Routines

Routines

It’s hard to believe that the heydays of summer are already winding down. It caught me off guard when just a few weeks ago, the teachers in my life started talking about getting ready to go back to school.

Even if you are not in a phase of life that cycles around the back to school hustle, there is a distinct shift that starts to change our habits and priorities round about this time of year. Sometimes it feels like all of this fun comes to a screeching halt and we are left scrambling trying to find center as the seasons turn again. Perhaps that’s why so many people see the fall as a dull ending to hazy lazy days of summer.

In stark contrast to back to school routines and tight schedules; summer is a time of year when we give ourselves permission to let go and dive into sun, socializing, and all the treats that come with it. Of course, neither is inherently good or bad. The natural world flows through a cycle of routines and priorities. If we pause a moment to observe ourselves, we can see that our instincts follow a similar pattern.

This summer, I have enjoyed the ease of dining out - particularly if there’s a shady patio available. I’ve prioritized early mornings and summer sunrises.

I’ve found change in absolutely every corner of my life, and focused on flowing with it. (Have you seen our new office yet? We’re loving the new space!)

But now, I am ready to shift my priorities again:

  • Less upheaval, more grounding.

  • Quality time with the people dear to me.

  • Satisfying dinners at home.

  • Sleep in when I can.

For me, the lesson of summer is that we don’t need to find the path that will work forever, or even for a year. We are meant to find seasons in our life and move within them. What do we miss by staying rigid in our patterns? And what do we give up when we don’t return to center after a season of chaotic fun or frustration?

Homeostasis for all aspects of ourselves lies somewhere between the two. Fall is the season of grounding, turning inward and preparing for the quiet of winter. And, whether you are thrilled or disappointed- it’s right around the corner.

As the world around you continues to move, where will you focus your priorities?

Always in Service,

Dr. Carly

Move More, Exercise Less

Move More, Exercise Less

One of the most common questions I get in my office is, “what’s the best exercise for [that]?” Of course, we all want to know how to isolate our movements and train our injury back into health. This is an excellent starting place, but our recovery will always be limited if we don’t start to think outside of the “rehab exercise box.”

I am not the first individual to suggest that the environment that caused our injury or disease will not be the same one that cures it. And, as far as movement injuries go, the most common issue is not just about how we move, but how little movement we actually do.

Historically speaking, our ancestors did not have the same luxury of outsourcing of their movement as we do. Instead of chairs, they squatted, or sat on surfaces that provided little back support (think rocks, tree stumps, and perhaps the occasional stool). Instead of having our needs provided at convenient table heights and always within reach; Fruit required reaching, climbing, and picking. Veggies demanded kneeling squatting, and digging.

When we come right down to it, our modernized world has created an artificial environment. We are now humans in captivity.

No longer do we have the space, freedom, or need to push our bodies to move in all the ways they are capable. In fact, the concept of “working out” and the need to “exercise” didn’t become commonplace until the industrial revolution. We gave up movement for convenience and asked machines to take on the burden of physical effort.

Dramatic shows of strength, coordination, and endurance now belong to elite athletes and YouTube Influencers. We so often observe from our couches and stadium seating grace and coordination that feel sadly out of reach. Yes, the best of the best tend to revel in the gifts of their genetics; however, a simple advantage lies in the fact that they have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of movement.

So how can we change our relationship with movement and exercise while still maintaining clocking in the (usually seated) hours required to earn a suitable paycheck?

We must first stop thinking of Exercise as the only legitimate movement in our lives. The average of getting a 30 min work out three times a week, will never balance out the average 8-10 hours of sitting we do daily.

Any movement can be a corrective or strengthening movement, if you are mindful of what you are doing.

Instead of only squatting at the squat rack of a fitness studio: replace bending at the waist and “stooping” with a squat to pick up anything below your waist. (Core engagement, Glute activation, Stability….every day is leg day).

Walk when you can. Drive only if you must (Cardio and endurance!)

Change how you carry your loads. Switch bags from one shoulder to another. Skip the bags altogether and load up a basket to be carried in both hands (Shoulder, Bicep, and tricep strength!)

When you start to train your eye for “movement opportunities” over speed and convenience, our lives and our bodies start to feel very different. Health, vitality, coordination, and strength become accessible and sustainable. For me, that will always be worth a little extra work.

Always in Service,

Dr. Carly