Movement is really important, but it’s not always about getting to the gym. In fact, our time in the gym is one little sliver of the movement pie.
Join Heather as she chats with Marie Newkirk to talk about the importance of moving well as we age. Marie shares practical advice on critical movement patterns.
For self-care – move your body!
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Beyond the Gym: Every Day Movement as Medicine with Marie Newkirk – Season 2 Episode 4
Movement is really important, but it’s not always about getting to the gym. In fact, our time in the gym is one little sliver of the movement pie. Join Heather as she chats with Marie Newkirk to talk about the importance of moving well as we age. Marie shares practical advice on critical movement patterns. For self-care – move your body!
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HIGHLIGHTS FROM THIS EPISODE:
- Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your education, and a little bit of what interests you within your field?
- I am a physical therapist and I work in the hospital in New York City and I work on the unit that specializes in neuro impairments. My job is to get those patients up and moving. Sometimes it’s just having them walk. Sometimes it’s teaching them how to sit up, teaching them how to walk again, and so it’s very varying levels of patience and functional mobility.
- What does self care mean to you?
- I think that self care is helping you become the best version of yourself and whatever that means. And it could mean something different every week. Be the best version of me, whether that’s sleeping an extra hour at night, taking an extra long walk the next day, maybe taking a rest day from the gym. Maybe my body doesn’t need to workout one day. You know, maybe it’s to sit down and read a book instead of watching TV. Maybe it’s to eat a little better, so I think I think whatever you can do to become the best version of yourself. That’s kind of my idea of it.
- Do you have any suggestions as to how people could start to pay attention?
- Sometimes we don’t know what it’s like to feel good, so I think you know a good thing is taking certain points throughout the day. I know, we all have very busy schedules, very busy lives. Just taking a minute, you know, maybe taking a pause in the beginning of the day as you wake up or in the middle of the day. Maybe when you’re eating lunch and then at the end of the day before you go to sleep and say: How am I feeling? What do I feel?
- We have these sedentary lives where we’re sitting at desks, and we’re not going outside, and we’re barely moving around. What do you think about this fact?
- As far as moving every hour, getting up, I think that is so important and I tell patients you know that going back to the workplace or have a sedentary job to get up. It’s very important to get up every hour. Go take a walk. Go to get some water at the water cooler, stand up, maybe do some stretches. You don’t even have to walk, just stand up and do something at least every hour.
- What are the top top three exercises that you would recommend that people can do everyday to keep themselves mobile beyond walking?
- Sure, my favorite one is taking the stairs. Just take the stairs. You know it can get your heart rate up a little bit. It’s strengthening your legs. If you have the opportunity and you’re able bodied, you should take the stairs. So that’s a very easy one.
- Another one is just like sitting down on your chair and standing up. That is a squat, it’s one of the most functional movements.
- The other one I like to give is maybe more of like a stretch, like a little bit of a hamstring stretch. If you’re sitting in your chair, you can straighten your leg up and bring your weight and your shoulders forward. Making sure you keep your back straight and then it’ll give you a nice stretch into your hamstrings.
- Would you say that you see a real progression of a lack of mobility as people age?
- Generally speaking, yes. I think that you know as people age there is a tendency for them to be less mobile and that could be for a variety of reasons I think. For multiple reasons, people do slow down. They’re not moving as much. I think that sometimes people slow down because of certain chronic diseases. Sometimes people slow down because of pain. A lot of people after a certain age have various types of muscle pain, joint pain, arthritis is very common. I think that especially if you haven’t been active before, the tendency with pain is to not move and to slow down. I think if people took the priority of movement it could help slow some of these progressions. Movement is medicine and it can prevent a lot of things.
- Have you ever really noticed the difference between someone who was previously an athlete, someone who was very mobile, very active before, and then the ones who clearly came in who were already sedentary? Do you see a difference in their recovery, in their pain, in everything?
- Yes, the answer is yes. There is a significant difference. Not only are they easier to get in and out of bed, but they do recover faster and for sure there is a correlation. If I continuously move throughout the day, and then God forbid something does happen, you’ll be in better shape for that. You know, and even if it doesn’t, we’re all aging every day. To put it really obviously: the more we keep moving around, the more we keep moving around.
- What does your movement look like now?
- It’s definitely developed over time. You know, as you said, I did Cross Fit for a long time. Still love it. Still do a lot of components of it. Currently, I work out in my studio apartment. I have a Peloton, which I do a few times. I have a large set of kettlebells and dumbbells and I have a sandbag, so I do a combination of cardio on the bike. I usually like the HITT classes. Or the interval classes on the bike. And then, I do some sort of strength work with the kettle bells and the sandbag.
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