Or the main worry that we all faced as a 5-year-old how shall I play today?
Playing is a crucially integral part of our evolution into teenage-hood and further on adulthood, furthermore it builds fundamental movement through our early stages of growth and body development. Running through the playground, swinging on monkey bars and or leapfrogging your friends have led the way to create such developed musculoskeletal systems with incredible range of movement. But where did we go wrong?
As we grow older and progress into our adults if not managed our bodies tighten, our muscles shorten and our backs get sorer and sorer!
Maybe the answer is to play more and return to our youthful selves?
From the Australian Bureau of Statistics, about 4.0 million people have chronic back problems, that’s around 16% of the population with severe pain to debilitating pain and 70-90% of Australians will report suffering from back pain throughout their life. An overwhelming number.
What we can do to improve these numbers or improve your back is to find movement. As society pushes forward we fall back (into our lazy boy recliners). We live a very comfortable life due to the progressions we have made into technology but we spend a lot of our time enjoying these progressions sitting down. We find ourselves eating while seated, driving while seated, working while seated and watching T.V while seated. Maybe you don’t live a sedentary lifestyle and are very active but these still may hold true to you. Nearly 30% of adults in Australia engage in low levels of physical activity while 14.8% were completely inactive, which has led to negative health conditions such as doubling the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity, and increase the risks of colon cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, lipid disorders, depression and anxiety.
The good news is we do not have a shortage of ways to move. We can move like the ancient yogis forming postures to alleviate tension throughout the body or find ourselves in a new age ‘row-former’ pilates class working muscles you didn’t think existed, create interpretive movements and speak another language through the beauty of dance or find stillness in the mind and power in the body when moving through taichi variations.
A modality I have found very beneficial and a staple in my morning routine to awaken my body are the 5 Tibetan Rites. The 5 Tibetan Rites, also known as the "Fountain of Youth," are a series of five exercises meant to be repeated 21 times. They are thought to be more than 2,500 years old and were reportedly created by Tibetan lamas or leaders of Tibetan Buddhism. They are thought to increase mobility and flexibility and help the body stay nimble as we age. Increased energy and feelings of calmness, mental clarity, greater spinal flexibility, better sleep, weight loss, healthier digestion, and improved libido have also been associated with the practice.
Movement can be implemented anywhere anytime, we don’t have venture far to achieve our movement goals. Whether you have time to engage in a full hour or a shortened for time, there is something out there to be attained. We just have to be mindful of how we are moving through the day, maybe instead of watching tv on the couch we are on the floor stretching, we can work on our computers standing up or on kneeling on the ground or when we get home out of the car we can lunge to the door. It's not the single big thing that brings change but the accumulation of the little things that will have you moving and feeling your best self.