, hey, you actually probably need to eat more fruits and vegetables

[00:43:26.540] – Kelly

and you're not getting enough protein that's it.

[00:43:30.370] – Juliet

We're just trying to make it fun and accessible for people.

[00:43:33.360] – Kelly

And one of the things you heard Juliet say was fun and accessibility, that happens in the functional unit of change or health, which is your home. So the second we bring in a physical therapist or a physician or some third party, that really removes our agency and our control. And what we know is that it doesn't work. It's not sufficient enough. Unless your physician and your dietitian and your physical therapist lives in your house, it's not going to happen. And so we see that this functional unit of change is the home we call it that's like a hyper local object, hyper local phenomenon. And that if you have a garage and a kitchen and you put your shoes on and suddenly you realize that your control around feeling better actually happens in your time, under your demands and under sort of your watch. It's not an external piece. And that really feels like a revolution for people.

[00:44:24.130] – Allan

Because it makes it accessible. You're not having to pay those bills. Go to the masseuse, go to the physical therapist, go to the orthopedic guy and get them to do what they do or chiropractor, and you're not going to their place. Limited time, limited exposure, limited attention. Get this done. They give you the homework. It's a piece of paper with some pictures on it. And 99% of the time, they never look at that picture again. They never look at that paper again. The interesting thing that you've said, and it's kind of what brought this full circle for me, is I have this joke. It's not really a joke, it's actually real, but I say, I want to be able to wipe my own butt when I'm 105. And people right, but people think and then it starts to hit him. It's like, wait, so he wants to live to 105. He wants to be able to move and be independent and do these things. He wants to be able to do a squat. He wants to have the mobility and dexterity to do the paperwork. He wants to be able to just go and not worry about whether he's going to make it or not.

[00:45:20.060] – Allan

So there's a lot built into that little sentence. But the cool thing about what you guys have here, and again, that's why I love it so much, is this is going to give you benefits today, and it's going to give you those benefits in the future, because a lot of people will tell me it's, hey, Allan, you're 7, so you're talking 50 years from now. You want to be able to do these things. It's just hard for me to wrap my mind around doing something for 50 years from now. I want to do something that's going to stop my back pain or knee pain. Right now I want to be fit now. I don't want to be fit in a 50 years, but this does both. And I think that's what's so wonderful about the way you guys have approached this is you're looking at it and saying, okay, here's the thing to know how you're doing, to gauge yourself, here's a practice or a few practices that you stack together. You fit them in with what you're already doing. You can stand on 1ft. Close your eyes while you're brushing your teeth. Go for a minute, brushing your teeth at 1ft with your eyes closed.

[00:46:15.420] – Allan

And then the ding goes off. You switch feet. The second minute you're supposed to be brushing your teeth for two minutes, you're on your other foot for that whole time, or like you said, putting your shoe on the old man test socks and shoes. It's extremely hard because I've tried it. It is really, really hard.

[00:46:29.840] – Juliet

It's really hard. Well, I think you bring up a thing that I think a lot about, and I think you're right, it's got to be both. I think very few of us are inspired by, okay, I want to be able to do these things when I'm 100 years old, short game and long game is but, yeah, I think you're exactly right in terms of the short game and the long game. And one of the things I like to point out is that we are all so comfortable with this idea of setting goals either in our home lives or definitely in our businesses. Everybody is aware that you've got to save for retirement and sets financial goals around that. So I would challenge everybody to set some short term and long term physical goals. Because again, I think what happens to a lot of people is they turn 70, 75 and they haven't set those goals. And all of a sudden they've lost the ability to do the things they want to do again, whether that's just play with their grandchildren or go for a hike or whatever. And so there's so many things in this book that can make people feel better, move more freely right now.

[00:47:28.320] – Juliet

And I think this is like your 401k for movement when you're older, because nobody's goal is going to be, I hope I'm stuck in my Lazy Boy or in a skilled nursing facility when I'm 80. That goal is for zero people. So everybody wants to be able to move in some capacity and move freely now and into the future. This book is sort 401k of the movement.

[00:47:52.930] – Kelly

And let me say that that is completely in line with when we come into professional organizations, premier national teams, choose some big crazy organization in sports, on TV. We've been there and working with them. We start with a goal and we literally work backwards into what does it that look like today? What does that look like in a week? And chunk that out might be in three months chunks, might be six month chunks. So Juliet really brings up this important point. No one, or very few of us have actually said that my goal is to be independent, be able to toilet and transfer them 105. Then you can really work backwards and say, what does that look like? Well, it looks like I need to walk today and manage my sleep to the best of my ability. So you've nailed the idea. The other thing that I want people to understand is that these practices create buffer zones. They allow you because as you get older, bad things are going to happen. You're going to fall, you're going to injure yourself. You may have been injured from high school soccer whatever it is, or you may have a disease problem coming down the pathway.

[00:48:52.290] – Kelly

And so we talk about our own experiences in the book here, but understand that sometimes what looks like miraculous outcomes when people are confronted with cancer or a big surgery or trauma, it just turns out maybe they had a little bit more resilience and tolerance built into the system. And so what we're doing here is saying, hey, look, it's going to be unlikely that you get out of the next 50 years completely unscathed without having to go to the doctor. But how you show up for that event is going to definitely impact its outcome. And we're not trying to scare anyone here. Again, our focus is we think you can feel better and move better and do all the bad stuff, but it turns out these things are what is essential about being a functional, durable human.

[00:49:35.740] – Allan

Before I let you go, I think there's going to be one big question. People are like, well, wait a minute, wait a minute. Juliet, Kelly, you can't write a fitness book and not talk about weightlifting and running. You talked a little bit about yoga. Where does exercise fit on all of this?

[00:49:51.840] – Juliet

Well, I will start by saying not including it as one of our ten practices was a very conscious decision, in part because we feel like everybody is fire hosed with information about particularly diet and exercise in this sort of moment in time in our fitness space. And what we realized is, ultimately, we are totally exercise agnostic. You'd think we wouldn't be? We owned a CrossFit gym for 17 years. We've worked with elite athletes. We both have certain ways that we like to train. But one of our own evolutions over the last ten or 15 years is becoming exercise agnostic. Those of your listeners who read the book, you will see we do pay homage to the fact that we both do love to exercise. Exercising is a huge part of our life. It's how we both probably manage our mental health. It's what we like to do. It's our hobby. We used to both be professional athletes. So, yes, we are huge believers in exercise. We believe people should do it. But we really wanted to not write an exercise book. We didn't want to put a stake in the ground about what exercise is or isn't the best.

[00:50:58.150] – Juliet

And our philosophy has really become so reasonable that we are of the mind that, yes, people should exercise.

[00:51:06.600] – Kelly

And we can define that as you should probably breathe hard and you should lift a weight.

[00:51:09.980] – Juliet

You should be under breathe hard and lift a weight. But how you do that, man, the sky's the limit. Because what we've seen over the years is people will do what they enjoy. And what people enjoy is wide ranging. I mean, whether that's pickleball or zumba or CrossFit or orange theory or triathlons or you name it, right. When people are told to do something that they don't enjoy, they don't do it. Period, end. If you don't enjoy doing it, you will not do it. And so we do think it's critical. Anyone who follows us online knows that we do exercise and we love exercising, but we really wanted to sort of stay out of that lane and say, yes, we think you should breathe hard and lift a weight, and how you do that is really up to you. Anything to add to that?

[00:51:56.740] – Kelly

I think Supple Leopard comes out ten years ago in a month, and if you'd asked me then, I would have been like, yes, you should have a double body weight deadlift, and you should be able to write.

[00:52:07.770] – Juliet

That was 39 year old Kelly.

[00:52:11.460] – Kelly

What I will say is one of the things that's nice about this book is that you can actually use it as a diagnostic tool, and that if you enjoy some exercise and you think you're doing it, come in and take some of our tests and see how well your exercise regime is actually supporting your native movement. And ultimately, one of the things we'd like to see is that you can hit some of these things and conjoin some of these things. If you're doing good strength conditioning, you're working on balance, you probably don't need to do lots of extra balance. You can work it in. You're working on breathing in there. But ultimately what we've realized is watching the world expand in sort of hyper technicality, the confusion that is the internet with exercise is that that message isn't getting there. And that if we told people to exercise more and here are more COVID body weight pump shred exercises you can do in your living room with a therapy and a book, that message hasn't changed the range of motions or capacitives of someone. So I think if everyone had a kettlebell and a jump rope or a kettlebell in their kitchen and a hill, I mean, there's an old Russian coach, I think, or he was an Eastern block throws coach, and someone asked him, what should you do for cardio?

[00:53:24.760] – Kelly

And he's like, you should go run or walk a steep hill. And they were like, what if you don't have a steep hill? He's like, I don't know what to tell you. But it was that simple of an idea that go walk up and down the hill until you breathe hard, you feel like you've had enough. And that's a pretty elegant message. I think the fact that we have seen that you can buy bumper plates and Olympic lifting shoes and kettlebells at Kmart and at Walmart means that those tools are available to us. And as Juliet saying, how much is enough? Well, that depends on your goals. I think what's happened is we've taken diet and exercise and made it all about, do I look good naked? Is this about body composition, ego not what am I training for? And I think when we come back to that goal setting that Juliet said suddenly then we can ask, well, are you doing the kinds of training that really does make you a better runner or better at skiing or better at playing pickleball? Then that's a different conversation. But ultimately what we're shouting at people is, hey, let's use this to burn calories because that's the only thing that matters and that's really the wrong conversation.

[00:54:28.460] – Allan

So I asked for three of these and I usually would ask both guests and so I'll give you the option, you guys can alternate and just give me three or you can each give me your three. It's cool. So, Juliet and Kelly, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:54:48.120] – Kelly

Watch this. We're going to say most important thing and we haven't talked unison. One, two, three. Sleep.

[00:54:53.880] – Juliet


[00:54:56.430] – Allan

Vital sign number three. I mean, number ten.

[00:54:59.470] – Juliet


[00:55:00.670] – Kelly

What would you take next, J, in your own kind of life around those three things?

[00:55:04.880] – Juliet

I would just say I would say sleep and then general movement and movement throughout the day. Again, I'm a fan of exercise, I do it very regularly.

[00:55:14.960] – Juliet

But for me I feel the best when I've added in plenty of non exercise activity type of movement. So that's making sure I'm walking enough in the day, moving around during the day, either standing while I'm working or making sure I'm getting up and down quite a bit if I'm sitting while I'm working. So for me it would be sleep and plenty of movement, especially in the form of non exercise activity. And eating a vegetable. That would be my third thing, eating a vegetable.

[00:55:43.540] – Kelly

We'll leave it there.

[00:55:44.660] – Allan

Okay, cool. Kelly and Juliet, if someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about your book, Built to Move, and of course the other awesome books you guys have. Where would you like for me to send them?

[00:55:56.450] – Juliet

Sure. Folks can check out. Built to move at builttomove.com you can learn more about the book. Of course, it is available at every bookstore and every online book retailer. You can follow us on Instagram at @thereadystate and all of the other socials as well, twitter, Facebook, @thereadystate.

[00:56:15.170] – Kelly

And I want to shout out to our Juliet and our amazing staff at builttomove.com. We have a 21-day-follow along challenge. It's free. You just need to put your email in. And we've got an email video course, supplemental to the book. It'll really useful to have the book, but we know that sometimes, hey, if I can follow along and get a little sort of nudge and some support, we can go a little bit further. So we've created a whole back end, gorgeous little sort of experiential platform that goes along with the book. And again, just go to builttomove.com. You can sign right up for it. And there's a 20-day sort of follow along challenge that mirrors the book. You'll get some daily reminders and some videos of us showing you what it actually looks like.

[00:57:00.140] – Allan

That's an awesome resource. So, yeah, go check that out. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/584, and I'll be sure to have the link there. Kelly, Juliet, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:57:13.570] – Kelly

Thank you.

[00:57:14.090] – Juliet

Thank you so much for having us.

Post Show/Recap

[00:57:24.730] – Allan

Welcome back. Ras.

[00:57:26.030] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. I probably could have listened to you guys chat for probably another hour. There is a lot you guys talked about with the book, Built to Move. I don't even know where to start. There was a lot to go over.

[00:57:36.680] – Allan

Yeah. The interesting thing is Jill from the last week, Kelly and Juliet, and then another interview that's going to be coming up in a few weeks. Katie Bowman they're all movement specialists. That's what they do. They're into how the body moves, how to breathe, how to optimize the movement of your body. They do work with extreme athletes. They work with normal, everyday people. And it's really what it's all about is using the human body the way it was designed to be used. And so a lot of times we talk about performance and you might think, well, I'm not an athlete. I'm not trying to make the Olympics or NFL team or this or that. But what you are is an athlete from the perspective of the movement patterns that you need to do to be who you need to be, that could be a caretaker. So your ability to help someone get up off the floor when they fall, your ability to get yourself up off the floor when you fall, your ability to play with your grandchildren, your ability to keep up with them, your ability to do all these different things, and all of them are fundamentally built around your ability to move.

[00:58:46.630] – Allan

And a lot of people get into their forty s and fifty s, and they start talking about this ache and that pain and this joint I can't and the doctor said don't, and the only reason doctor is telling you don't is because he knows or she knows that it's going to hurt. And he and she knows maybe you're just not going to do anything to improve your performance, and therefore it's always going to hurt.

[00:59:12.520] – Rachel


[00:59:13.280] – Allan

We create these situations, but if we start moving our body more and we start moving it the right ways, and we start paying attention to how our body was designed to move, then it just makes it a lot easier. I get on the floor all the time to pet my dogs.

[00:59:30.220] – Rachel

Oh, good.

[00:59:31.050] – Allan

When I have grandchildren, that's never going to be a problem. I don't even think about it. I get on the floor, I get back up, and I can keep doing that. And if I wanted to do a cardio workout in my home, that's exactly what I would do. I'll get on the floor and get back up. Get on the floor, get back up. Try doing that for about three minutes. That's a workout.

[00:59:49.940] – Rachel

It would be, yeah.

[00:59:50.880] – Allan

Okay. But just try sitting on the floor and you'll find you squirm a bit, move a bit. The Starretts watch TV with their family sitting on the floor. They're not sitting on standard furniture. Katie, who we'll be talking about too in a few weeks, she's even more extreme. She's conditioned herself to not even need a mattress or a pillow when she sleeps.

[01:00:09.210] – Rachel

Oh my God.

[01:00:10.690] – Allan

Which I've done the last time I talked to her, which about five years ago. I did that for a while. And it will literally change the way you move, the way you feel, because your body adapts and builds capacity that wasn't there. We wear padded shoes, thinking that's protecting our knees. In reality, it's weakening our feet and ankles. And so when we go barefoot, it's really, really hard because our feet hurt because they're not used to being strong enough to support our body weight without that padding. And so as you start thinking about movement, in particular with their books, the Starrett's books, because he did The Supple Leopard, and then there was a second volume of that, and then they did Deskbound, and now they have this book. This book is sort of like, I'm not going to say a step change better, but it's an evolution. He was originally thinking about how athletes could move and should be. So it was a really good book, but it is mostly adapted to athletes. And then he did Desk Bound, which was more of the person who is sitting at a desk or sedentary a lot, not through choice, but just where you are.

[01:01:17.370] – Allan

This one balances it all out and says, what can normal people do to live better? And it gives you all of it in this one book. So I love their books, I love what they do. They're amongst the best books on the market. They're always going to be in my perennial favorites, and this one's no different.

[01:01:36.080] – Rachel

That's awesome. One of the light bulb moments that I had listening to the interview was somebody mentioned about nobody has a goal of sitting in a Lazy Boy for the rest of their life. And I love that, it's so true. But let's think about that for a second. My grandfather was probably in his 70s, so retired, and he loved to play golf. He did a lot of golfing, which is great. He would walk or take a cart, but he'd be out there hitting the balls all the time. Well, his shoulder started paying him and I was too young. I don't know what his shoulder injury was, but then his doctor said, you should give up golf if it hurts when you golf, give up golf. And that's what he did. And it's not that he actually sat in his Lazy Boy for the rest of the life. I'm sure he didn't. But when you're thinking about these later stages, when you retire from work, don't you want to be active? Don't you want to go and do things and play the sports you enjoy playing or travel to the places you want to travel?

[01:02:32.680] – Rachel

So between then and then, between these ages, these decades, even, you can think about, well, what can you do to maintain the range of motion or the endurance of the activity that you want to do, whether you want to do nine holes or 18 on a golf course? And it's just something that I always thought about. He was in his prime of his retirement and then became more or less couldn't do the things that he loved to do. And so watching your range of motions and like they mentioned, peppering your environment with all the tools, the foam rollers and the weights or whatever you want to do, if you have it near you, you're more likely to use it and get benefit from it and like you getting up and down off the floor. These are all activities that will help you stay fit for task as you age with each decade.

[01:03:19.450] – Allan

Well, and that's what I tore my rotator cuff, and I very easily could have gone to a normal doctor, and the doctor would have said, well, okay, stop doing these things, stop lifting these heavy weights, and stop doing these obstacle course races and stop moving. And that was never an option. When I went and looked for the surgeon, I found the surgeon that worked with athletes at the university. I found the physical therapist that worked with athletes at a Division One level school, and those were my team. I brought the best team for recovery for me to get back to being an athlete, if you will. That was my whole goal with the team. And I did the homework when I went in for the surgery. I still could do just about everything except press. And we went in. We're going to get the surgery done. I got the surgery done on Thursday. I was in physical therapy on Monday.

[01:04:21.130] – Rachel

Wow, that's awesome.

[01:04:23.490] – Allan

And like I said, I had one of the best physical therapists. He worked with the football team at the local university for a while. And I went in and I said, no, I don't want to just recover. I said, I want to be back to 100% of what I was before. Let's make that happen. And I did everything he told me to do. I did every bit of homework, and I actually didn't do more than what he told me to do. So there was no rushing it, if you will, to say, no, I've got to recover faster, and doing more is going to be better. It was really just this seasoned approach of saying, this is what's necessary. Get it done and don't injure yourself further by doing something silly.

[01:05:07.880] – Rachel

That's great that you had a team that was not interested so much as fixing you and reducing the pain, but helping you prepare for continued activity. There's kind of a difference in perspective there.

[01:05:19.770] – Allan

There is. If I had been your grandfather and they said, you can't play golf, and I'm like bull, right? I'm not a big golfer, so no, I mean, but realizing if if that was something that was one of the most important things in my life, fix me, what do we do so I can play golf? If the doctor said it, I'm like, I'm going to have to fire you. You're not a team player.

[01:05:44.130] – Rachel

Right. And I'd like to think that at least some of the doctors that I work with, I mentioned, okay, these are my goals in life. This is what I want to achieve, and what do I need to do to get there healthily? I have been injured myself, and I looked for doctors that would be willing to get me back on my feet to running and not just a sedentary lifestyle again.

[01:06:02.900] – Allan

Yeah. So imagine if someone said, Rachel, you broke your foot a second time. You got to stop running.

[01:06:08.220] – Rachel

Yeah, I'd laugh. We all laugh at these things. I need to find another doctor.

[01:06:15.740] – Allan

I'm sorry I got to fire you. I'm not a team player. You're not trying to help me. I'm going to run. You just got to make it happen. And so it's just a part of this has been thinking about where you want to go, and movement is the key for all of it because you're not I mean, who doesn't like sitting in a Lazy Boy watching movies?

[01:06:35.390] – Rachel

Yeah, once in a while, but not retirement.

[01:06:38.650] – Allan

That's not where I want to live for 40 years. And so it's just kind of one of those things is saying, no, get yourself moving the right way. And then books like this are going to start you in a very good way. They're going to teach you the right way and very simple, easy to start. And I think that's one of the values here is it's not like you got to be working out seven days a week. They're not even talking about that. Exercise is the sort of the cherry on top of this thing that we're not even talking about exercise. They're just talking about general day to day movements, patterns that you should be able to do safely and without pain. And if you're doing it right, you're less likely to injure yourself and feel pain. That's part of it, too.

[01:07:21.780] – Rachel

Awesome. Fun interview.

[01:07:23.730] – Allan

All right, well, I'll talk to you next week.

[01:07:25.870] – Rachel

Sure. Take care.

[01:07:27.140] – Allan

You too.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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