You want to feel free in your body every day for the rest of your life so you can do anything your heart desires.
In the past 13 years, I’ve seen many people become prisoners in their own bodies simply due to a lack of stimulus.
There are certain qualities that need to be preserved over time to allow total physical freedom.
Today I’m going to share a few of the top daily activities to help you stay young until you die.
1) Get Up (but also stay down) (1-5 minutes)
Get ups (which I go over in great detail in Kettlebell Essentials, are a fantastic exercise that helps you live longer. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23242910
So definitely get up and down off the floor in as many ways as your imagination will take you. Try it with no hands, try holding a weight. Try holding your opposite foot…you get the idea.
Also, stay on the ground, roll around, and explore that elevation. This leads us to our next skill…
2) Roll (1-5 minutes)
Don’t waste your life sitting on a foam roller. There is definitely a time and place, but most of us are better off just rolling on the ground better. Think of the ground as the original world’s largest foam roller. Roll over each shoulder forwards and backwards. Roll to the side. Roll while holding a couple of small weights in your hands without touching the ground with your arms or legs. The ground is your friend, don’t skip the floor play.
3) Crawl (1-5 minutes)
Your hands and feet are magical anchors that help you hold things, and hold yourself up. Being able to get down on all 4’s athletically is a commonly lost skill. Keep it by crawling daily. Here are some of my favorite variations from this year’s crawl month challenge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYsHY9PWL_c
4) Climb (1-5 minutes)
Our monkey like shoulders prefer daily conditioning with hangs, pulls, and climbing in general. Use this one (my favorite) every day to unlock a ton of strength and mobility with ease: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-33xDSIr64&t=25s
5) Carry (1-5 minutes)
Carrying stuff is one of the more useful human skills that we’ll want to perform easily throughout our lives. There are a lot of variations on carries. From farmers walks to bearhugs with a sandbag–they’re all great. Don’t punish yourself every day with it, but carry some weights every damn day, and get creative with it. Here’s an awesome combo you can snag for your training: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Etu_PVwe8Sc&t=4s
6) Bounce (1-5 minutes)
There is a proverb that says, “We age from the roots up.” There is definitely some truth to this. The feet and ankles are so commonly overlooked/neglected in most strength and conditioning programs. Don’t make this same mistake. Whether you opt for some jumping rope, a run, boxing footwork, or running the stairs at the stadium–stay springy. That springiness of youth can stay with you for a long time if you keep using it (don’t worry, it can be recovered if you happen to have lost it along the way).
7) Eye-Hand (1-5 minutes)
Play catch with a friend or family member, juggle, or try both for a really fun time. Your vision and your hands comprise a precious piece of your connection to reality, and when it decays, so does your movement. Your world will essentially shrink as your ability to observe the world around you diminishes. Keep your eyes and hands working together and constantly test your limits. It’s fun and it’s good for you.
-Mindful Breathing (1-15 min): I often refer to this as the gateway between you and your nervous system.
-Mindful Eating (Don’t rush, savor every bite, try setting down the fork between bites, aim for 20-30 chews, go slow):
-20 minute walk, nose breathing only
-Massage (Self or someone you like 1-5 minutes): You’ll get a deeper connection and understanding of the textures and structures of your muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments, and bones. Plus it feels good and who doesn’t love a good shoulder or foot rub?
Ultimately you are a reflection of what you do, and your environment. The human body is very simple, and at the same time, a complex structure. Every part of your body is in a constant feedback loop with every other part through various forms of interaction and communication. Your physical and mental state, for example, are also in a constant feedback loop. It’s possible that you hurt your back from deadlifting, or as a response to a stressful situation in your life. Pain inspires action, and the body doesn’t have a stronger way of telling you to “PLEASE CHANGE SOMETHING.”
So listen to what it says, and give it your time and attention–it’s a surprisingly small amount of time, when you add it up. You might just be amazed at how much better everything feels, mentally and physically.
Use part of your day to check, maintain, play with, and upgrade your body. It’s fun and it’s good for you.
The list above is not complete, but it is a fantastic foundation to give you a fighting chance at happily thriving in any environment as long as you live.
Want to give yourself the best possible chance to succeed? Pick up a copy of of my newest creation Primal Athleticism. The modular daily practice and complete checklist will give you the peace and power to thrive in any environment.