Is Exercise Junk Food? Podcast Ep. 21

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DANI: All right, it’s another episode of Katy Says. Katy, what’s up today?

KATY: Not much. I don’t know, is that my first question?


KATY: The sky. Not much. It’s been a good day. It’s been a casual kind of day. A podcast recording kind of day.

DANI: That’s a good kind of day.

KATY: Yeah, yeah.

DANI: That’s a good kind of day. I like talking with ya. In this episode of Katy Says, we’re going to talk about junk food movement.

KATY: Mmm.

DANI: I know that we’ve talked about it before, but it kind of comes up a lot in different discussions that are flopping around on the internet, so in this episode of Katy Says, we will discuss the distinction between exercise and movement, and – what do you think we should clarify, possibly, the whole, “is exercise bad for you?” or “exercise is junk food” metaphor and explain the nuances of a healthy movement diet.

KATY: Is that what you want to do? Is that what you’re asking me?

DANI: I would love to talk about that.

KATY: All right. Let’s do it. You’re in charge. You, frankly, are running the ship.

DANI: Yeah, but you’re the one with the brains.

KATY: No, you’ve got brains, too. Everyone’s got brains. Everyone’s got brains. I think what I am is the person who is trying to explain something, and so clarifying.

DANI: Which you’re so good at.

KATY: Well. I mean, I guess it probably depends on who you’re talking to. The person who has all of the questions would maybe say I’m not so clear. So this is a good – it’s very clear in my mind because I’ve been thinking about it for decades, and I guess my relationship with the – is it a metaphor or an analogy?

DANI: I’d say it’s probably an analogy.

KATY: I’m actually – see, the thing is, I’m actually not – when I – I mean it quite literally. I don’t mean it as a metaphor or an analogy. I mean it quite literally, and I don’t think that the literal explanation of what it is that I’m talking about – it’s never been put in a book yet. I’ve kind of alluded to it, but that’s the literal understanding of movement input as a nutrient is what I’m after explaining. That is my ultimate hypothesis, and what I’m working on, I would say, academically. Or maybe, you know, for publication is what I’ve been working on. But most people listening to this are coming at it from, you know, is exercise junk food or the junk food movement blog post, you know, trying to explain it in 500 words. And so I think that, um, some is being lost and sometimes it’s used in the media for, you know, “exercise less, move more” and it’s like – okay, so there’s – let’s talk about that. I think that we can work through it.


DANI: I think that’s good. And I don’t think there’s any harm in re-explaining yourself over and over, because this is – no, like you said, it’s okay, so it’s a 500 word blog post and that gets us thinking about it –


KATY: Yeah.


DANI: And then it’s a headline in 5 words, but a paradigm shift doesn’t happen overnight.


DANI: And the way that things are fed to us, I think, in headlines and in short little bits, you don’t get a full spectrum of what’s going on and what’s being discussed. So there’s nothing wrong with rephrasing, rediscussing, because this does come up a lot. And I think people want so badly to understand what – you know, you’re trying to get across but they get hung up on certain things, and how this topic came up for this show was, you know, somebody did come forth and say, well, I’m very confused, because Katy says exercise is bad. And it’s like; you’ve never said that.


KATY: No, exercise is not bad.


DANI: No, absolutely not. But it’s – I think just clarifying, because of the headlines that says, “Exercise Less, Move More,” people just – it’s just a very black and white, okay, but I think – I would love to hear you talk more on this. Let’s just start, I guess, maybe from – it’s a big subject, it is.


KATY: It’s huge.


DANI: I’m looking at the time going, oh, my gosh. Do you want to start by perhaps describing what you consider junk food movement?


KATY: No, you know, I think approaching it like that – so in Move Your DNA I tried to write it out, you know, the differences between movement and exercise, right? So it’s very large. It’s nothing to be – summing it up is the problem. Let me – let me – gosh.


DANI: That’s true, that’s a good point.


KATY: You know, it’s the summation is where all of the content is lost by the buzzwords, and the buzzwords really can’t contain this larger idea. But, so I think that – let me just talk through it because I’m good at just talking.


DANI: You are. You’re so good at talking.


KATY: Well, I’m a talker, whether I’m good at it again. You know, the company that I have is the Restorative Exercise™, right? It’s a system, it’s taught through the Restorative Exercise™ Institute. So clearly exercise is not bad or else I probably wouldn’t have put it in my business name, right? I wouldn’t have put it in the Institute’s name. I wouldn’t have included exercise sections in all of my books, right?


DANI: Right.


KATY: So it’s not bad. It’s just – I’m trying to define what it is. And how it compares to something that is called movement. And so I think – I’ve already labored very heavily in summing it up in Move Your DNA and whatnot, so you can – if you’re interested in more depth the differences, you can go refer to those. But in general, movement is any change in position of your body, but exercise would be those changes in the position of our body that we do for the purpose of reaping a particular health outcome. So when you think about exercise, exercise has variables. Exercise – there’s a science of exercise, and it means that it’s something that you’re isolating, that you’re selecting out and you’re saying how long you’re going to do it, how hard or fast you’re going to do it, the mode of which you’re going to partake of your exercise: you know, is it running or cycling, is it Zumba or Nia, or is it a walk or whatever, you know. Is it a walk on natural terrain? You know, that is still exercise, right? Because you are doing it for the purpose of making yourself healthier.


DANI: Mm-hmm.


KATY: But movement is still all of those things. You’re still moving if you’re on a bike or if you’re running or taking a walk, or taking a walk on natural terrain or doing Zumba, or doing Nia. That’s still movement. It’s just that exercise is a category of movement because – and I use this in the book – if I climb a tree because I’m in a MovNat class, right? And the skill is to develop the muscles and the motor programming necessary to climb the tree, that’s exercise. But if I climb the tree to get apples, that’s movement, right? So it’s not to say that one is more effective over the other, just that they are different, because when it comes time to talk about this bigger topic of Nutritious Movement or movement nutrients, which I want you to write down so that you remember when we get back to it, the difference does matter, because with movement nutrients, just like with food nutrients, the outcome of your body that arises from consuming a particular diet or consuming a particular range or spectrum of vitamin and mineral or even food supplementation, right? You know, in search of the most perfect protein powder or whatever that people are on. It matters not just what is in that powder or in those pills, it also matters the context. So the context is a simple word to use in lieu of how much you take of a particular nutrient, how much you take of all of them, so like what is the amount of all of them relative to each other, how much you take in nutrients throughout the day. So like, there’s this idea of frequency, and also, like of a period – over how long of a time are you taking them at this particular frequency? All of that matters.


DANI: Mm-hmm.


KATY: And we get this with food, right? We get this with I can – so again, from Move Your DNA, or actually I was just seeing this kind of weird Twitter – I gotta get off social media; it doesn’t do my health any good. Like, about someone – you know, broccoli is a health food! Like, broccoli is good for you, however if you were to only eat broccoli, you would be very, very ill.


DANI: Yeah. Yeah, I don’t think we have it with food 100%.


KATY: Well, you know what –


DANI: It’s still too compartmentalized, and like you said, the perception of how much are you getting and is that what you’re supposed to be –


KATY: Well, I think – I think that most people get that if your diet consists solely of broccoli, you would have a disease. You would be disease-ridden if you only ate broccoli. I have enough faith in my fellow humans – at least those who have – who are on the same sort of social media, you know, if you’re listening to a podcast on health and you’re already kind of interested in natural or, you know, nutritious movement and that’s why you’re listening to this, then you already have a basic understanding of nutritional science to know that you can’t solely exist on a single food. Like I hope that you know that you would be very sick if you only ate broccoli. Right? Did you know that?


DANI: I did. I would be sick of broccoli, and I would be sick, so.


KATY: Do you think your kids know that? Do you think your kids know, basically, that they cannot exist on broccoli alone?


DANI: Yeah.


KATY: Okay. So we have this idea; it’s just that for some reason, when it comes time to apply critical thinking skills to this kind of stuff, we kind of lose our minds, it’s like, but broccoli is good for you! It’s like, yes! Yes. Broccoli is good for you, but it is not – it requires a particular context that makes it good for you. And only broccoli is not the right context for health. So – so keep that all in your mind. And I’ve said this before but maybe – maybe broccoli will resonate with people instead of using kale or oranges or whatever. So, um, so that’s – that’s one aspect. So let me talk about – let me talk about movement nutrition and let me get back to junk food movement and then we might be at time already. Who knows?


DANI: That’s okay. Hold on, I’m writing down that broccoli is the Baah-Ram-Ewe of nutritional understanding.


KATY: Baah-ram-ewe!


DANI: Okay, got it. That’s what’ll make people understand. Got it.


KATY: Right. So this next part is what I mean when I say nutritious movement, what I mean: how I mean it literally.


DANI: Okay.


KATY: You – what we call nutrients, right? Are the chemical compounds found in food that when you put them into your mouth, they get into your body, and they create particular cellular – I’ll just call them cellular experiences, meaning that in order for your cells to go about their job, there are inputs – chemical compound inputs – that drive processes. And without them, those particular chemical processes related to whatever compound you’re talking about don’t happen, right?


DANI: Mm-hmm.


KATY: So you end up with a compromised function, and it was through hundreds of years of seeing different compromised functions in populations that even led people to understand that there were essential nutrients that they had to take in, right?


DANI: Right.


KATY: Like, you didn’t come with a manual. There’s no tattoo on your body that has the requirements of your particular machine. That list was reverse-engineered by these little disease pockets that would arise and then trying to figure out to treat them, and you would be able to treat them with food, but then trying to reduce that food into different – different – a food is made of multiple compounds, so it’s like, okay, we can take an orange, and the orange will heal the scurvy. But then, you know, they would take out, you know, a certain compound of the orange and try to isolate that and then, all of a sudden that compound didn’t work. And it was through, again, like I said, hundreds of years of trial and error before they were able to identify the particular acid that kept the side effects of scurvy —


DANI: — your teeth from falling out.


KATY: — or whatever. You know, it’s a connective tissue. Lack of vitamin C leads to connective tissue disorder, and eventually your connective tissue gets so weak your teeth are falling out or whatever. But a lot of people have a Vitamin C deficiency and it’s just a more subtle because it’s maybe – they’re not completely void of it – but it’s not as much as they need, relative to their particular body mass. So – so that’s that. So what I’m saying – wait, hold on, I don’t know if I want to say what I’m saying yet. Okay, so. The nutrient itself is – excuse me, I just whacked my microphone in my gesturing with my hands. The – we call the nutrient by its chemical compound name, right? The nutrient is this thing that we’ve isolated, but really what makes it nutritious is how it interacts in the body.


DANI: Right.


KATY: And so it is the nutrient itself is the reaction to it. The chemistry that arises when you put this chemical compound into your body. But then we also have something like vitamin D from food, but also from sunlight. So we’ve already kind of said, okay, well, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a chemical compound you put into your body, because you can get vitamin D from the sun because vitamin D is really the result – like, what we call the vitamin D is the result of what happens when you put it into the body.


DANI: Right.


KATY: Okay, so we got that? So I have to – I really hang my hat on vitamin D because vitamin D, you know, they’ll say, well, vitamin D is a hormone, and it’s really just vitamin D, vitamin C, all these things that we’ve named after or that we think about as the compound that you put into the machine – the input, if you will – it’s really the effect of the input that is the nutrient, all right?


DANI: Right.


KATY: So. In Move Your DNA, I explain a process called mechanotransduction. Mechanotransduction is the conversion of a mechanical stimulant – a mechanical input – into a chemi – a particular series of chemical processes that are – I always get this word wrong. They’re catalysts – the catalyst is the deformation of the cell, the movement. The physical deformation of the cell brings about a result – a resulting chemical activity in the same way that putting vitamin C or exposing yourself to the sunlight results in a particular chemical activity. That resulting chemical activity is the nutrient. And so because it doesn’t matter if you put a compound into your mouth or jump up and down 10 times, those are both affecting the cells via the same – the outcome is the same, the behavior of the cells. So what I’m likening to a chemical compound are movements. So then there are nutritious movements, just as there is nutritious food, and there are less nutritious movements, in the same way that there are less nutritious foods. So also in Move Your DNA, I’ve written this for chapters and chapters –


DANI: I know.


KATY: – what makes a – calling something a junk food is fairly objective. You know, we can – when you say something is junk food, it’s your –


DANI: Right.


KATY: — your value system, but it basically means that packaged with this burst of energy, right? If there’s calories in it, there’s going to be some sort of benefit to it, right? Like, if you’re starving, would you tell someone that, like – what’s – I always use Snickers as my junk food icon. What’s your junk food icon?


DANI: Because it really satisfies, and that’s why. (cricket sounds.)


KATY: What’s – I don’t want to use Snickers. Give me a different one. If you think junk food, what is junk food for you?


DANI: What is junk food for me?


KATY: Quick, quick. Word association.


DANI: Cheetos! Cheetos! Cheetos!


KATY: Cheetos are junk food.


DANI: Yes!
KATY: So if someone was starving on the street, would you not give them Cheetos if it was all you had?


DANI: If it was all I had, of course I would give it to them.


KATY: Right. Or, if it was all that was available, of course you would give someone a bag of Cheetos rather than starve because there is a benefit, really, to anything that you can eat. It might not be – it’s not fully beneficial, though, right? Because with some benefit, there’s also what I call again the biological tax. That food is taxing your system in some way. There is a benefit, but there is also a tax. And movement is the same way. Everything you can do with your body is going to have a benefit, but there are ways of moving that also come with a tax. And when I say, ‘ways of moving’ I don’t always mean ‘mode.’ You know, it’s not always –


DANI: Okay.


KATY: — the bicycle, or the ice skate, or the pogo stick, or the rowing machine or whatever. I’m not always talking about the mode. I’m talking about the repetitive-ness of a particular way of moving. A lack of variability, you know, over the lack of frequency. Too much frequency, you know, like, it’s very nuanced. It’s just as nuanced as food, so again, we can talk about vitamin D, you know, and we can’t say good or bad, right? Because I can give someone a whole bottle of vitamin D supplements and they can take that vitamin D supplement bottle by itself without any other food or any other nutrients, all in one day, and they will be extremely sick.


DANI: Mm-hmm.


KATY: Or they can take triple the dose on the bottle. They could take triple the dose for 30 days, and eventually their body will begin to fail, because nutrients are – they require a particular context. There’s a right amount, and there’s a right amount relative to all other nutrients.


DANI: Gotcha.


KATY: So when I say junk food movement, you know, or exercise is junk food – let’s save exercise is junk food for a second. When I call junk food movement, I’m just talking about something that also comes with a biological tax. Keeping in mind, that could be any kind of movement. We won’t say, oh, natural movements like running or jumping are good. Well, I could put you in place and have you jump, you know, and say, you’re going to jump 10,000 times on this concrete and the jump – although that movement could be natural in a particular context – will hurt you. You know, so, like, you gotta start thinking. I just invite people to think with me about their use of the word, “natural.” And just the fact that – natural means in nature, you know, so, if you’re using a particular piece of equipment, or doing it on something that doesn’t look like it came from nature, then that’s not natural, you know, which is fine –


DANI: Right. But then the frequency consideration is huge.


KATY: The – sure, sure.


DANI: Because anything, you know, you can walk to much if you’re walking incorrectly.


KATY: Sure.


DANI: So it’s really, yeah.


KATY: No, no, no. Not if you’re walking incorrectly. You can walk too much, period. Even if you’re walking correctly. There is not walking correctly, you know what I mean? Like, if I told you, Dani, your walk is perfect. Now I want you to go walk 100 miles without stopping – that’s too much.


DANI: I’d have to take some Snickers with me. I’m sorry. Okay.


KATY: What about Cheetos?


DANI: No, no. They stain your fingers. I save those for starving people.


KATY: So was that helpful? Was that helpful?


DANI: No, that’s true. You can do anything too much.


KATY: No, I meant my bigger – my larger explanation.


DANI: Yes, yes. That is. Hey, we’re on a roll, we’re good. We’re halfway there, through the time.


KATY: Really?


DANI: Yeah, you’re doing great.


KATY: Thanks.


DANI: So do you want to go back to the movement nutrients and their context, or do you want to just keep going on this?


KATY: Well, I think that – I think that that’s – I think that that’s – I covered everything. I covered everything there that hopefully sets the stage for whatever your next set of questions would be. Um, so, I guess just to wind up – or wind up the first 15 minutes – would be anyone listening to this, most people listening to this, I shouldn’t say anyone, but most people listening to this no longer have to move. Like, that’s the problem is with the environment. The environment no longer prompts us for moving. So everything that we’re doing is exercise. Going for a walk is exercise. Going for a walk in nature is exercise, because you don’t have any other reason to do it besides because you’re working towards your health, right? So the motivation is really what is making something exercise or not.


DANI: I think that’s where that discrepancy where people have a problem between exercise and movement or exercise – the difference between them is that for us, movement has just become exercise. It’s all become one thing because of that.


KATY: Well, it’s become –


DANI: Because we only have these pockets where we do this, it’s I think when people hear movement they think, oh, well, that’s running or that’s Nia class without thinking it can be worked into every day all day.


KATY: Right. Well, I think that culturally we don’t have an understanding of movement because it’s not required. We use the terms interchangeably, which is a cultural issue, all right? It’s a cultural blind spot.


DANI: Right.


KATY: That all being said, they’re becoming muddled scientifically. Like, I don’t have a problem with the person who doesn’t understand – the general person who’s like, well, I don’t get it, should I be moving or exercising? It’s like, I’m just teasing out the scientific definition between the two so they do not get muddled in research.


DANI: Right. And because we don’t have that cultural understanding of movement, I think it’s important for you to define, when you say movement, we don’t have movement that’s required, you’re talking about, like, for living. For staying alive movement.


KATY: Yeah. It’s not required – like, um, okay, so let’s use the food analogy again. Normally, my vitamin C would come in the form of, well, really, an abundance of, you know, greens and grasses, eaten along the way, and, you know, fruit. Fruit that was eaten along the way, and any other natural food that contained either trace or, you know, larger amounts of vitamin C. But it’s no longer required that I eat those foods, because why?


DANI: Well, you’re getting enough of it.


KATY: Why am I getting enough of it?


DANI: Because you’re just eating some here and there.
KATY: Well, I meant – no, I’m saying, like, originally my – my – my nutrient input would have been met by the foods that I was eating. But it’s no longer required that you eat those foods because we have supplements. Like, I can just take a vitamin C pill every day. It’s no longer required that I eat —


DANI: I see.


KATY: — a diet rich in vitamin C. But initially, a diet in vitamin C was not available. It had become not available to people who lived in a particular way, whether they were sailors, whether they were in jail, whether they were, um, on different, like, arctic expeditions, right? So I’m just using examples of where this research came from. So first off, there was a physical deficit in the diet. There were no supplements yet. So people had just moved away from living in a way where their nutritional need for vitamin C was met naturally, meaning, or was met environmentally, just because of the environment that they lived in. Those were the foods that they were eating. So they changed their environment, and all of a sudden, they had problems, and then it was through those problems that we recognized vitamin C. So then the solution was, oh! Eventually, let’s just get everyone – because everyone’s diet has kind of moved away from foods rich in vitamin C, whether they don’t choose to eat those foods any longer or they live in a place where no foods are available, you know? So then we have supplementation. So when I say vitamin C, most people are going to think of the supplement, where the compound occurring in food would be the more natural equivalent. And so that’s kind of the way that we’ve gone with exercise – like, our difference in nutrition is much less, you know, along the human timeline now compared to then, then our difference in movement were hyper fixated on the difference in food because that’s popular, right? So you’ve got things like the Paleo diet or ancestral eating, and going hey, there’s this discrepancy, and then there’s a lot of controversy over the exact discrepancy and the exact timeline and the continuum of the entire thing. But again, most people are pretty comfortable to go, eh, I know I need these foods, these amounts of nutrients, they don’t occur in any of the foods because I don’t eat all the parts of the meat anymore – like, before you would eat all of it, right? You know, you would have liver. But no one wants to eat liver anymore, and that’s just generational. That’s like, my parents and my grandparents ate a ton of liver, but somehow liver has become the most disgusting thing on earth. And it’s making a comeback, but in general, you know, they don’t serve liver in schools any longer. And there’s a lot of political –


DANI: I’m pretty sure they don’t serve food in schools any longer, but that’s a whole different thing.


KATY: Well, I mean, there you go. Right, right? But it’s not – it’s not, right? So we go – we went from this full, natural diet to um, low-variability in foods because we were limited to the foods that we could mass produce, and then when we started mass producing everything, we wanted stuff that mass produced even better, so we started taking smaller – we would take species, whether it was plants of animals with a better grow-in-captivity spectrum of qualities, right, you know? So then you start to select to grow what grows best, what you can produce, and then you’re slowly going from super wide nutrients to less nutrients or less foods representing the nutrients, and then you get smaller and smaller to less variance of those foods to represent, and then you get to things that are just kind of pseudo-foods. So we went from wild crab apples, right, to mass produced apples. I grew up on an apple farm, heirloom varieties, then you go to like, I mean, we had 12 different varieties that don’t even exist anymore of apples.


DANI: Wow.


KATY: And they were all very different. And then you get to, you know, the same 5 apples that everyone recognizes the names of and they’re in every single grocery store, year-round. And then eventually you go to applesauce, you know, but then applesauce has less percentage of even apple in it, but we all call it apple, right? It still has the same name as when it represented a very large breadth –


DANI: Right.


KATY: — of nutrition. So that’s what we have with movement right now. What you are looking at right now with what we do for movement is the equivalent of what most kids eat in the cafeterias in most schools. It’s just junk.


DANI: Why do you think we’ve reduced everything to a single – in movement or nutrition – to a single or just a few variables? I mean, why, why don’t we – why is it so hard to look at the sum total of everything? I mean, I just – do you think that started with the whole isolation of figuring out that vitamin C kept teeth from falling – I mean, I just – or is it just because of the evolution of how we have produced our food? And how we make our food, I just –


KATY: Well, that’s – I mean, that’s a great question and I don’t know if I have a great answer.


DANI: I just want to know what you think.


KATY: Well, what I think – what I think is – I think that – it’s like, this idea of a meme, right? Your culture begins to influence the way that you think, and then how you think then influences the physical things that you produce, and then it’s just the way that it happens. Why don’t we think about movement larger than exercise? It’s because you don’t have any experience for it. You have no experience for sustaining yourself on wild food. Like, as much as we talk about it, and see it in, you know, um, and we can talk about it on podcasts, and everyone’s like, oh I went out hiking and here’s my foods that I foraged for my salad – and I do think all the time, it’s like, here’s my dandelions in my taco. It’s like, that’s amazing. But the fact of the matter is, I would be dead in like 17 days because I don’t have any real skills to survive in the wild. The difference between my physical being had I always needed a certain amount of movement and a certain amount of awareness – it’s so far away. It’s like a dot from where we are. It’s so far away. So, like, this is – it’s almost, you know, I’ve seen it written it’s like this whole, this whole way of thinking about, you know, nutrition – like, what’s the best nutritious diet and the, you know, the best nutritious movement, you know. And I took a workshop in nutritious movement and I drank cans of coconut milk, you know, because I’m healthy. It’s like, it’s like – it becomes fodder. It almost feels like fodder for a group of people that have no real worries about anything, which is ironic, meaning the whole reason you and I are having a podcast about how we need to move and eat differently is because we come from a time where no movement or ability to understand food is even required, right?


DANI: Right.


KATY: Like, so, I think it’s that. I think it’s just – it’s our culture. It’s just this is how we’ve been shaped. And also, scientific, like rigorous investigation requires reduction. It requires it.


DANI: I suppose.


KATY: There’s just not – if you’re going to isolate a variable to measure it, that’s what isolating a variable means, I mean it’s reduction. But the thing is you’ve got to integrate it back into a broader picture. But we’re not as good at doing that as we are at reduction. And then, you know, everything is about consumerism, right? So then it’s just about driving people to certain products and the best protein powder and the best minimal shoes and the best, and the best! You know, when you – I did a great podcast with the Rewild Yourself with Daniel V, you know?


DANI: Yeah, that was good! That was very good.
KATY: But it was at the end, it was like, this is crazy – like, the irony of spending so much of my time writing and talking about natural movement on the computer, you know, it’s just – I just need to shut everything down and throw everything away and then just move off the grid. Like, that’s the step that in my gut I’m really trying to get to – but – I am just as much a part of my culture and society as everyone else listening, so. I mean, I am taking baby steps, and I don’t mean that everyone should feel good about whatever steps that we can take, but the irony isn’t lost on me. Like, it’s – you said, paradigms are huge cultural shifts are huge, and at a certain point we will or we will not, you know, realize that an understanding of these things is necessary. And so people will say, well, we’ve adapted as far as movement goes – everyone will be like, we’ve adapted, you know? You’ve physically adapted. I can ride my bike 100 miles 7 times a week, which would be every day, it would probably have been better to say every day instead of 7 times a week, but I was going for effect. You know, and I can run this much – it’s like, we’ve adapted to doing it, and I think that comes from a poor understanding of movement in that, like, you didn’t adapt. Just because there’s no oranges around you or plants or foods with vitamin C anymore, you never lost your requirement for a particular nutrient. You’re just so easy at supplementing it that you no longer recognize the essential-ness of it. And so with movement, um, all we’re trying to do is like, keep down the symptoms. You know, when you pick a mode of exercise that works for you, keep in mind that ‘works for you’ can be kind of subjective if you’re not able to associate the injuries or diseases you have with a lack of mechanical nutrients, because no one knows what the mechanical nutrients are.


DANI: Right.


KATY: That – can I just end this section now? Because I think I could just keep talking. With just this idea that the next step will be to understand what are the spectrum of nutrients that are required. What is your current exercise program supplementing? Because it’s a supplement, and what isn’t your current exercise program supplementing in that that’s what you’re trying to get. So with Restorative Exercise™, it is exercise supplements. The pelvic list, the monster walk, the calf stretch – these are supplements. These are exercises. These are me trying to go, okay, anatomically speaking, biomechanically speaking, what are the loads – because the loads would be the input – missing from your movement diet in trying to help people see, like, this is a part of you that needs – that should move and needs to be loaded, because this part of you is getting no nutrition. Your modes of exercise, or the way that you have moved – say, like, I don’t exercise – it’s like, well you still move – it’s the way that you’ve moved. Throw exercise out. The way that you’ve moved – whatever that movement profile is – has a certain amount of nutrients and is missing a certain amount of nutrients. And collectively speaking, there are nutrients that most of us are missing on a regular basis, and that’s what we’re supplementing with are these little corrective exercise vitamins. Or minerals.


DANI: Well, and I remember a couple years ago, you were, you know, you’d referred to them and you still kind of do as ‘correctives,’ and not always as exercises, and I think it’s – they’re not so much for me, they just are more about restoring the parts – the body parts – to a place where you can get more natural movement while you avoid these injury cycle because you’ve always been doing the same thing, you know. Instead of just going out and climbing a tree, well, if I’d been sitting at my desk for 8 years, that’s not going to work for me to go out and climb a tree at first, you know. I have to get some movement in my shoulder girdle and build up some strength, and that’s kind of how I – I use the stuff that you teach is to get me to a place where I don’t have to worry if I have to scramble up a rock when I’m hiking, because I know I’ve got that mobility now to do that without tearing something in my shoulder.


KATY: Right. But just to clarify, since this is a clarifying show, you’re using corrective exercises so then you can go out and do more exercise.


DANI: Well, I don’t think – I mean I just think of it as, like, play.


KATY: Yes, but – but – why are you playing? Like, it’s not essential. Play is not essential. And I – and I want to differentiate now between play meaning if you lived in the wild, you would not be playing, because you would not have the time and the luxury to play. Children play, I mean, even current hunter gatherer children play, but they play mimicking skill sets that they will require as an adult. Meaning that their play is a precursor to good movement skills that survival depends on. So what – I just want to say this again, for you, just as much as for anyone else out there, the reason you’re doing corrective exercises is so that you can then go out and exercise.


DANI: Well, I also want to be able to pull myself up a tree if a zombie’s chasing me, too.


KATY: Yes, but you don’t really think that’s going to happen, do you? I mean, I’m saying like –


DANI: Off the record?


KATY: No. Well, yeah. Right. But I mean – just for clarity, to clarify, I want you to –


DANI: Yeah. I get it, I get it.


KATY: Like, now you’re the mission. You’re doing corrective exercises so you can exercise. It’s just that your mode of preferred exercise – and mine – is lowercase natural movement. Meaning that you’re choosing – in the same way that you have a whole foods diet, right? You’ve made the conscious decision to eat a whole foods diet. But whole foods diet in most cases does not mean natural diet, meaning diet as found in nature. Like, if you have cans of coconut milk – if you have foods that are not in season from places, like, people are like, this is my whole foods diet, and it’s like, yeah – that’s fine. But it’s like, whole – Capital W, Capital F, Capital D. It’s not a diet as in found in nature, right? That would be wild food. Period. Wild food that was seasonal, punctuated by hunks of time where no food was available, right? It would be stuff that you would never even consider eating right now that you couldn’t even bring yourself to eat now. So that’s the same thing with movement. You’re exercising – and I – the corrective exercises so we can exercise. It’s just that our mode of preferred exercise is natural movement, which looks almost nothing at all like actual movements found in nature were nature our only option. Got it?


DANI: Got it.


KATY: You sure?


DANI: I’m pretty sure.


KATY: Because if you have holes in your thinking, that’s a good thing to flesh out now, because chances are someone else has that same hole, you know.


DANI: Yeah, and I just think you can always – you can always go deeper and deeper into it. I mean, you could say, well, it’s not required, you know, of course I’m just going to go out and play for my exercise. I don’t have to worry about survival because that’s just not – that’s not how our culture is.


KATY: That’s not your reality.


DANI: Yeah, it’s not the reality. It’s not what we have to worry about.


KATY: But then – but then here’s the other half. Vitamin C is essential. You actually do have to worry about it, you know? You do have to worry about your survival. One of the reasons you’re going up in the tree is because you’re trying to survive at the cellular level, and that’s why you’re partaking natural movement. In the same way that you would partake a whole foods diet is because you actually are trying to survive. So that’s like a weird – we get into a philosophical discussion about what actually survival means, and we’re talking short term survival vs. long term survival.


DANI: Yeah.


KATY: And we can discuss it more, but just to clarify, the exercise and movement, you are always going to be exercising when you’re going to go out to do something. But let me say this: if you just start sitting on the floor, then in that case, you getting down to the floor and back up again wouldn’t necessarily be put into the exercise category unless you were doing it purely motivated out of, like, I want looser hips, I want stronger muscles, I want better health outcome. So that’s one reason why I got rid of my furniture. Because when it was my way of life, I was less in the space of doing it for a particular health outcome, and it was just more – like, that was just how I sit now. It’s just how I use my body now to live within my particular environment. So it was more of an environmental adjustment rather than having to constantly be a choice. And again, that distinction – it’s a little bit more heady and philosophical, meaning how is our makeup altered by choice? You know, so I don’t have any skill set in that, other than to say that I think, you know, if you’re talking about ego or whatever, you know there might be a difference between when you’re choosing to exercise to have a particular shape for a particular reason, or just when you unconsciously do it because because that’s the way it is. Because part of natural movement, you know, as found in nature, is like, that wasn’t done for any other reason but short-term survival. So, anyway. We might have gone off the rails, I don’t know.


D; That’s okay. I’ll bring us back. Just – um, and we are almost out of time – but also I just was thinking about this, because I was like, yeah, she’s got a point. But I do Restorative Exercise™ so that I can lift my arm without my shoulder or back hurting, not even just so I can pull myself up in a tree, but just so I can go about my day to day life with more mobility, I mean, that’s – that’s an essential part of it for me. I don’t know. I mean, I think even though it’s not required for us to be able to do those things in our culture, I think our body definitely needs those – those movement nutrients just to keep from moving into a decrepit pile of dust that can’t move.


KATY: Well, again, that’s my clarification between short term and long term survival. You know, it’s a much broader, I think, it’s a much broader evolutionary argument, like, you are not necessarily structured for long term survival, meaning there’s always going to be some sort of trade-off, and I write about a couple of those trade-offs in Move Your DNA, you know, like doing something for better shoulder mobility is still – it’s still an exercise. You’re trying to restore a baseline mobility that would have been there had you moved your whole entire life in a particular way. So.


DANI: Yes.


KATY: We could probably do – we could probably do a second show on questions that arised from just doing this show. But it will help everyone if they can keep in their mind that exercise and movement are not the same thing, but almost all of what you do is going to be exercise because of your culture.


DANI: Mm-hmm.


KATY: But they are not the same thing, and then there’s smaller things, like breastfeeding. Or, you know, your arm moving when you go to take a walk there’s going to be – I don’t mean to downplay any of these things – it’s just that to answer that initial question of what is the difference between them, exercise and movement, and also movement – exercise is not bad. It’s just what we have left. And I think that that tagline, exercise less, move more is trying to delineate between people who feel like they’ve met their daily movement requirement by doing a single bout of exercise, rather than looking at their sum total of movement head to toe throughout their body over the course of a day.


DANI: Mm-hmm.


KATY: So it’s just a lot of confusing ways of using all these terms, but hopefully we’ve clarified. Hopefully. A bit.


DANI: It’s just a lot more food for thought, or fodder for thought. And that reminds me – if you do have questions, go to, and on the listen page, we have some new features. You can actually record a question if you have one for the podcast. There’s a form where you can write out your question if you don’t want to yell at your computer, and we also have a new Stitchr app, where you can listen to the most current episode, which is kind of cool. So you can move around the site and look at stuff and listen to the most current episode of Katy Says. Also, we always appreciate reviews on iTunes and Stitchr. We love feedback! Thank you for your time today. Thank you, Katy.

KATY: Thank you.

DANI: And how about, maybe, on our next show, let’s talk more about working movement into your day, all day every day.

KATY: Let’s do it.

DANI: A little household movement hacks. Wanna do it?

KATY: Let’s do it.

DANI: All right, I’ll talk to you later. Have a great day.

KATY: See ya!

DANI: Bye.

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