The body. It operates very much on a use it or lose it basis. It gets good at what you repeatedly do. If that is sitting down, then the body will get better at that. If that is walking, jumping, climbing then better walking jumping and climbing shall be your reward.
So then, it is such a shame that our current society pushes us towards losing what we have before we then have to go and try to regain our lost abilities. Physical Therapy, Hip Replacements, Orthotics, pain killers etc are unfortunately no longer the exception but the norm for most people.
As kids we are born with all the tools needed for our bodies and brains to learn grow and thrive. To see kids playing tumbling, wrestling sprinting without restriction is invigorating and is truly a celebration of what the body is capable of. It is such a pity that a lot of kids are loosing this mobility before they even enter adulthood. A pity but not a surprise considering how many hours are spent seated these days.
It is something that we as coaches always try to get across to the kids in our classes. “If you move your spine and hips like this on a regular basis then you will never need to come to our adult classes because these movements will always be for easy you.” We try to encourage the kids to not just practice gymnastics for 1 hour a week but to move their bodies in as many ways possible on a daily basis. If you have spent all day sitting in class, then go home and do some bridges.
The body is incredible at adapting. It is constantly adapting to the environment around it. It is adapting right now to the position you are in while you read this. Fortunately for us, this ability to adapt means that we can regain much of the mobility and control of our joints that we may have lost in the past. It just takes a little bit of smart, progressive and consistent work and your body will grant you anything you ask of it.
If you have kids encourage them to keep what they have and enjoy the beautiful variety of movements available to them. If you feel like you may have lost some of that mobility then don’t despair, a few minutes a day of gentle movements can make a huge difference.
Stay on the move.