Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement
Author: Katy Bowman
Reviewed by Debbie Alvarez
Headlines about with the detrimental effects of sitting and sedentary lifestyles have been published across major news sites worldwide. Extended workdays, stress and fatigue make recommendations of moving more close to impossible. Move Your DNA presents the unique idea: exercise less, move more and move better. Author Katy Bowman, a biomechanist, is a researcher on movement in biological systems, researching the many layers of body movement.
This quote helped to understand the perspective on exercising less: “If the goal of exercise is to reap the physical benefits of movement, the goal of movement would be to reap the non-movement benefits of the activity.” Throughout the book there are explanations given about how to walk, place your feet, squat, sleep, use your arms, and so much more. There are small steps and major bounds you can take to change your health.
This second quote also led to contemplating the meaning of health and wellness. She writes, “Health has traditionally boiled down to either how you look (healthy as a horse!) or how you look on paper (passed my lipid panel with flying colors!). We tend to give much less consideration to how we feel. But how you feel is the earliest indicator of your health on a cellular level.”
Following this statement is an explanation about how we have brought ourselves to a state of unhealthy behaviours and then how we might benefit from returning to the behaviours of our ancestors. Katy encourages her readers by saying, “No matter what your current physical status is, you can benefit by adjusting three things: your footwear, how you sit, and how you stand.” Watching your gait and changing the way you place your feet is one step to changing your health.
Following directions in the book can help people figure out how foot placement can be corrected. Changing the routines of daily walking and varying the amount of miles for each walk is also clearly explained. Another interesting change approaches your sleeping arrangements, removing pillows and mattresses over time. One common and easier change is to remove the office chair and stand while you work. There are many tips as you slowly introduce these adjustments. Primarily, addressing which changes are essential versus immediate as you change your approach to many life practices.
Move your DNA is quite a challenging book to read through without considering, “what should I do first?” The author does emphasize certain chapters to focus on for your health; her big concern is how we should place ourselves in new positions instead of sitting the same way throughout the day and night. She pointed out many times in the book that little changes can make a big difference.
Now, it’s time to stand up, get out there and MOVE…. but also pick up this book to help your health practice improve over the longterm.
Katy Bowman has written a number of other books, written for various publications, has a DVD series called Aligned and Well and has helped thousands reduce pain, increase bone density, and improve overall health.
Debbie Alvarez spent three adventurous years in Hong Kong before recently returning to her hometown in Oregon. She loved the experiences that living in Asia provided. Debbie’s passion outside of children’s literature and technology is the practice of living clean and healthy. She’s explored many venues for this from restricting food to supporting her arthritis issues exploring Qigong, yoga, and creative outlets to maintain a healthy lifestyle. She is on Twitter @stylinlibrarian and blogs about children’s literature, life in Hong Kong and technology resources on The Styling Librarian. You can also read her personal cancer journey on her blog Life’s Journey, Interrupted.