The Ready State Virtual Mobility Coach is like having a virtual Kelly Starrett in your pocket.
Back to Episode
Kelly: [0:00:04] Hey everyone, I’m Dr. Kelly Starrett.
Juliet: [0:00:06] And I’m Juliet Starrett.
Kelly: [0:00:08] And you’re listening to The Ready State Podcast.
Juliet: [00:00:17] This episode of The Ready State Podcast is brought to you by LMNT.
Kelly: [00:00:]20 I see regularly that people are going hard in the paint: hot yoga, sauna, brutal cardio conditioning, or long events, and they aren’t replacing any electrolytes. And what I mean that is salt. I’m not just talking about good old fashioned table salt. You probably could be deficient in a lot of your electrolytes if you’re not actively replenishing them.
Juliet: [00:00:43] Replenishing them.
Kelly: [00:00:44] And thinking practically about it.
Juliet: [00:00:46] That’s actually a big problem for me if I go to hot yoga or do a really long sauna, even if it’s a long, low sauna, I often get a headache if I haven’t been really mindful of my electrolytes. And not just while I’m in the sauna. I need to go into the sauna pre-hydrated. And so one of the ways I do, that’s why I avoid getting headache in hot yoga or taking long saunas is making sure that my electrolytes are up.
Kelly: [00:01:13] And remember that LMNT actually is covering a whole host of electrolytes. It’s not just salt and flavor. I mean that would be good, right?
Juliet: [00:01:20] Yeah. And it does taste good.
Kelly: [00:01:21] It does taste good. But one of the things that we see regularly is that athletes are working hard. We’re not talking about if you’re on Keto, we’re not talking about, hey, should you use salt or not. But if you’re sweating, you need to be thinking about electrolyte replacement. The triathletes, the runners that have been on this for a long time, I think sometimes when more gym based athletes are coming to some of these events, it’s not on their minds to think about replacing these essential electrolytes. You will not recover, you will not feel good, and you will not be able to go as hard tomorrow unless you’re on it. So get on it.
Juliet: [00:01:53] Right now, if you order through our link, you get a free sample pack with all of LMNT’s flavors. Go to drinklmnt.com/trs.
Kelly: [00:02:02] Watts don’t lie.
Kelly: [00:02:03] On this episode of The Ready State Podcast, we are thrilled to welcome back the one and only Katy Bowman. Katy is a bestselling author, speaker, and a leader of the Movement movement. Biomechanist Katy Bowman is changing the way we move and think about our need for movement. Bowman teaches movement globally, has written nine previous books on the importance of a diverse movement diet, including Move Your DNA, Dynamic Aging, and Grow Wild. Her latest book, Rethink Your Position, is a much needed guide to how our bodies move, why we need to move, and the intentional steps anyone can take to feel, move, and even think better one part at a time.
Juliet: [00:02:41] One of the things I loved about this conversation was that her book Rethink Your Position and our book Built to Move have so much in common in terms of the mission and goal to have people think about the basics, one of those things being practicing sitting on the floor and just thinking more about total daily movement.
Kelly: [00:03:00] One of the things that I really like is that she uses a slightly different language. When she’s talking about the things that your body should be able to do, she’s almost thinking of them as vitamins, as essential aspects of a movement diet. And so we always talk about positions and I think we’re thinking about creating vital signs, she’s even going a step further down the chain and saying, “Hey, let’s make sure we’re just even thinking about how the day to day movements are shaping us.” And this is a great conversation.
Juliet: [00:03:32] Yeah, and one of the things we share in common with her as well is this idea that practice makes permanent and often the movement that we’re practicing in our life is no movement.
Kelly: [00:03:43] That’s right. She’s like what are you practicing, what are you getting good at, what are you adapting to right now? Well, I like to adapt to ice cream and sitting on the couch but it turns out I need some movement strawberries in there as well. This is a wonderful conversation. Katy is a great thinker about all of the conditions of movement that afflict the modern person. We think you’re going to enjoy this convo.
Juliet: [00:04:06] Hey, Katy.
Kelly: [00:04:08] What’s going on, Katy?
Katy Bowman: [00:04:09] How’s it going, everyone? Hi.
Juliet: [00:04:11] Welcome back. I know you just got back from a whirlwind trip in Central America. So welcome back. And I’m really excited to just chat away with you today.
Katy Bowman: [00:04:19] This is a nice place to land. It’s very mellow.
Kelly: [00:04:22] We both, all three of us, just launched books from different angles I feel like aimed at the same thing.
Katy Bowman: [00:04:30] Totally.
Kelly: [00:04:31] I have said many times that I really appreciate your brain and I think you’ve done it again with your book and I am very, very pleased that it’s out in the world. I feel like sometimes the three of us speak to slightly different populations from different corners. We’re all aimed at the same center of the room but we’re definitely coming from different angles and it’s important that we use slightly different language. But the roots are the same, absolutely. This book is fantastic.
Juliet: [00:04:55] And just so our listeners know, your new book is called Rethink Your Position. And before we talk about the content though, as I was preparing for this, I think maybe you have written 11 books. So I just wanted to start there because as people who have put out, what, six books, and we know what that means in terms of content creation and marketing and just overall taxing your life, how did you write and publish and market 11 books?
Katy Bowman: [00:05:28] I don’t know. People ask me that question a lot. It’s just what I do. You were also probably managing a very large bricks and mortar and doing many other things. So this is just the main, the primary thing that I do. So it’s just I go to work, I write books. I’ve been working for a long time. It’s just that.
Juliet: [00:05:46] I still want to give you some props though because I mean it doesn’t matter if this is your fulltime gig, writing books is difficult and you’re sort of putting your ideas and yourself out there on the page, opening yourself up to criticism from the greater world. So seriously, props. Eleven books is legit.
Kelly: [00:06:02] Let me dovetail on that and just say here I think is one of your best works. I know you’ve written hyper specialization and certain topics like we did, we kind of go down a rabbit hole, deep niche. This book is special because it’s so universal and so timely and topical. It’s like we’re all into the zeitgeist of what’s happening. Oh my gosh, it’s not working and the things we’ve been saying haven’t gotten out there. But as you have progressed in your writing and thinking, do you feel like this book is unique or it benefitted from 10 prequels or 10 other efforts? Because really, I can tell, I’m like, oh, here’s a writer who’s done a lot of writing and has thought more deeply and refined her own thinking.
Katy Bowman: [00:06:51] Yeah. I mean it’s just like parenting. One’s a little easier. You get this sort of skillset, it goes out in the world, and you’re like, oh, next time I’m going to change the way that I do this. So as far as writing goes, yes. And then also when you’re creating the subject matter for a book. And I noticed in your book it’s very similar. Just for my audience, the Starrett’s book is Built to Move. We are in a time it seems like where simple steps, give me the pared down version, the most simple thing that I can do in a very short format. This book was essays, for example. I didn’t even want someone to feel like they had to read the whole book. We’re in a short form, Instagram, soundbite situation. So I thought I’ll try it this way. We’ll see if I throw the spaghetti at the wall and it sticks like this. So yeah, it’s a reflection of the times, it’s a reflection of writing for a long time, and then it is also just knowing my own material better, just seeing my material land with more people and not land with other people and figure out what is the key. I think of every single person as having a key that’s unique to them. And you can’t say it too many times, but you can’t say it the same way again and again and again. You’ve got to change a word or two, you’ve got to change a metaphor, you’ve got to raise your voice, you have to whisper because everyone’s different.
Juliet: [00:08:17] I relate to that a lot. In fact, sometimes Kelly gets a little frustrated because he often feels like he’s been saying the same thing over and over again 1,000 times. Or sometimes we’ll suggest a video and he’s like, “I’ve made that video, I’ve made that video 10 times.”
Kelly: [00:08:30] In 10 different ways.
Juliet: [00:08:31] And we’re like, well, maybe you need to make it 12 different ways. And maybe whispering is the key for you. Going forward, whisper voice. We’ve never tried that one. But I mean I really appreciate what you’re saying is that you might need to say it differently to different people so they can hear it. And then also, you never know who is landing on your page and your content for the first time for whatever reason and have never heard it before. So I do think there’s something to say for continuing to say the same thing over and over and over again.
Kelly: [00:08:59] Let me just say that I also, it’s important, I feel like we’re in a cabal of some writer’s thing because you, Jill Miller, right, where it’s important that we all have very unique voices because people hear this very differently. And I don’t know if you notice, but I am a 240 pound white guy without any hair and tattoos – I’ m just not going to reach all the people.
Juliet: [00:09:20] So one of the things I was thinking about as I was reading your book is, again, speaking of this cabal concept, it seems like there is a bunch of us in this space, or at least I can speak for Kelly and I, we’ve evolved or I turn 50 this year, Kelly’s turning 50 in four months, we’ve been able to take some time to reflect on what we’ve done, what we haven’t done and what’s been working. And I think one of the reasons we wrote this book is we looked upon our industry of health, wellness, fitness people-
Kelly: [00:09:52] The industrial complex.
Juliet: [00:09:53] The industrial complex actually with a measure of criticism because as you know and have talked about on many podcasts and in your book, things aren’t going well from a health standpoint in our country. We’re spending billions of dollars, everybody’s getting more sick, more fat, and has more pain. We’re just really struggling from an overall health standpoint. And so I’m wondering if you have sort of landed in that same place and are trying to self-reflect the way we are and say, okay, how can we keep trying to cast a wider net and bring more people into this conversation of what it means to be healthy and make it more accessible? Was that a driving force like it was for us?
Katy Bowman: [00:10:35] A little bit. I mean I’m 47. I’m around the same age. And I think that I came out of graduate school and I have all of this information and understanding and it’s such a simple tool. It’s so easy and inexpensive to pick it up that my earlier ways of speaking about it really come from that place, that place of that stage of life as well. That stage of being in your 20s gives you a particular perspective of how easy it is to start moving or do a lot of sports. And then the work responsibilities creep up and then the children creep up. And then you just get a sense of, oh, there are more obstacles here than I could have fully appreciated. And so that’s part of the feedback that you get, where people are like there’s no way I can do this because this is my life. And to a certain extent, some of it is the narrative that we have that there’s no time. How much time are you on YouTube? There’s a lot of time. But I also could recognize that I was missing the key to this audience that was myself ultimately as I moved through the stages of life.
And while I can also appreciate the stages of life, we are also in a stage of life as a country, as a culture, around the globe, where there’s these bigger trends that simply didn’t exist before. We are operating… I think it’s not said enough; it’s not fully appreciated. We are operating in a completely novel environment. Completely novel. If we just add the digital tech aspect, nobody knows how to parent in this. Nobody knows how to age in this. No one knows how to get their needs met because this environment seems to have come with these unintended consequences of affecting sleep and movement and nutrition and community and relationships. And when you look at it in that way, it’s like there’s no blueprint here. So I try to give a little bit of grace to be like we’re just going, I don’t know. But I have an idea and I’m willing to put it out there. I feel like these books that everyone is writing and these programs that everyone is creating, they’re like labors of love. They’re not career decisions as much as they are I really feel that I would love my fellow humans to have this as a tool. And I love that space. But yeah, I mean I’m definitely coming at it in somewhat of the same way.
Kelly: [00:13:05] I think all three of us and the larger community of us in the karass working towards these things or trying to solve these or improve the ball are recognizing, as you say, a gigantic mismatch between humans and our two and a half years of being on this planet, and I’m talking about pining for the old days. That’s not what I mean.
Juliet: [00:13:26] Wasp nest soup. I can’t even say it.
Kelly: [00:13:28] Fermented wasp nest soup. I don’t need to eat all of those gross things.
Juliet: [00:13:34] You like your teeth?
Kelly: [00:13:35] I do also like my teeth. Juliet and I have discovered recently that one of my fears is that in the zombie apocalypse, I’m going to have a toothache and that’s what takes me out. That’s my thing.
Katy Bowman: [00:13:44] You have dreams your teeth are falling out? Is that your dream?
Kelly: [00:13:47] No, that doesn’t happen. It’s like a waking… I have all these broken teeth that I’m dealing with all the time. This is what takes me out. Not the lion, not the crowd with pitchforks, it’s this tooth infection, it’s the abscess. There’s this gigantic human mismatch, speed mismatch. You have just come back from taking your family, living abroad, which is so cool. I think I always feel like a little bit of an outsider; I grew up in Europe and didn’t come back to the United States until I was 15 and I dropped right in to a big high school on the East Coast. And it was culture shock. I mean big time. I’m like what do you mean you don’t ride your bike? You can actually have a pizza delivered to your house? All those things just blew my mind. The kids are going to listen to this and be like, what?
Juliet: [00:14:32] He’s so old.
Kelly: [00:14:33] He’s so old. The question I have for you is what stood out most as you moved back from Central America with your family and the shock, the speed you mentioned a little bit. But what in terms of wow, I can really see the differences between what we might be doing better and what we’re not doing as well as we could?
Katy Bowman: [00:14:55] The biggest thing, I’m really about the distinction between movement and exercise. That’s been my thought process for a long time, really teasing it out. More for scientific purposes and public health purposes because I think there’s a reason physical activity and exercise and movement have different definitions. But there’s another element to movement that often gets overlooked and I’ve tried to course correct it in my own writing in the last four or five years, in my own offerings, is while we have this huge problem with sedentarism, simultaneously there are many people who aren’t sedentary in our culture, they are the labor workers. So when we’re writing these books, oftentimes they’re really geared towards people who sit a lot. But there is still a large number of people who don’t. So spending time in Central America, I really recognized how much labor we’ve gotten rid of from eyesight. Labor is still happening but not everyone is s pending a lot of time seeing the labor go down. And the reason… I mean back when I wrote Move Your DNA, it’s like a couple sentences, almost like a footnote to say in these discussions about move more for your health, don’t move, not great for your health, is this other group who are laboring who are also not healthy. And if you put an activity tracker and a pedometer on them, they would be active but their issue, which you probably already understand, is it’s repetitive motions. Their movement diet is also not broad.
Kelly: [00:16:32] What do you mean? When you say movement diet, explain that for everyone.
Katy Bowman: [00:16:35] Movement diet is I’m trying to really help people capitalizing on this framework that we understand of nutrition, that it’s like, hey, calories, great, make sure you get enough calories. And it’s like awesome. Oaky, well, and if you eat enough calories, everything will be great. And it’s like, well, there’s these macronutrients here. All right, we’re going to dial it in a little bit more. All right, you get that dialed in. You’re like, oh no, I’m still having this issue. There’s these things called micronutrients. So you got to dial all of that in too. And what nutrients are is just something that’s identified as a nutrient in hindsight when you have it, when you have the absence of the thing, the compound, there’s predictable symptoms that arise.
Kelly: [00:17:17] Scurvy.
Juliet: [00:17:19] Yeah, right, scurvy.
Katy Bowman: [00:17:21] Scurvy is always the easy one. That’s like the kindergarten model. Nailed it, nutrition, done. So it’s these micronutrients. We have a just eat, some movement. We’re at the calorie phase. We’re so just move. And many people are in a movement drought and can absolutely benefit from that. And we also need expanded messaging when we talk about who identifies with our work and who doesn’t is the person who’s like, “I’m on my feet 10 hours a day. When you say I need to move more, that doesn’t make sense to me. I’ve got this thing in my hip. It’s not because I’m not moving enough.” You’re like right, okay macronutrients. What’s your walking, what’s your floor sitting ability, what’s your ability to hang or move from your arms, how can you carry something heavy?
And then micronutrients is really in the realm of corrective exercise, physiotherapy. It’s like, okay, you’re hanging, but you know what, your elbow’s 15 degrees in this position and that’s going to keep this part of your body sedentary. You are active with sedentary tissues and sedentary cells within an otherwise active body. So this is all to answer your question 17 minutes ago, which is what did I learn in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, is labor is much more intact in these places. And it’s not to celebrate labor done without choice or in more oppressive situations. But it’s to recognize that when we talk about where the movement has gone, we really no longer labor for things. And so that’s what I’m really interested and my 17th book will be looking at labor.
And also, with Grow Wild, a book I wrote for families, we really need to be introducing our children to labor movement. And that could be as simple as having a garden, active transportation—walking or moving for the things that you need versus only where movement currently sits for many people on the… Are you familiar with the sloth time economy model, which is all humans spend their time in the five life domains: S, L, O, T, H — sleeping, leisure, occupation, transportation, and home. Those are the domains. Transportation, most of us do, we pick sedentary forms of transportation. So it’s this idea of you could get back a little bit more movement in that domain. And so just even walking to the store, not necessarily for your health, but just to move for the things that you need. And so the nice thing was my family got to see that contrast of people who go out and labor very hard all day long. Certainly comes with its own issues. But also, that there is still joy, that there could be lots of joy and gratitude about physical capability and things like that.
Juliet: [00:20:23] So I just want to go back to something you mentioned before which I think is based on a diagram I have seen of yours, and I don’t remember if it was in Move Your DNA or one of your other works. but this differentiation between physical activity, movement, and exercise. And so if you could tell our listeners a little bit about that. Because Kelly and I often, I think we’ve really come to believe that exercise is an extracurricular and that the movement piece ultimately is more important. And I think we have a lot of-
Kelly: [00:20:50] Not just walking. Not just I got my steps on my treadmill.
Juliet: [00:20:51] Not just walking. Overall movement. And obviously we can all agree that the data is bearing out to be true that people are spending billions of dollars going to Peloton and that doesn’t seem to moving the needle at all.
Kelly: [00:21:05] Whatever. We are the best nation in the world at Peloton.
Juliet: [00:21:07] That’s true. We’re really good at Peloton. So again, tell us about that framework that you’ve developed because I think it’s really informative and instructive.
Katy Bowman: [00:21:15] Okay, so simple diagrams, love simple diagrams. Just a big giant circle and the word movement is written on top of it. That’s the biggest category because it encompasses any change in position of your body or change in the shape of your tissues. Because pressure is going to also be in that category but people are missing the vitamin pressure. So giant category, everything fits inside this category.
But inside of this circle is a second circle, which is physical activity. Physical activity, and these are just clinical definitions, physical activity is movements that use your musculoskeletal system to the extent that they utilize calories. So we definitely have a calorie centric scientific perspective on movement. That’s sort of locking us to where I think that right there is a big part of why movement people will have 400,000 followers but not 7 million. It’s so linked to calorie expenditure. So that’s physical activity. And that could be, again, a lot of things that go in the movement category but it wouldn’t be pressure related movement. So you rolling out your body or getting on the floor and learning how to tenderize, doing pressure type therapy that wouldn’t necessarily fit inside the physical activity category.
And then exercise is a smaller circle still that sits inside physical activity. So it’s like three rings: movement, smaller circle; physical activity, smaller circle; exercise. And exercise is, it’s movement that meet the same conditions of physical activity but are done so that they have to use the musculoskeletal system in a way that utilizes some kcals health but they’re done with predetermined… you’ve got predetermined specs on them. You’ve picked the mode, you’ve picked the duration, you’ve picked how far, how many, how long. And you’re doing it for the intention of health. So it’s very isolated. So to show you just a comparison, if you get on your bicycle and you’re like I’m going to go ride for one hour today and I’m doing this for my wellbeing, that will fit into exercise. You’ve picked the mode. It’s scripted. If you take that exact same bike ride to get to work, same equipment, same you, body, same rate, same distance but you use it for transportation, that’s what moves it out of exercise into the physical activity category. So the movements aren’t really different. The benefits to you physically aren’t different but it’s about your ability to see where movement can fit inside your life outside of purposefully done exercise which goes into that SLOTH model. That’s in the leisure category. So exercise is a leisure based activity by definition. All of us here are trying to expand it. But that’s where it sits right now as far as language goes, in I would say in common usage in the upper echelons of medicine and public health is still on that exercise model.
Kelly: [00:24:29] Do you think that’s why when we work with industrial athletes, people who use their bodies, they’re like, “Are you telling me I really need to go lift weights?” They kind of push back. “To get healthier, I need to go do formal exercise?” Do you think that that’s why when we view exercise as leisure activity, then we suddenly have a filter of looking at the gym and really gym culture, physical culture as, wow, that’s a hobby. I mean I think Juliet and I talk about, hey, I want you to view your Peloton and yoga class as a sport and that means it makes it a leisure activity. I think that’s cool but comma, we’re missing a lot potentially and we won’t capture everyone with that.
Katy Bowman: [00:25:12] When I was talking with my neighbor in Costa Rica who labored extensively and was trying to talk about movement for your health, it was like are you kidding me, come listen to what she’s saying right now, doing exercise for your health. It was, again, that cultural perspective. It’s like, yes, of course, I can completely understand because many people move a lot and aren’t feeling well or robust. But yes, it is a solution and it’s not a dumb solution, it’s a smart solution. It’s just that when we’re trying to figure out how something works, and I’m trying to figure out how sedentarism works. I spent the first 20 years figuring out how movement works and then I switched to how does sedentarism work because I think that that’s the next question to permeate a little bit more. I feel like, yeah, the perception of movement, the fact that it for many people is a leisure time. I mean you need an outfit for it. You need a costume for it. You know what I mean?
Juliet: [00:26:07] Costume. We literally call it our exercise costume.
Kelly: [00:26:09] I’m like let’s put on our exercise costume.
Juliet: [00:26:10] Yeah, let’s put on our exercise costume.
Katy Bowman: [00:26:12] If there are active clothes, what are all the other clothes? You know what I mean? So it’s just a perception of it.
Kelly: [00:26:19] Couch clothes.
Katy Bowman: [00:26:19] Exactly.
Juliet: [00:26:20] Somehow, we’ve created a life, Katy, where we can wear those exercise costumes 24 hours a day.
Katy Bowman: [00:26:26] I’m right there with you.
Kelly: [00:26:28] Killing it.
Juliet: [00:26:30] Just a couple comments. I was also going to say I think this whole movement piece or the exercise piece is not only cultural, but it’s also generational. If I look at my grandma Georgia, who literally never exercised a moment in her life and lived to be 90, probably actually would’ve lived to be 100 if she wasn’t a smoker, but I look at that generation and I think these days we all assume this thing where you exercise and put on your costume and go do a thing has been around forever, but it really hasn’t been.
Kelly: [00:27:00] That costumed leisure takes place in a one-hour chunk. That’s really nice.
Juliet: [00:27:05] People play sports, of course. And there’s this, of course, hundreds of years of sporting tradition. But the notion that if you’re not playing a sport and that you would go do these fake movements in controlled environments, I feel like that really blew up in the ‘80s. It’s not that long ago. And the other thing I was going to say when you were talking about having this broad movement diet, it made me think of one of my personal heroes, Cate Shanahan and her book Deep Nutrition. And she says that one of the pillars of nutrition in every culture for a millennial is eating a broad array
Kelly: [00:27:38] Millennium.
Juliet: [00:27:38] Millennium. Has been eating a broad array of fruits and vegetables. And it seems to me that it’s the same thing with movement. If you want to think about it as I shouldn’t just eat carrots, which is what most Americans do. Most Americans eat four vegetables. I shouldn’t just eat four vegetables; I should eat a broad range, it should ideally be seasonal and that’s how I get all the benefits of it. And I think you’re painting the picture that that’s how we should think about our movement life in that same way. I love that.
Katy Bowman: [00:28:05] Well, we’re confused about what a nutrient is. I think we’re just like a nutrient is, it’s something that is good for me. As much as I want, the end. And we just have this way of categorizing things. But you cannot live on kale. You will be very sick. You will become malnourished if you live on a-
Kelly: [00:28:22] Did you say sick or sad because I think sad would be first.
Katy Bowman: [00:28:24] Both.
Juliet: [00:28:25] You’d have really jacked jaw muscles. Really jacked jaw muscles from all that chewing.
Katy Bowman: [00:28:30] Yeah. So it’s just all nutrients work with all other nutrients. There is a nutritious diet. And that’s why when people are like what’s the best exercise. I can see from your face right away… That and the other question, what about rebounding, those are the two most questions that I get. And I think people are trying to nail down, they’re trying to find the simplicity of it, so my solution is let me offer a movement diet. Still really simple concept and you can get the sense of how you sort that out. We can take more steps. What’s your movement diet? Is it one food, one mode of exercise, are you using one range of motion only? And your time in your office counts towards your movement diet. It’s not your exercise diet. How is your body physically positioned and changing that position throughout your day, throughout your life and that’s what you have control over?
Kelly: [00:29:22] I love it. I have been using this verbiage of movement lexicon, trying to expand your vocabulary. You’re writing three-word poems and you’re capable of Shakespeare. And I think it’s a little bit of why we’ve seen some thinkers in this space – I think of someone like Ido Portal and his idea of movement and application and exploration of self, and why some of those thinkers in that category, not pulling any other reason, but he’s done a good example of saying, hey, the things that we are passing off of making me a more skilled mover and being able to write this poetry in the classical gym setting isn’t really purporting to do what we think it’s purporting to do because we’re still seeing these same sets of hip disease, lumbar disease, poor range of motion, but we’re seeing big jacked people who are tan and look good on Instagram. There’s nothing wrong with that, comma, it may not be the best long-term play.
Katy Bowman: [00:30:23] And also, we have to keep remember that the people coming, myself included, the people writing the guidelines, thinking through the solutions, preparing it, live in the gym, live lives where they’re in their exercise costumes. And so it’s just really challenging to think outside your own culture when you’re coming up with the solution because it’s like you’re getting paid to do that. So your movement is fitting inside the o of sloth. It’s in your occupation. What about everyone else for whom it’s not? And that’s what you’ve written a book for. You’re trying to say you do not have to do this professionally or even abundantly. It’s just these tiny steps that you can start taking that fit into all of these domains, which is what I appreciate about the book.
Juliet: [00:31:11] I just feel like we have tried to take this view because I think something you touched on is that it has felt for a long time like those of us who are in this industry occupationally or are at least weekend warriors where we want to talk about fitness on the weekend, we have taken over and we’re kings and queens of health, but we want to expand it so that other people can own health as well but not in the way that we do, not in this totally all-encompassing way where we think, talk, breathe health, wellness, fitness 24 hours a day. The goal is to try to open up the door so that people feel like they can have a seat at the I’m healthy table without having to put so much of their attention and focus on it.
Kelly: [00:31:57] And take all 100 percent of their leisure time to try to invent a sport that they need to go do for their health. I think that’s where we see this real dissonance. We were just listening to Ezra Klein on our drive back up from the south and he was talking about interviewing a person who was really looking at the public health crisis and psychological crisis in teens, particularly teen girls. And one of the things that the researchers have pulled out is they really think there is this inflection point at the advent of social media where suddenly, we’re not engaging and teens aren’t engaging with other people and all the other unintended consequences you said where suddenly we’re seeing the erosion of sleep. I think what that brings up for me is sometimes the missing components… Juliet has started saying there’s two things that people do together. They eat together and they move together. And you could expand that. We work together potentially, if that’s our movement piece. But sometimes as we’ve come from high performance environments, we forget that there are these huge psychoemotional cultural components to sitting down together and eating together, moving together and we’re not honoring that sufficiently. Did you feel that a little bit differently when you were out of the United States?
Katy Bowman: [00:33:19] That’s actually a big part of the work that I try to do even here in the United States, was in the kids book or the kid to preteen book. We’ve got to start relayering movement, food, and community together and celebration. I think that celebration has always been a conduit for those things, even if it was just mundane celebration, like oh look, the tree has given the thing that we all need and if we don’t get it, we’ll die. Party. But the party is also you picking up everything and then pounding it and then you get to hang out. So I feel like this is the key place for layering movement. And yes, abroad, there is just a lot more social labor together. The fish have come in, we are all getting together and making the big giant pot of something. It’s labor but we’re having a party while we do it. This is also our social time. It’s not that different than let’s get coffee and take a walk. It’s trying to stack multiple needs at the same time. And you would do that over and over again, of like, oh, I need someone to come with me to do this project but it will also be what we do all day and there’s just lots of chatting and enjoyment. And so yeah, it’s much more forced here. You have to be creative, you have to plan it, you have to think about it. There it’s the intact natural way. We do everything in series. I say everything is fast really. We’re in North America. Everything is fast but at the same time, we’re meeting fewer needs and the needs that we’re not meeting were actual needs. We’re meeting a lot of our wants, not meeting a lot of our needs because we’re trying to do them in series. This is my time for my movement, this is my time for my family, this is my time for my partner, this is my time for my friends. Oh, got to have the party for the thing. It’s all separate.
Juliet: [00:35:10] No wonder everyone feels so time crunched. When you say it like that, you’re like wow, all these things have to happen as separate events. And you’re like and somewhere I have to work a whole day in there.
Katy Bowman: [00:35:21] Yeah. And we’re talking about multitasking and we don’t need multitasking, we need stacking, which is you rethink the task, pick one that meets more needs. We need to increase the nutrient density of our periods of time. We do not have nutrient dense periods of time. A single thing is happening in a period of time. So the things that you’re talking about, it’s like you’re going to walk to the store and you’re going to carry your bag home so that you don’t have to go to a separate place for movement and carry nothing to nowhere. Carry something to nowhere. Because we figured it out that we need it. What we haven’t figured out is how to get it more often.
Juliet: [00:36:04] Hey Ready State listeners, if you like what you’re hearing, please subscribe and leave a review on iTunes to help others find our show.
Juliet: [00:36:10] This episode of The Ready State Podcast is brought to you by Momentous.
Kelly: [00:36:14] Today we are talking about one of our essential practices of family, and that is taking the Momentous multivitamin.
Juliet: [00:36:22] Yeah, what we see is that people often aren’t getting enough micronutrients from their food, which of course is the preferred source of getting micronutrients. But often they aren’t.
Kelly: [00:36:33] And they aren’t getting a whole lot. My children, if it was just up to Caroline, she would just eat an apple and some pineapple and then brown food. And I know that when she takes a multivitamin, I’m covering the basics if my nutrition can’t be on point because we do find ourselves sometimes behind the eight ball. People find themselves where they just can’t control and eat a huge variety of fruits and vegetables.
Juliet: [00:36:57] Yeah, and I think if you’re someone who is never, ever going to take a big pile of pills every day but you want to make sure you’re covering all your bases, the essential multi is a thing that I would recommend.
Kelly: [00:37:08] Yeah, I really like that. I think that’s the way to think about it is, hey, it’s insurance. It’s really high quality. It’s not those dinosaur vitamins your parents made you chew up.
Juliet: [00:37:20] Flintstones.
Kelly: [00:37:21] Ugh. What I really think though is when we have high quality micronutrients in support of nutrition that sometimes isn’t on point, I mean let’s be honest, I had a breakfast burrito this morning. What do you think the micronutrient density of my breakfast burrito was?
Juliet: [00:37:35] Zero.
Kelly: [00:37:35] Zero. But it’s cool because I’m like, hey, I’ve got my multivitamin. And then I’m going to crush all the fruits and vegetables later on today. But in this situation, I know I’m covered and that’s a good way to think about it. It’s about consistency over the long haul.
Juliet: [00:37:49] Go check out the Essential Multi and all the other awesome Momentous products at livemomentous.com/trs and use code TRS for 20 percent off your first purchase.
Juliet: [00:38:02] Well, and I think that’s one of the reasons why we’re obsessed with, and it’s not very sexy, and I think you referenced why we have not that followers on Instagram and the people with abs do. We’re obsessed and talk constantly about walking. But to me, that’s like again the greatest activity to stack. You can drink your coffee, you get some sunlight, you practice breathing through your nose, you can do it with friends so you connect with community, you could actually carry a thing.
Kelly: [00:38:28] You could drop your kids off at school.
Juliet: [00:38:29] Drop your kids off at school. There’s so many ways to make the simple act of walking this stacked behavior you’re talking about where you can check so many of our human needs boxes all in a little thing and it can be 20 minutes. I developed a walking school bus at our kids’ elementary school when they were there and we would walk to school every day. And it turned out that the walking was, I mean it was cool and that was great, we got some steps in and whatever, it turns out that was the least awesome thing about the walking school bus. We had these days where we got this really intensive 20 minutes of quality time with our kids or we could talk and connect.
Kelly: [00:39:06] The transition hand off to school
Juliet: [00:39:07] The transition to school. We made friends with parents and got to know them and learn about their lives. There were just all these side benefits of it. It’s something we really miss actually. We talk about now that our kids are older and we don’t have the walking school bus. It was just this really tight, connected part of our day that we miss a lot because it was so rich. And it was for 20 minutes literally. But so rich.
Katy Bowman: [00:39:30] Yeah. Time doesn’t say anything. It’s all about the density of what’s happening.
Kelly: [00:39:34] I love one of our friends is a coach in Boulder, she owns CrossFit Roots, Nicole Christensen, and she’s a professional strength and conditioning coach and she works with elite athletes, incredible cyclist, she’s really an amazing woman thinker. When she and her husband go ride mountain bikes together, people are like, “Did you get a good workout?” She’s like, “We don’t nature for time.” I’m just hearing the language that you’re using about making sure-
Juliet: [00:40:00] Nature for time.
Kelly: [00:40:00] Nature for time I thought is a really nice idea. We really have tried to say everything has to fit into this leisure exercise bucket, otherwise it’s not worth doing. One of the things that we took a swing at in this book was to try to create some vital signs where we could at least come up with some benchmarks because one of the things that in our fitness fit care community, everyone is like I’m killing it, I know I’m killing it. I’m like okay, great. Let’s do some third party testing validation because that’s what we’ve done with public health measures. That’s our third-party validation of our community, of our health, of our nation, of our state health. We’re seeing it and it all doesn’t seem to be going very well. But when we ask people to go play and explore new sports, they often find they have these horrific blind spots. I’m really strong but I’m not very fit. Man, standing on one leg in yoga was really hard. And what we’re always saying is, hey, let’s go ahead and try to help you reimagine a movement life, a fitness life that you can go drop in to any novel task. I don’t know. For 15 years we’ve said the best athlete is the person who can pick up the new skill the fastest. That means they can transfer skills more effectively. They have access to movement solutions because of what their practices look like allows them to create new novel movement solutions to a new task. That’s the highlight of it. And by creating these vital signs, we’re like, look, we become totally agnostic of how you want to move, but we’re like show us proof of your work. And what we’re seeing is that I’m like your Keto diet is super cool until we cut you in half and look at your blood panel and we were horrified to find out that you really weren’t doing great. I think we need those third-party validations. We’ve thought about it in vital signs. How are you helping people to come up with minimums because I think that’s where we are as a culture. Hey, what’s the minimum vitamin C so I don’t get scurvy, what’s the minimum hip flexion exposure so I can maintain my range of motion.
Katy Bowman: [00:42:09] I really let people set those themselves but they have to set them and then hold them constant on the outside of them because one of the things that I have I guess realized in this journey is for an athlete you’re talking about the athletes and people who really value physical fitness and physical performance and they take a test and wow, my performance is on point here but not in these other arcs. And that’s disturbing because they value physical fitness. What I have figured out through lots of conversation is many people just don’t value performance or physical fitness in the way they think about it. It’s not in their value system. And I just feel like, oh, I have been assuming that everyone has the same value system as me. But so I’ll just tell an aside because this is what I do and then come back to the original question. I just did a big launch for my book. But I didn’t want to go into the same… You’re talking to the same groups of people, people who are already interested in fitness, they’re not there yet, they’re watching you, they’re trying to get that step. And I’m like where are the people who are not. That’s who I need to be talking to.
Juliet: [00:43:17] Same. We’re trying to find those people too.
Katy Bowman: [00:43:20] Yes. So for me, just spoiler alert, I’m a nerd. And I’m a book nerd. I don’t only write books, I read books. Books are really my portal to the world. Not just movement books but all books. And I was like, oh right. And my personal story is I came from a nonmoving, very sedentary background and was able to transition into someone who was a mover. And that’s kind of who I tend to write for because I know that journey really well. But I was like I’m going to hold an event for book people who feel that there are movers and there are brainiacs and there’s no overlap. The people who would never pick up a book about movement, do a movement class, that’s for people… And not to say that everyone thinks that movement people don’t think, but there is definitely a trope that there are bookish people and there are jocks. And those are your options. An I don’t think that’s true but I think that idea permeates and people tend to self-sort themselves in that way. I was never picked for a sports team, I was always picked last, I have no coordination, I was discouraged from movement at such a young age because athletics was my only portal offered at that time of development that I just figured athletics equals movement, movements not for me, books are for me.
So we had over 1,000 people show up to be like I’m a book person and I felt like my body’s neglected and now reading’s hurting my body. I’m like great, you’re like any other athlete, reading is your sport. But you are not cross training. And reading’s a primarily upper body sport. You grip. I mean people are like I can’t read big books anymore because my wrists can’t hold them. They’re saying the same thing that people are saying in a gym about their preferred sport.
Kelly: [00:45:14] I can’t do what I love and how I identify.
Juliet: [00:45:17] I can’t do what I want. Whatever that is.
Katy Bowman: [00:45:19] I can’t do what I love and what my value system is and I can’t do it because there’s a structural problem and I can’t do it because I don’t have muscular endurance. And I was like, right, because we all need a movement diet. Your sport is reading, this is your program, readers who want to keep on reading. And boom, give it to me because now I see how movement relates. Yes. And so the way for me those benchmarks are more like what is it that you value most in life, how are you doing on that, where do you feel like your physicality is getting in the way of it. That’s how you can tell if you’re doing it or not. This is how you figure out where to play with movement meals, movement supplements, however you want to think about it. This is yours.
Juliet: [00:46:03] Right. I mean the big thing we’ve been saying is we’re trying to figure out how to help people do what they want to do physically with their body, whatever that is.
Kelly: [00:46:10] We’ve even expanded our definition of mobility to say-
Juliet: [00:46:12] Mobility to include that.
Kelly: [00:46:13] What is it you need to do or want to do or maybe think you might do.
Juliet: [00:46:17] You might do. So I have to tell you a quick story here that I thought of as you were talking about this. I think what you’re really talking about is people’s identity. They create… Kelly and I always had this identity as athletic movers and you at least at one point have this identity as a bookish person. And then there’s many others. But the one story I’ll tell you is we have a dear friend named Chris who was working for years in more like creative pursuits. And Kelly was talking to him about something related to mobilizing or taking care of your body or being physical. And he said in complete honesty, “Well, are these things for creatives too? Are what you’re talking about for creatives?” And so we’ve always thought that was so interesting because he felt like, oh, you’re talking about something that relates to moving the body and he wasn’t sure right away whether that would be appropriate for creatives who don’t have an interest or at least a hobby in moving their bodies. I thought that was so interesting. So what I want to know is how did you go from being a non-mover into being a mover? What was that transition? And the reason that I’ll ask that is that I have noticed in my own friends and life that it seems like there’s a trend. If people have learned to move as kids-
Kelly: [00:47:30] For whatever reason.
Juliet: [00:47:31] For whatever reason. Or have fallen in love with a sport or a physical activity that it tends to be easier for them to continue to do that in their life versus my friends who didn’t grow up with a movement tradition or sport or whatever and then they get to 40 and realize, oh crap, I need to move now, and it’s much harder for them to incorporate that into their life. So I think your story is so interesting to be able to share with people that you can start later and develop a love of movement. What changed for you? Where did you make that mental, emotional transition, saying okay, I can still be a bookish person and a mover or I can still be a creative and a mover?
Katy Bowman: [00:48:10] I think I’m still making that transition, frankly. It’s just a very long journey. I do think we come with what our passions are and my passions are just consuming information to a hyper detail and integrating it. probably what was my exit out early on is I just happened… I’m a biomechanist, I just really love physics and math, sitting down and doing it. I just started to feel like I think my body didn’t feel good and I had one parent who was very sedentary and one parent who wasn’t. But the parent who wasn’t, I didn’t live with my dad all of the time. So I had these little touchstones of movement, but I was just more supported in my not moving endeavors. And then I think it was going through a hard time as a teenager. I started walking out of necessity because you didn’t get a car when you were a teenager and you were angsty. And so I was like, fine, I’m going to go where I want to go and I’m going to walk. I’ll show you. And then you walk and you blow off steam. And I’m a hyper observer. So maybe that’s a personal trait. So I was like that felt good. And then I just started making that choice. It was sort of an accident at first. And then I started making that choice and then I would come home from school and want to go on another walk. I’d want to go walk for two or three hours. Walking for me, even now I’m a long-distance walker, like 20 to 30 miles with regularity as just a spiritual practice, it’s a detoxing practice, it’s a self-organizing practice for me. So I started walking and then I joined a gym. So I actually came through the gym piece. And I was like what is this?
Kelly: [00:49:54] Why do these people have headphones in and not talk to each other? This is weird.
Juliet: [00:49:56] So weird, look at these costumes.
Katy Bowman: [00:49:57] Well, this was before. I mean this was before there was even TVs. What I used to watch when I was on Stairmaster for 20 minutes.
Juliet: [00:50:05] Yes. Yeah, me too.
Katy Bowman: [00:50:07] I looked down on the group exercise room. So that was the entertainment, was you watched everyone who was in the group exercise room. This was in the early ‘90s. So there was a lot of people in there doing a lot of things on the step. And I saw it and I just knew, I’m like I want to do that. I want to lead that. I want to teach that. Because I like to be entertaining. I thought I could make people enjoy doing this while they’re doing it. And I just set myself on that path, still being very bookish. In the last essay in Rethink Your Position is all about I hated running the mile. I hated it in school. Because I was slow and you didn’t get a lot of peer support back then. Peers are maybe more kinder now. But then one girl ran with me one time. And she was a cross country star. I was in seventh grade, she was like in sixth grade. She ran with me the entire mile. And I was distracted from hating it. And then I was like so much of my struggle was in my mind. I hate this, I hate this, why are you making me do this. Same thing that’s in my kids’ heads when I make them do anything. Pick the attitude you’re going to have to at first. And so once I realized, wow, if I have a different vibe, this doesn’t feel so bad. And then I just got fast. And it’s a longer story than that.
Juliet: [00:51:32] Did you become a steps aerobics instructor?
Katy Bowman: [00:51:34] Oh yeah.
Juliet: [00:51:36] That’s amazing.
Katy Bowman: [00:51:37] And I would still teach a wicked class. Y’all want to come, I would just lead an awesome class.
Juliet: [00:51:44] I want to come.
Kelly: [00:51:45] You know what’s cool? CrossFit is step aerobics with weights. All the movements are there, you learn all the choreography. And then people put music on and then for 20 minutes or whatever time domain there is, it’s just heavier step aerobics, FYI.
Juliet: [00:51:59] I did so much step aerobics. I’m fist bumping you through the Zoom right now.
Katy Bowman: [00:52:04] I would put plyometrics in there because I also started studying movement in college. So then I was like we don’t need to just keep doing this. I started making sports step aerobics for skiers where you could start… I love creating little programs like that. Don’t blow your knee out on the slopes, come to my sports step. And yeah, it was awesome.
Kelly: [00:52:26] Sports step aerobics. I quote you a lot and one of my… You may have run into this, but I call it Bowman’s Orca as a phenomenon.
Katy Bowman: [00:52:35] No, I’ve never heard of that, but okay.
Kelly: [00:52:37] I’ve made 50 slides where I’m like let me introduce you to a concept called Bowman’s Orca. And people are like where does this come from? I’m like, well, Katy Bowman, you need to understand. But I think it’s in Move Your DNA and you explain this notion of loading collagen, disuse, mechanotransduction is the fancy term for it. If you want your cells to work at a cellular level, you have to load them mechanically, everyone. That’s mechanotransduction. And if you don’t load a tendon, it’s not going to be a tendon. It can’t do its tendon job at a cellular, genetic level. Can you just explain to everyone in your own words what that Bowman’s Orca concept is because it’s so great and it has helped so many people be like, oh, I understand.
Katy Bowman: [00:53:25] Well, the orca comes from just orcas in captivity have folded fin syndrome. It’s certainly in the wild they can get bonked and it’ll bend over a little bit. But male orcas in captivity, they have a very tall dorsal fin, that’s the one on the back, needs a lot of structure to hold it up. And specifically, we all have growth spurts. One of the reasons it’s so important for juveniles is that you’re setting your adult shape. There’s not a lot of going back.
Kelly: [00:53:54] Great. This is my shape. Great. Thanks a lot.
Katy Bowman: [00:54:00] Well, you’re quite malleable. But you have peak bone density. But for orcas, again, nature has got those beautiful systems in place. The growth spurt that comes with that really tall dorsal fin, the growth spurt of the dorsal fin during we’ll call it orca teenagehood also comes with them swimming very strongly. They’re showing off. They’re diving and jumping and racing and they’re going very fast. And so the water creates a lot of supportive pressure on the fin as it’s growing. Those relationships are hundreds of thousands years old. The way an orca swims, its anatomy and its environment. Well, then you put that orca in an environment as it’s growing and it’s swimming in a circle every single day all day long. That’s the only way it can swim. The fin is shaped like the environment. So much of our shape is mechanically transduced. We all have genetics that we come with that create a lot of shape to our body.
But we’re like trees. Trees branch based on the loads that they experience in the wind. They also experience nutrient availability. But the way that they branch, the amount that they branch, the shape that they end up having that’s outside of the way their bark and their leaves always look is because of their genes is because of their mechanical environment. And so the fins—is it a parable, I don’t know, it’s just an example. It’s like we work in this same way. The shape that we have of our body of all of our tissues is about the loads that these tissues are experiencing. And the nice thing is we can still toggle them. Right up until the day we die we can toggle them. But during the youth, the juvenile period, they’re much more plastic and pliable. But you’ve got to place the load on the body parts where you want them to adapt. There’s systemic adaptations to movements and there’s local ones. And just yeah, learning that phenomenon.
Kelly: [00:55:59] So if you’re a human orca and I change your environment where you’re not loading and you are spending more time doing something that you typically not do, we should expect to see a folded fin in our bodies. Is that-
Katy Bowman: [00:56:16] Yeah. You’re adapting to movement all the time, not just to the exercise. You’re adapting to your shape and your position and your movement habits 100 percent of the time. So if you spend a lot of time in a chair or whatever other environment you can imagine, that’s your anatomy. You’re adapting to that. Your anatomy’s getting good at doing that. What makes it difficult to go do something else is you’ve got your chair anatomy. You have to gradually put your loads back to get your folded fin out so that you can then deal with the physical forces of being outside of that chair better.
Juliet: [00:56:54] So one of the things I think we jointly talk about but in different ways, but I love the way that you talk about thinking about all the types of movement we’re doing – almost a sports specialization. And I think as parents, the term sports specialization is tossed around to us all the time because everybody knows the worst thing you can do for your kids is
Kelly: [00:57:12] You mean I’m a cookie specialist?
Juliet: [00:57:14] You are a cookie specialist. But I mean I think everybody knows the worst thing you can do for your kids athletically is to have them specialize too young in sport. And having teenage kids, it’s really hard to not do that, I will say. Even though we know better, but I think the same is true for all of our movement throughout the day. And I think most people don’t think about the fact that if they spend the vast 15 hours of their day sitting, they’re actually sitting specialists.
Katy Bowman: [00:57:39] That’s their sport. Yeah.
Juliet: [00:57:40] Yeah. That’s your sport. If all you do in that little exercise is Peloton, then you’re a Peloton specialist.
Kelly: [00:57:46] Crosstrain, that’s a great use of-
Juliet: [00:57:47] I don’t know. Talk a little more about that. And then I guess maybe how do we as a group continue to help people rethink that as a form of movement that they’re practicing? We always say you’re getting good at sitting and you’re practicing it all the time and you say specializing. But how do we continue to help people evolve their thinking around having this diverse amount of movement and not specializing? How do we get people to think differently about it other than saying, hey, you’re specializing in sitting because that’s what you do all the time.
Katy Bowman: [00:58:22] Well, I do think it helps with that initial, those intake questions because everyone, especially if you’re not movement oriented or identifying as someone who’s a mover or sporty, I think the issue is people don’t actually know that their physical experience that they’re having is influenced by a lot of other parts of their life. I mean at least we say lifestyle, but even to be more specific, that it’s influenced by your sleep, that it’s influenced by your relationships, that it’s influenced by your diet, that it’s influenced by movement. I know a lot of people out in a variety of communities and that’s the thing that I’ve learned. It’s the same. I went to the dentist the other day and I’ve always taken really good care of my teeth because dental hygiene was something that my family started off really young and so it was just in my awareness zone. And the dentist said, “Most people don’t brush their teeth.” And I was like, “What are you talking about?” Well, right, if you grew up in a really in a home that knew about it, talked about it, but that’s not the case. And it’s generational. Like you were saying before with movement. It’s slowly becoming known. But I would say that people have known teeth for quite a while and the fact that there’s still large groups of people who they only go to the dentist in an emergency. The dentist is like an ER. That’s their understanding.
Juliet: [00:59:56] How crazy is that?
Kelly: [00:59:57] That sets the framework well, right?
Juliet: [00:59:59] Well, I think the other story I’ll share is we used to have our inhouse physical therapy clinic, and obviously Kelly’s a physical therapist, and I can’t tell you how many weekend warrior type athletes who would come in and say, “Oh my God, I blew my Achilles out this morning or I tore this or hurt this and I was doing the exact same thing I do every single day which is run for an hour and I’m so shocked that I tore my Achilles because I was doing the same thing I did.” First of all, there would probably be a conversation about the running mechanics, but in almost every case, once an assessment was done, we’d learn that they were going for that one hour run every day but then they were sitting for 15 hours a day.
Kelly: [01:00:38] And not sleeping.
Juliet: [01:00:40] And not sleeping and not eating and doing all these other things. But I think what we’re all trying to do here, which I appreciate so much, is help people make these connections between these behaviors. I think that’s one of the things we’re proud of with this particular book of ours is you can read great books on breathing and great books on sleeping and great books on nutrition, but we have never read a book where it says okay, these are how all these behaviors are connected and influence one another. And I think that was what we’re trying to do and have so much aligned in what you’re doing as well.
Katy Bowman: [01:01:09] Yeah. I think the initial question is how do you feel. Something else I learned bit in Central America and I’ve been in other parts of Africa as well. There’s often this patterned exchange: How are you? I’m fine. How’s your mother? How’s your kid? It just goes back and forth. You’re just walking by each other and still going on. But that’s protocol. And we also have a protocol in this culture, which is, How you doing? Great. Great. I’m not sure how often people actually sit down and write out their answer. I have a Mad Lib that I’ve created. I don’t know if you need to get a shoutout to Mad Lib. But fill in the blanks here. Because sometimes it’s hard to muster the story. So it’s like prompts. If my body felt better, I would boom. You know what I mean. Let them fill in the word. Because that’s another way of listening to your body.
It’s really hard to get to into movement if you’re not… This is a relationship, this is something else I put in the book. You are in a relationship with your body. You’re in a relationship with people outward and then you’re in a relationship with your mind and that dialogue and you’re in a relationship with your physical body and that’s not so great of a relationship. In the same way if you were to look at a marriage and any other partnership and be like how you doing, you’re regularly asking, you know how to watch. You could probably watch each other and know when something’s bothering the other person just by the way their body language is or their face or their words. We’re fluent in many things but we are not fluent in our physicality. And so we need prompts. I want to write a book where the cover of the book is those questions, where someone walking by would be like I never thought to ask that to myself before because then it’s sort of the same way that you’re using those… I would say we need some objective markers here because the mental part of you is really good at keeping from yourself how things are actually going.
Kelly: [01:03:15] Yeah, psychology is hidden.
Katy Bowman: [01:03:17] We’re generalists. As much as we talk about specialists, spoiler alert, we are generalists. And so we have to put our heads down and get the day done. We have to deal with what’s going on in life and it’s a lot. I even think again back to this novel environment that a lot of us are… There’s a lot of trauma going on. and again, if you are particularly hardy or resistant or well resourced, you can sort of push through it. But I think so many people are white knuckling it. The idea of asking how they’re doing physically isn’t even on the realm of questions right now.
Kelly: [01:04:00] What if I ask that question the thin veneer on which I’m standing is going to crack.
Juliet: [01:04:04] Well, plus, I think human beings are so amazing in their both ability to adapt but also trick ourselves. I think the sleep thing is so amazing and I don’t know if we have time to talk about this today. But I think what’s so fascinating the way the human brain works that if you haven’t gotten enough sleep and if you don’t get sleep for repeated nights, your brain tricks you into thinking you’re functioning well. That’s amazing. The human brain is amazing. It tricks you into thinking you are well rested.
Kelly: [01:04:30] Even when you’re sucking.
Juliet: [01:04:31] Even though if you actually took any tests, you would be horrible at the tests, but while you’re there at work, you’re like I am slaying it today on this four hours of sleep. And then you’ve tricked yourself into thinking you can survive on four hours of sleep. I mean that’s what’s amazing about the human brain. We trick ourselves in lots of other ways as well. And so how do you bypass our own human trickery?
Katy Bowman: [01:04:50] Third party. That’s what the third party is. The third party is that system.
Juliet: [01:04:44] And that’s why we have these assessments in this book. We’re like take these tests. Let’s see.
Kelly: [01:05:00] One of the things that I love about this conversation is maybe we’re all Carl Rogers disciples: unconditional positive regard. And we feel like if we can get people to expand their movement lexicon, increase their movement diet, then they’ll actually feel better and be able to do the things they want to do. And one of the things I think I struggle with in physical therapy as a profession is that they only orientate it towards pain and disability. And I can understand it. That’s all they see. And yet, the research is sometimes muddied or physical therapists will take offense to sitting causes pain. And what I’m always saying is, hey, I’m not making that statement. I’m saying that if you do a certain thing or fail to do a lot of other things, you won’t have access to the whole movement library. You won’t be able to do… We have settled on a conversation or a phrase that comes out of that sports performance side called session costs. Like if you do a big effort, we can measure that session cost the next day, your resting heartrate, heart variability, central nervous system arousal, whatever. I mean run a marathon, jump on a red eye and we’ll measure your hamstring range of motion the next day. That’s session cost. So we’re always talking to people, how can we reduce session cost. And there is a, I don’t want to say cost, but there is aspects of what you’re doing every day that will limit other things. As you’re saying sitting, I specialize in sitting, it’s going to be really difficult to put my arms over my head or extend my hip effectively.
Katy Bowman: [01:06:34] Tradeoffs. There’s tradeoffs.
Kelly: [01:06:36] Tradeoff is the right word. So one of the things I’ve tried to do is shift this idea of, hey, do this or else you’ll die and get cancer of movement, gonorrhea of your knees. You should do these things because you will feel… That’s my favorite go to.
Katy Bowman: [01:06:51] Oh, I hate it when I have that. I had it, it was terrible.
Kelly: [01:06:54] Knee gonorrhea is real, everyone. People are always asking me, “What’s wrong with your shoulder?” I’m like, “It’s probably rabies. I don’t know you so it’s rabies.” But the idea here is we think people are living smaller feeling lives, they can feel better, they can have richer relationships, they can do the things they want to do and interact in their communities if we can start to think differently about the problem. We’ve sold this as do this or otherwise you’ll die and your knees will get arthritis and I feel like that message clearly hasn’t worked and it’s something I just wanted to give a shoutout to about that you just always do such a good job pointing the positive.
Katy Bowman: [01:07:35] This is the philosophical question that I grapple with a lot. I have this book about wild foods. Not the fermented wasps nest that you were talking about before. But other wild foods from a wild food enthusiast who wrote in the ‘40s. And he opens it with this little introduction about camping. It’s like we don’t need to build our own shelters, we don’t need to sleep outside anymore, it’s not a pressure of society any longer. But when you go out and make your own house for the day or the week in some natural spot and you sleep outside, you’re under the stars, that feels good. The fact that society no longer needs us to do that, what does that actually say about sleeping outside, spending time outside in nature? And his argument then goes on to what about wild food? We don’t eat wild food anymore. This was in the ‘40s. I can go to the grocery store and make a meal. I don’t have to know the plants, I don’t have to spend any time out in the woods moving things around. But it still makes me feel good to do it. It’s still extremely nutritionally dense. I enjoy the process. I enjoy being with my friends when I do it. And I’m getting all these other things besides just the foods that I’m eating today.
So when I read that, I was thinking about, well, we’re actually not very far from that argument for movement any longer. Society has made the decision if there is a CEO of society, which there isn’t, we’ve made the decision to set up the structure to not require movement any longer. So then as soon as I read that, I mean it didn’t take me but two seconds after reading his thing about camping, it’s like, oh. And I think this is why people are where they are with walking. Walking is a quaint pastime that people used to do on the prairies. Why are you celebrating this? It’s like camping. Not everyone can do it anymore. We are very much starting to look at things comparing them to what the machine of society requires. And so movement is on its way out, literally. You can get everything now without movement. And we’re trying to argue for this pastime like eating wasps nests. We’re like, no, really, if you just east the wasps nest, it would be so amazing. Look, here’s all the nutrient density. Ahh that’s great. It’s sort of the same thing. We’re just on this longer trajectory.
Juliet: [01:10:11] Right. It’s very quaint. It feels quaint to be like you need to walk more.
Kelly: [01:10:14] You should sit on the ground. What?
Juliet: [01:10:15] Yeah, very quaint.
Katy Bowman: [01:10:17] So I think about that all the time. But at the same time, I’m like, well, if we go to those questions though, and I was asking about how is not having access to wild food, how does that relate to your experience in your life? I bet you if we asked about the movement, while we’ve gotten rid of the need for movement to execute daily tasks, we haven’t figured out how to supplement movement in our body yet. We’ve created giant grocery stores to meet that need. We don’t have that for movement. And I think that this is again to go back to the earlier part that I was saying of why I think that we’re not making progress with movement has to again do with the definition of physical fitness itself. In the clinical definition of what physical fitness is and where all of those tests stream down from is you have to be capable of doing everyday tasks with a little bit of energy left over. And our everyday tasks don’t require anything anymore. So on paper because of the shift of society, it’s the same thing with the shift of grip strength, it’s like everyone’s grip strength is decreasing. It’s like, all right, here’s the new stats for it, which reflect the lower numbers. So OTs are going to shoot for this lower baseline because society doesn’t need stronger grip than that. Until you pull out other papers on grip strength and all-time mortality. It’s like maybe we do. So I think we’re at that place now where there’s philosophical conversations that need to go into the science of movement. And does a society determine what fit is. And maybe so. But I need to hear those arguments. But I think that’s where we are right now. That’s why people have a hard time getting track. It’s like I don’t need to do anything with my body.
Juliet: [01:12:10] Right. I mean if it’s all based on do you have the capability to do the demands of everyday life and your demand of everyday life is sitting in your chair and going and sitting in front of your computer every day, that’s certainly one kind of physical fitness. We don’t really think of that as fitness. But you can do that without having a really wide movement language.
Kelly: [01:12:29] Until you end up with dust bones.
Juliet: [01:12:30] Yeah, until you end up with dust bones. I mean I think we’re also having this conversation about longevity, but what I was going to say when you were talking about this, I think this is why if we want to value movement the way the environment has been constructed for us, we do actually have to value fake movement. Quaint, fake movement. People say, oh, okay, people in the blue zones, they didn’t have to go for a walk. And I was like, yeah, but they were moving their body and they had a wide movement language.
Kelly: [01:13:02] They did it for decades.
Juliet: [01:13:03] They did it for decades. They lived and carried and moved and did all the things. We don’t have that so we do have to intentionally add in this fake or quaint movement into our lives. It’s a supplement. We have to-
Katy Bowman: [01:13:16] It’s a supplement.
Juliet: [01:13:16] We have to think about it like that. We’re not going to go back to paleolithic times and be able to move our bodies in all those ways.
Kelly: [01:13:22] I like my teeth.
Juliet: [01:13:23] It’s true. Me too.
Kelly: [01:13:25] Katy, we can do this with you. I like your writing, I love your writing, I love your thinking. I think Rethink Your Position is fantastic. I think it’s such a wonderful way in to think differently about your place in the world and how you choose to express this physicality and the potential of your body in the world that’s one valance removed from exercise. It really is. You’re just saying, hey, let’s reframe the whole conversation. And this book is this good, I can’t wait to read book number 12. Sign me up.
Juliet: [01:13:58] Just to bring it right around to writing a lot of books.
Katy Bowman: [01:14:01] I’m going to take a day off. Well, thanks. Likewise, your book as well. I mean 10 steps, 10 glorious, simple steps. I hope people pick it up and utilize them. Here’s a question. What’s the step that’s hardest for you? You wrote the 10 steps but is there one step that’s for you the hardest to do with regularity?
Juliet: [01:14:20] Well, we’ll both air our dirty laundry here. The one that’s hardest for me is the squat test because I have horrible ankle range of motion for a variety of reasons, mostly having crap genetic hips and then a really bad ankle sprain as a high schooler. So I really have terrible ankle dorsiflexion. So the squat test is for me-
Kelly: [01:14:40 Hey, you don’t have terrible… You’re actually a three-time world champion.
Juliet: [01:14:42] Well, but you know what I’m saying. That for me is the test where I struggle the most and, in my view, where I really need to keep the most eye on because I probably won’t ever have Kelly ankle dorsal flection but I don’t want to have any less than I already have. So that’s for me a big focus. And for Kelly, I’m going to answer – it’s nutrition. But he can say why.
Kelly: [01:15:00] I just have a hard time eating enough.
Katy Bowman: [01:15:01] I have that same thing. You think it’s because you’re working so much and you’re outwardly focused and hard to take the time?
Kelly: [01:15:08] I don’t know.
Juliet: [01:15:09] I will say doing a lot of eating with him, for such a large person, he can’t eat very much in a single sitting. I can easily eat as much as him or more actually in a single sitting. And I think that’s what dogs him. He’s someone who needs to eat more often. He may be a three meal, two snacks kind of person.
Katy Bowman: [01:15:27] You’re like a hummingbird. Hummingbird.
Juliet: [01:15:30] Yeah, he’s a little bit like a hummingbird.
Kelly: [01:15:32] God help us if we ever see a hummingbird that looks like a thumb.
Juliet: [01:15:40] It’s a jacked hummingbird.
Kelly: [01:15:40] Yeah, it’s a prehistoric hummingbird.
Juliet: [01:15:43] But I think you’re right. I love that. And of course, I’m going to be using that 1,000 times going forward.
Kelly: [01:15:47] Katy, obviously we’ll link to… I am, I’m a hummingbird. We’ll link-
Juliet: [01:15:52] Well, tell us where people who are on our podcast can find you and learn more about you and buy your book Rethink Your Position.
Katy Bowman: [01:15:59] Nutritious Movement. Nutritious Movement everything. The website, the socials. Yeah. And then the book, hopefully, everywhere. Your local bookstore, online.
Kelly: [01:16:08] There’s a quote in the book from some guy named Kelly Starrett on the back. And I do want everyone to say that if you just read the book, you’re changed. It’s that simple.
Katy Bowman: [01:16:18] Oh, thanks.
Kelly: [01:16:19] And I think that’s really just one of the highest compliments I could give to something. You don’t have to believe in it, it is like a virus, a positive virus that just upgrades your DNA and makes you just potentially think about the way you interact with your family and the world. It’s really powerful.
Katy Bowman: [01:16:36] Like an earworm. Like a song like Muskrat Love that you can’t get out of there once you read it.
Kelly: [01:16:40] Thanks a lot for Muskrat Love. Stuck in there for the rest of the day.
Katy Bowman: [01:16:44] Can you tell my listeners where they can find you and your book?
Juliet: [01:16:49] Sure. Builttomove.com. We also have a free 21 day Built to Move challenge that anyone can sign up for.
Kelly: [01:16:55] Like a video companion.
Juliet: [01:16:56] It’s sort of a companion course to the book. And it’s our way of trying to help people envision how they can actually fit these habits into their everyday time crunch busy lives, even for those people who do not identify as movers. I’m @julietstarrett on the socials and Kelly is @thereadystate on the socials.
Katy Bowman: [1:17:14] And my podcast is the Move Your DNA Podcast. And your podcast is-
Juliet: [01:17:18] The Ready State.
Katy Bowman: [01:17:20] The Ready State Podcast. All right, thanks for getting together. It was awesome.
Juliet: [01:17:23] Thanks so much, Katy. That was so fun.
Kelly: [01:17:25] Thanks Katy.
Katy Bowman: [01:17:26] Thanks. Bye.
Kelly: [01:17:33] Thank you for listening to The Ready State Podcast. If you like what you’re hearing, check out all our episodes here or at thereadystate.com. And be sure to subscribe or leave a review on iTunes to help others find our show.
Juliet: [01:17:45] Check us out and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @thereadystate.
Kelly: [01:17:49] Until next time, cheers everyone.
[music]Back to Episode