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Natural Movement vs Exercise

Natural Movement versus Exercise

By Lisa Buchan 22nd May 2017


I’m lucky that I have a job that involves a lot of movement everyday and then at home I do some DIY, the lawns, maintain a huge vege garden etc.

Let me explain:

I recently watched a podcast with Katy Bowman about natural movement as opposed to exercise (natural movement is movement part of everyday activities; exercise is specific time set aside for the purpose of fitness etc), and it got me thinking about how in modern society we are constantly using technology to make day to day things easier to do, ie washing machines, dishwashers, as Katy mentions garage door openers, which means we are doing less day to day ‘natural movement’, then we have to make time to set aside specific exercise time. Now this is awesome for those of us who love to exercise and do sports but not everyone is.

As discussed in Katy’s podcast, if we did more day to day natural movement we wouldn’t have to set aside time to do so much exercise when so pressed for time. Admittedly I do love my exercise time, as I’m sure a lot of you do, as it provides me with mental relief, strength, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness which makes me able to do my job better as well as for just pure enjoyment (most of the time haha), and then I like the fact that technology saves me time with some household chores as then I can get out and do the active things I love. There are also the professional athletes where specific exercise is their job.

This topic is not targeted at them but more for sedentary people who do find it hard to make time for or really don’t enjoy exercise, or due to illness or injury they can’t. It is to let you know that there are a lot of ways you can get the ‘exercise’ you need or want, depending on your goals. Also a good reminder to parents that even though you feel like you’re not doing much your day to day movements with the kids are quite a lot, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

Regular movement is great for our body, that is what we are designed to do, so it makes sense to find as many day to day activities that give us the maximum benefits with minimal time outlay and discomfort to suit our goals.

Get Moving:

Try to think of as many things as you can where you are moving naturally during the day without evening thinking you are getting some exercise.

Here some things I can think of ......hanging the washing out instead of putting it in the dryer, gardening, open the garage door manually, activities with your kids and pets, walking the stairs instead of catching the lift, sweep the path instead of using a leaf blower, get up from your chair at the office to go and talk to your colleagues instead of emailing them, leave the office at lunchtime, walk or cycle to the shops, house maintenance and cleaning, how about some lunges on the way to the letterbox, and then there’s a couple of stretches while cleaning your teeth....the list goes on and on!

Here’s Katy’s podcast, it’s long but well worth listening too for another perspective.



As massage therapists one of our roles is to help you get back to and maintain normal functional movement. We understand that not everyone wants to exercise or can’t so you don’t need to be a sports person or into exercise to need or deserve a massage.

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