Fit Tip: Four on the Floor
In my previous post I shared 3 simple fit tips which I believe are crucial to vibrant health, fitness, flexibility, and youthful vitality at every stage of life, but especially for the over fifty population. Or even for the younger populations who would like to prepare ahead. Which I personally think is a great idea. After all, you don’t wait to start saving for retirement until you turn fifty, so why wait to get a jump start on your long term fitness plan as well?
Today I’m going to highlight my favorite fit tip, which is to get down on the floor (and back up again) every single day. Every time I share this tip with my clients or followers (after they gasp in horror), the inevitable follow up question is “What do I do when I’m down there?” That’s a great question, and I’m glad you asked.
Crawl. No, I’m not kidding, I’m perfectly serious. There are so many positive health and fitness benefits in crawling including improving shoulder stability, upper body strength, coordination, core strength, balance, flexibility, and joint mobility, just to name a few. Crawling can also improve your proprioception, which is a fancy word for knowing where your body is in space as you move, as well as your reflexes, which will help you respond effortlessly and quickly to unexpected physical challenges with strength and stability.
Think about the practical application of all these benefits. Crawling even it helps with cognitive functioning as you need to focus on coordinating each limb and alternating between muscle groups.
In case you’re still cringing at the thought of crawling on the floor, I hear ya, and I feel your pain. The first time I was invited to crawl on all fours I was 50 years young and had just started my Feldenkrais Training. Notice I said “invited,” not “instructed,” which is one of the primary principles of Feldenkrais, but I’ll save that for another day.
All I could think of was my bony knees on a hard wood floor, and looking like an absolute idiot. Until I tried it. It wasn’t nearly as awkward or painful as I expected it would be. As a matter of fact, it was kind of fun, and I felt like a kid again, crawling around the floor with my playmates. Oops, I mean classmates, who were crawling and giggling as we moved around the room on all fours. Yes, even the guys. After all, crawling is the most basic form of movement and locomotion we learned as babies. Well, we didn’t really learn it, we figured it out for ourselves.
Besides, think of all the other fun stuff you can do when you’re crawling on the floor. So go ahead and give it a try. You just might be surprised at what you discover!