I recently picked up a book that piqued my interest a couple years ago and I've not been able to put it down since. The book is Alignment Matters by Katy Bowman who is a biomechanist and very funny and intelligent writer. She's written eight books to date with Move Your DNA being the flagship piece and the one recommended for people to start with.
I love reading what Katy has to say; she breaks down medical knowledge and complex issues into understandable, and funny, bite sized chunks. She looks at the body through an engineer's lens and presents a common sense and uncomplicated model for healthy pain free living. She's definitely got a few pet peeves and writes extensively about feet (a quarter of the bones in our bodies are below the ankle!) and the problems associated with heeled footwear. She's also got a lot to say about natural movement (walking, climbing, squatting) versus exercise (sports, jogging, gym workouts); the latter being a modern invention to make up for the lack of the former. Among other topics she delves into are pelvic floor issues, knees and hips, and pregnancy. I love that she makes healthy changes simple and easy.
As I read, I am reminded of the importance of the basics - proper breathing, sufficient sleep, hydration and movement. Imagine the changes we'd experience if we focused on excelling at even those few things! The body is always striving for homeostasis, which is balance, and is constantly sending us signals when we're upsetting the balance. We're really good at ignoring those little memo's about how that posture is not working for your shoulders, or how those shoes are a pain in the low back or that you're burning the candle at both ends and your adrenals can't keep up. The more aware we become, the more we listen, the sooner we can adjust to a healthier version of our habits and lives, and it's a lot easier to listen to the little nudges from the body now, (such as headaches, digestive complaints, mood swings, spasms, persistent tightness) before they becomes more insistent, urgent messages which can stop us in our tracks. It's also wise to make changes now so the body doesn't chronically adapt around the issue over time. In my work, I've seen the domino effect of bodies compensating for a few years (or a few decades) trying to keep us functional in less than ideal circumstances. It can also take more resources, therapists, time and effort to get back to balance at that point.
So this is not an endorsement for Katy Bowman! But reading her book has reignited my passion for enabling others to move more and hurt less and I think she's a great resource in this endeavour. She's got an extensive website with videos, classes, articles, and exercises, plus great books and podcasts. And she can explain things way better than I can!
Hopefully she inspires change in you as she's done in my life and my work.