Move Your DNA (Paperback, 2017, Propriometrics Press) 4 stars

"In Move Your DNA, biomechanist Katy Bowman explains our deep need for movement - right …

A big mental shift!

4 stars

Context: I'm big into exercise, an almost daily runner getting in 50-60 miles a week during the season. With that said, I had a hunch my lifestyle when I finished my runs wasn’t fantastic. So I picked up this book and I’m very glad I did!

Starting with the positives:

1) This book changed my relationship with movement. A bike ride can be exercise or movement. Exercise is forcing yourself on a 30 minute ride to move. Movement is riding your bike to the grocery store. Movement is a byproduct of your lifestyle. Exercise is a byproduct of lack of movement.

This mental shift exposes the toxic modern-day relationship we have with movement. Since we live such sedentary lives, we've invented this concept of 'exercise' to prescribe ourselves 20-60 minute intervals where we try to fit in all the movement we need into a single session. It's the closest thing to a 'movement pill' our hyper-capitalist society can currently formulate.

2) This book changed my relationship with the term: sedentary. We associate sedentary as needing to be sitting or lying down. This is far from the case. The real issue with sedentary lifestyles is the lack of variety in movement. So for people who think a standing desk is fixing their problems, it will still suffer similar issues of lacking movement. We should be in constant motion throughout the day, and any stationary position, sitting or standing, is not healthy for us for long periods of time.

3) This book changed my relationship with comfort. Beds make us comfortable. Pillows. Couches. But this comfort generally comes at the cost of weakening our bodies. They create a vicious negative feedback loop that is found in other areas like orthotics (which likewise, prevent the body from building its own strength to break free from the orthotic that enables the weakness)

4) This book has changed my relationship with exercise. I still love exercise. I will still run. I will still go to the gym. I will still compete. But I will be aware that the rigorous repetition and single dimension of running will not provide me the complete health I desire. While running will give me incredible cardiovascular health and numerous other benefits, it's ultimately still a repetitive motion and needs to be incorporated with proper movement throughout the day.

This book has inspired me to find more ways to move throughout the day that aren’t just running. I'm now working from the ground more, which naturally encourages a lot more movement. I'm walking places, biking to local shops, avoiding the elevator, sitting on the ground, and I'm slowly phasing out a lot of my furniture so I can have a healthier environment at home. This book has triggered a fantastic journey that I'm excited to go on!

The only downside, and why I'm giving this book 4 stars: The 'exercises' felt silly. The entire concept of the book is to avoid prescribed exercise, so the author goes ahead and prescribes 'natural' exercises - whatever that means. The author admits they aren't a fan of this either, and mainly did it to cave to public demand. But when the public demands a toxic relationship with movement, why would you supply it to them, when your book is supposed to break free from that model? A bolder statement would've been to avoid all exercise prescriptions. However, even if someone finds value in exercise prescriptions, I found the descriptions to be useless for around half of them and I couldn't even figure out how to do them. So this was a big fail on all accounts IMO.

Overall: 4 stars. Really changed the game for me, but could've done without the exercises.