“Kids, animals, and most successful athletes develop skill and fitness through play, not working out. The best pathway to movement health is found not by tracking huge amounts of data or following algorithms, but through curious exploration of the physical world.“ 

This is a quote from Todd Hargrove’s newest book “Playing with Movement”. He has a real knack for explaining the complex science of pain and the body in simple, easy to digest ways. In this book he goes over how the current understanding of pain is showing the best things you can do to treat it is to do everything you can to allow your body to know it is safe, capable, and strong.

One of the best ways to do this is through play. Play is a great way to really feel resilient in your body. Watching a small animal, you can see how much play helps to build their understanding of their body and what it can do. We don’t give babies a regimented routine to learn how to walk or roll over, it is through play and need and a lot of failed attempts that they learn these vital skills. This approach to learning shouldn’t wane as we get older, if anything we need to be reminded of it even more! The degenerative changes that can occur as we age seem to be brought on more due to our lack of movement – it’s “… not just about wear and tear, but rust”.

Pain is multifactorial and can be caused by many things, not just from injury or a structural issue; it is your body’s way of telling you something needs to change. Whether it’s your computer set-up, the amount of time you allow your body to rest, the amount of varied movement you have in your day, or simply your need to connect with another being. More often than not, finding time in your day to go outside for a walk, even better if in nature, will help to reduce the sensation of your aches and pains. The collective stress we all have been living with over the past year can definitely increase the sensation of pain or discomfort. Listen to your body and find more ways to play!

This book is a great, easy read and I highly recommend it!