Air is the most critical element for humans, with water following a close second as the source of all life.  Its no wonder that many of us take our ability to breath clean and fresh air for granted.  Body Smart Health would like you to start breathing consciously and will be running a short blog series on breathing, in the meantime check out this clear and concise blog from the Movement as Medicine web site.

Learn to breathe. Learn to roll. Learn to crawl.

1. Breathing is the essence of life. You can go days without food, water, and sleep, but you can survive for only minutes without oxygen. You take 22,000 breaths per day. You read that right 22,000 breaths per day.

Thats 22,000 bad reps, if you’re doing it wrong, and I don’t see many people who get on my table who are doing it right. Imagine what your hips, knees, and spine would feel like if you did 22,000 bad squats in one day? Just look at the fascial connections between the diaphragm and the rest of your muscles…


As you can see above poor breathing patterns could contribute to TMJ, a stiff neck, an immobile thoracic spine, a weak core, a tight low back, a compromised pelvic floor, stiff hips, shin splints, ect…. You get the idea.

2. Rolling and crawling are a crucial part of our neurological development. If someone misses either of these steps while they’re developing, serious movement and learning disabilities can occur. Before you stood up and took your first steps, you rolled and crawled around on the ground to develop all the small intrinsic muscles you need for locomotion.

“Developmentally, the proprioceptive system is intimately tied to the vestibular system that allows the balance necessary to move from and inert position. Babies begin moving from the core muscles, the inner muscles of the trunk. There is constant feedback from the proprioceptors to the motor cortex of the brain that allows more and more complexity of movement. So babies go from the belly wiggle, to rolling over, to sitting up, to standing up, and finally walking” – pg 49 Smart Moves by Carla Hannaford

“We have known for years that children who miss the vitally important crawling stage may exhibit learning difficulties later on. Crawling, a cross-lateral movement, activated development of the corpus callosum (the nerve pathway between the two hemispheres of the cerebrum). This gets both sides of the body working together, including the arms, legs, eyes (binocular vision) and the ears (binaural hearing). With equal stimulation, the senses more fully access the environment and both sides of the body can move in a more integrated way for more efficient action.” – Pg. 112 Smart Moves by Carla Hannaford

These are also the same small muscles that over time atrophy and cause all sorts of musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. How do we lose our abilities to roll and crawl? Inactivity. As a society we lack movement. At age 7 most of us stop exploring our environment and schools confine us into those horrible things called chairs. Sitting is the new smoking of our generation. We sit an average of 9.3 hours a day. Thats 2.5 hours more then we sleep (6.7 hours)!

 Remember: If you don’t use it, you lose it!

So how do we get it back? Here’s a good place to start:

  • Breathing
  • Rolling
  • Crawling
  • Train Movements, Not Muscles
  • Lift Heavy Sh*t With Great Form (Don’t forget this one. It’s just as important as the first 4)
  • Do Some Form of It Everyday

Do yourself a favor and educate yourself on the ins and outs of breathing, rolling, and crawling. See my favorite resources below. Although none of this stuff is new, it’s going to become more and more common place amongst trainers and clinicians over the next few years. So get on the Training = Rehab, Rehab = Training train now. If you don’t, the trains leaving the station without you.