I’m a movement coach and physical therapist, so obviously my opinion on why everyone needs a movement coach is a little biased. When I first started practicing, I didn’t think anyone needed intervention until something went wrong. It didn’t take me long to realize how wrong I was.
It makes no sense to wait for a hip fracture or diagnosis of diabetes to reach out for help. Preventing catastrophic injuries and decline later in life starts long before we should be concerned about hip fractures or diabetes anyway.
The reality is that each and every one of us should be working with a movement professional in some capacity. Why sit and wait for problems to happen before we start to take care of our physical health?
A movement coach can come in many different forms. They can be wellness professionals, personal trainers, physical or occupational therapists. You can find them practicing in pilates and yoga studios, in gyms, or even find practitioners to visit you at home.
It’s even better if you can learn from more than one person in more than one discipline. As a movement coach, and I have a handful of various coaches that I learn from on a weekly basis. You’re never done learning and you should progress through multiple coaches.
Learning from a coach can happen in a format that best suits you. Some learn best with a one-on-one session, others do better in a group setting facilitated by a coach. Online classes and communities are also an option.
Anyone around you can be a coach if depending on what lens you see life through. Start to study the movement of others and the differences between how we move. Spend a lot of time watching little ones move and mimic them. Their movement hasn’t been influenced by their environment yet, and yes each and every one of us should be able to squat just like kids do.
Keep researching and testing until you find coaches that resonate with you. None of us should be expected to navigate our health alone or have all the answers. So surround yourself with people who have more answers than you do to keep you growing and learning.
Unfortunately, they don’t teach us how to take care of our most important asset in school, our bodies. Without taking care of your physical health every aspect of your life will suffer, so that comes first and foremost. But in our modern world, most of us have lost our connection to our bodies and the understanding of how they work.
So we each need to make an effort to develop physical literacy. An understanding of and terminology for what your body should be capable of and your plan to access all of your available mobility as a human.
It’s estimated that modern humans use less than 50% of the range of mobility available to us. We are all born with this set of skills at birth. And somewhere along the way, mainly due to our modern environment, we start to narrow our range of options.
To expand your physical literacy and your movement horizons, find yourself a movement coach.
“The “secret” to aging seems to be to use it or lose it.” -Bill Gifford
The key to improving and maintaining your physical health is to continue to push beyond the limits of your comfort zone. When we stay within our comfort zone not only are we inhibiting improvement, we are facilitating decline.
A movement coach can guide you through the process of identifying your current comfort zone. And also guide you through the right time and methods to push out of your comfort zone.
Not only can they give you the how-to of doing this but they can also keep you accountable and motivated to keep exploring. A movement coach helps add variety to your movement, which is the key to aging well.
Without feedback, we stop learning. A coach can be there to give you objective feedback. I would consider myself an experienced mover and the feedback I get from my coaches is invaluable. Not only does it help me better understand myself, but also how to better guide others.
Feedback is a critical part of the learning process, and movement is no different.
Accountability is also critical and working with other individuals can give you the structure you need to be successful.
Again, movement coaching can come in a variety of settings so you can customize what works for you. The experiences of individualized coaching, group classes, and online settings are all different but all provide accountability.
Find yourself accountability partners and work in groups. Small consistent efforts are the key to success and you can always count on a coach to hold you accountable.
The benefits of movement coaching are endless and you’ll be surprised by what you learn. Have you ever considered movement coaching? There’s no reason to avoid getting started today. Make this your year of better movement and better health.