I recently took a survey for ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), the most highly respected personal training certification in the world. It was to determine the fitness trends of the future, what are the fads, and what is here to stay. Of course, it mentioned Crossfit and Zumba, plus some really unusual trends such as Hula-Hoop and Prancercise. I was shocked to see that they missed the oldest form of exercise that is making a roaring comeback: MovNat. Moving Naturally.
Last weekend I attended a Level 1 MovNat certification course in Atlanta. It was a game changer for me. It is what REAL fitness is all about. MovNat gets back to how our bodies are meant to move, naturally. It Incorporates techniques that re-teach you what you have forgotten. How to move efficiently. By deconstructing basic movements such as crawling, balancing, throwing, running, climbing, jumping, lifting, etc., MovNat safely, step by step, helps your body re-learn what you knew as a kid, what your forefathers knew, what our modern day bodies have forgotten.
I can still remember, 33 years ago, first stepping foot in a gym and thinking, ‘This isn’t natural’. I was searching for a way to get my body in shape during my college years on my way to gaining the freshman 15. I had tried running, but it just made me skinny and soft, it did nothing for my body shape. So there I was, standing in the doorway of a gym, a doorway I would enter countless times, wondering if this was REAL fitness.
Modern day exercise focuses on building strength and cardiovascular fitness. It’s all about looking good naked and improving health. That is all wonderful, but is it what our bodies really need? Going to a gym and circuiting through a line of machines like a robot? Doing the workout of the day that some trainer has decided you need? Spending endless hours on a man made machine that keeps you in a linear pattern of movement that is nothing like how our body is meant to move? Doing what the experts call ‘functional’ movement, such as kettle bell swings, repeatedly? Running in shoes that resemble springs and mattresses? Why not just get outside (or indoors at a MovNat gym…yes those are popping up, check out this and this), and play: move, lift, squat, run, jump, climb, crawl, throw.
Why are we so far removed from nature and movement? How did this happen? Just as the agricultural revolution 10,000 years ago slowly derailed our natural eating habits, it also derailed our natural movement habits.
So here we are, in 2013, slowly beginning to realize that our body needs to be fed REAL, unprocessed food because we are fatter and sicker than ever in the history of mankind. There is also a trend toward functional, practical exercise, because we are just beginning to realize that our bodies need to move naturally. Just as our forefathers did who were taller, stronger, and faster than we are today.
All of the state of the art health clubs, insane workout DVD’s, boxed fitness classes, no matter how pretty, shiny and fun the marketing companies make it look, don’t hold a candle to practical, natural movement. It is what our body craves. It is what our body needs: MovNat. REAL fitness.