We hear a lot about what it takes to be an athlete, but what about a solid, should we say ultimate, human. Today we dive into the movement basics that you need to be on the road to becoming the ultimate human. We define ultimate human as someone who can live well into their 90’s. If you haven’t read the first article in the series “Do These 7 Things First” check it out and come back to this one.
Crawl, Stand, Walk, then Run
As any toddler will tell you, you have to crawl before you can stand, stand before you can walk, and walk before you can run. That’s true for being an ultimate human as well. The first step is being able to crawl. If there were a fire in your home, could you crawl under the smoke to get out. Second on the list is can you stand, and not just to flex in the mirror? Can you stand on one foot for :30 seconds? Go ahead, give it a try, I’ll wait. If that was easy, close your eyes. Same rules apply to touching the floor, can you do it? Can you do it standing on one leg? You pick things up all day long it’s an important skill to have.
Squat and Stand Up
To keep yourself from assisted living you need to be able to squat, at minimum to 90 degrees. Don’t think it’s that important, can you get to the toilet, yeah it’s that important. Lose the ability to perform a basic squat and you’re going to need someone to help you with daily living. Along those same lines, can you get up off the floor? What if you fall, can you get yourself back up? If you’re reading this and think this is WAY too basic, can you get off the floor with no hands? These are important skills that involve balance, flexibility and coordination.
Lift Your Arms and Step All The Way Up
The last two on the list of basic human abilities are to lift your arms, fully above your head, without pain and be able to step on a 20” box. The majority of kitchens are designed with upper cabinets or shelves, if you can’t lift your arms up, getting that jar from the middle shelf is going to become really challenging. The more pain you’re in the less likely you are to do that motion and the less flexible you become over time. The 20” box step is the average height of 2 stair steps. If you can do 2 you can do one, this insures you’re not having to hit up your realtor and only look at ranch style homes. It also makes navigating the world much easier.
To recap the basics, Stand, Crawl, Walk, Squat, Touch the Floor, Get Up Off the Floor, Reach Up Overhead and Step to a 20” Box. If any of these things cause you pain, that’s where your journey starts. Fixing the issue so you can do these things and many more pain free. This will set you up with a great foundation.