Immobility is one of the most common causes of chronic pain. When we are sedentary for too long, the connective tissues that hold us together begin to harden. Connective tissue thrives in slippery “ground substance” that lends ease and grace to our movement. When we stop moving for a prolonged period, the liquid hardens like coconut oil. To stay flexible, we need our connective tissue to slip around and remain “gel-like,” which we do by gently moving.
Every time we move, we create a subtle pumping motion that gently pushes fluid through the connective tissues. Likewise, when movement is restricted – which can be due to an injury, work or lifestyle – we start to feel stiff. We lose that nice, fluid feeling in our body. If movement is restricted long enough the loss of mobility turns into pain.
Thankfully, the solution is simple: gentle exercise. And the best part is it doesn’t have to be much, 20-30 minutes a day is enough to move all 650 of our muscles and all 360 joints. Doing so naturally and effectively nourishes and hydrates the connective tissue.
In many ways, modern life is wreaking havoc on us as it simultaneously makes our lives easier. The body was designed to move on a daily basis, but we live in such a way that we can literally never leave our desk and have anything we want delivered to our front door. The only thing we can’t buy online is movement. This one is on us.
If you ever feel tired, achy or suffer from chronic pain know that the body wants to heal and its preferred medicine is gentle, daily, full-body movement.