We often complain about the daily motions and everyday activities that we have to do to function in life. Here’s a secret to make them more enjoyable and get some physical benefit at the same time:
Exaggerate the movement patterns of your normal everyday life.
For example, when you get in and out of a car, examine every move you typically make and exaggerate it. Lift your knee and leg higher. Twist your body farther. Chances are it will be soon become easier for you. And if you add slow motion to the mix, then it might even be more beneficial. I didn’t believe it would work until I tried it many years ago and it’s a technique I learned to use to improve everyday movement over time. I think it’s because normal movement like getting in and out of a car is automatic and programmed into our system, and becomes boring and tiring. But when you consciously focus on doing the movement as a new and exaggerated pattern, the normal pattern actually becomes easier. Plus you get the added benefit of possibly increasing your functional your range of motion.
Another example is climbing stairs. We often climb stairs thinking only about how difficult it is. We find ourselves breathing heavily when we reach the top of the stairs. Try focusing on the individual components of going up and down the stairs and then exaggerate every movement. Raise your knees higher and bring your foot up very slowly to the next stair tread. Exaggerate the “push” with your bottom foot as you climb. Do it slowly. You’ll discover that you will be actually increasing your range of motion each time you do it. I suggest you make sure there is a handrail or something to hold onto as you climb or descend stairs, either normally, or when practicing your exaggerated movement.
Do you have problems getting up and down from the floor. Try slowing down and exaggerating each component of whatever you do to get up and down. You may find that it’s actually easier to do when you are focusing on, and exaggerating the individual movements. Then, when you do it normally, you should find it to be a little bit more comfortable.
Remember Jack LaLanne? He used to make his viewers exaggerate facial expressions and go through a full range of movement with the muscles in your face. It’s better than a facelift.
Here are some more thoughts about this concept of exaggerating movement patterns.
- Actors exaggerate basic movements as part of their training to learn body awareness.
- I taught the technique to aspiring speakers and seminar leaders as part of my original Seminar on Seminars, which I produced in a previous life. The goal was for them to learn to be more animated in their delivery.
- Make it harder, to make it easier. Making basic movement more difficult in practice sessions, makes normal movement much easier and exercises more parts of your body at the same time.
- It can help improve the range of motion of your joints.
Some thoughts for putting it into action:
- Go through the full range of motion with each movement pattern.
- Move really slowly and deliberately.
- Watch yourself in the mirror when you have one available.
- Be fully aware of everything you are doing
- Don’t be embarrassed. You don’t need to be an exhibitionist.
- When alone, make sure you have something to grab onto when you start getting really crazy with the exaggerated movements.
This is something that will help make you more comfortable with your everyday movements. It’s easy to do. Do it a couple of times a day with different moves and you may discover some physical abilities you didn’t know you had. It really works — particularly for seniors.
Thank you for reading.