Moving Through the Winter
Indoor and Outdoor Moving Tips for Winter Living
Short, dark days and long, cold night might make you want to crawl under a blanket until April, but Katy makes the case for getting your natural movement during less-than-friendly weather. Learn why it matters not only that you get outside, but that you move outside. Also, we provide tips and tricks for getting the entire household moving before the cooped-up-crazies set in.
DANI: It’s the Katy Says podcast, where movement geek, Dani Hemmat – that’s me – joins biomechanist, Katy Bowman, author of Move Your DNA for discussions on body mechanics, movement nutrition, natural movement, and how movement can be the solution to modern ailments we all experience.
KATY: Hi, how’s it going?
DANI: It’s going and going and going.
KATY: I just want to say we have a little bidness to take care of real quick.
DANI: Okay, let’s hit the bidness.
KATY: I spent a few hours importing all of the show notes to our blog.
KATY: I know. And, like, I don’t even want to know the hours that it took to have – I think, what, Kathy? Our good friend – can we do a shout out for Kathy, who did the transcripts?
KATY: Kathy! Well done, Kathy. Round of applause.
KATY: Thank you. Thank you. So everyone can go – and they’re now searchable.
DANI: She’s informed me that we tend to go off the rails.
KATY: I don’t even know what she’s talking about.
DANI: When she’s listening to us yammer on and she’s trying to catch it all, apparently we – we go off and go cuckoo. Which is funny –
KATY: We might need a stenographer.
DANI: What’s that?
KATY: We might need a stenographer. Who sits in the courtroom?
DANI: Yeah, yeah.
KATY: We need one of those.
KATY: We need one of those people to, like, when we go off the rails, she could just go, here’s the transcripts.
DANI: Absolutely. She does a really good job, and we are searchable now, right? So like, when you search on your site, not only do you get blog posts, and stuff like that, but you get the podcasts that might help you out with whatever you’re looking for, too.
KATY: Yeah. There is also a section – the blog has so much – like, the blog organization – so we’re recording this maybe a couple days before the new website goes up. If the new website is not up when you hear this, please come to my house, because I am probably trapped under a heavy piece of furniture. There has something gone awry, but it should be up at the new blog post – the new blog – the new blog. Period. At Nutritious Movement. The categories are better, there’s a whole category called “podcast transcripts,” I think, where you could just – if you don’t want to listen – if you don’t want to, as Kathy says, “yammer on,” you could just read.
KATY: You could just read. Does she edit? Does she just remove big, giant – like, “that’s not important!” Trash can.
DANI: No, she is our stenographer. She writes everything – she’s a total transcriptionist. So, you know. They have things like, Dani, parentheses, doing Yoda’s voice, parentheses.
KATY: She’s so good. Yeah, we love her. We love her. We need to send her something for the holidays.
DANI: Thank you, Kathy.
KATY: Mostly an apology.
(KATHY: You’re welcome!)
DANI: And thank you for uploading all of those because that’s very useful to people looking for information.
KATY: Oh, sure. Well, and what do we realize – what you and I realized is like; there are people who listen to the podcast who maybe have no idea that there’s a blog that exists. And when I say a blog, I mean over 300 articles, and I know this because we just imported them all. Over 300 articles, over I don’t know – I think that there are almost 6,000 published comments that have been for me. I mean, there’s so much – there is so much there. So now, when people come to the blog, they’re like, oh, I’m interested in this, and boom! 3 Podcasts, and they’re like, oh, I didn’t know there was a podcast – I can sit and listen, and all my questions can be answered? So hopefully, the new NutritiousMovement.com is like a huge portal of just endless information. More information than you want to sit down and consume, because by the time you consumer 20 minutes of it, it’s clear that you should stop sitting and consuming anything on the Internet.
DANI: It’s like a one-stop shop, though. I mean, you’ve done it all. Woo woo!
KATY: Hopefully. This is my bajillionth website. And you just keep crafting, and you just keep figuring. How I create content makes sense for me, but I am not the consumer of the content, so it’s been helpful to have all – you know, thousands of you going, you know, it would really help me if, when I went to your website, if I could just click on “pregnancy” and you gave me the Top 10 articles to read and the 3 blog posts and the 4 YouTube videos, because I can’t comb the 100,000 words and the 40 hours of content that’s there. So we did that. We did that for like 12 categories of just – you’re just here for the first time, click, get started reading. It’s the 10 articles I think you should read and the 5 most helpful videos about adjusting your positioning right now. And so I’d be interested to get some feedback to see what people think of the new site when it comes out.
DANI: Thank you for listening, you know? For listening to people when they tell you stuff, because that’s – it’s a mark of a good teacher, I think, is listening to what your students need. Good one on ya, Katy Bowman.
KATY: Did you just say something? I wasn’t listening. I was staring – I was staring at my tiny hand. I have one of those tiny, creepy hands.
DANI: Oh, cool.
KATY: I was just stroking my chin with the creepy, tiny hand. I need to put a picture of that on Instagram because it’s extremely, extremely creepy.
DANI: Everyone laughs at the tiny hand. Thank you.
KATY: Ok, so we’re just – this is a very good example of yammering on. And we just did this to highlight how we just – we don’t ever do this. This was just to prove Kathy right, to make her feel validated. But anyway –
DANI: Get to it.
KATY: We are talking – Today we are talking about keeping up your movement during – at least for us here, in the northern hemisphere – during wintertime. I mean, it’s so much easier to move when it’s warm and sunny outside, but what happens when it starts raining, when it starts snowing, blizzarding?
KATY: So today’s show is about getting in natural movement, fitting it in, keeping it up when the weather doesn’t seem to be as supportive as you’d like it to be.
DANI: Mm-hmm. Let’s do it. Snow, rain, cold. We’re off. You and I live in different places, which is probably a good thing, since we’d just be yammering all the time if we lived in the same place.
KATY: You’re welcome, everybody.
DANI: What’s winter weather typically like where you live?
KATY: Well, I’m in the Pacific Northwest, so it can be – it can be wet. Where I live – I live in a rain shadow, so we don’t get a ton of rain, but as a native Californian, it’s certainly more rain than I am used to. Luckily it rains during the nighttime here – it’s really interesting, where it starts raining about 5PM and it rains until – it’s usually winding up right at 5AM.
KATY: Like, I was able to take a 5AM walk almost every weekday morning last year. So we get that – it’s cold, it can get regularly – it’s regularly freezing.
KATY: In the – certainly in the mornings. In the daytime it warms up a little bit. And we get snow maybe 2-3 times a year. So it’s not – it’s pretty mild as far as –
DANI: Like how much snow?
KATY: Like in inches?
DANI: Well, do you get feet?
KATY: No, we don’t get feet.
DANI: Then give me inches.
KATY: We do not get feet. Like, last year it snowed maybe 1 time and we got a dusting. That was melted by the end of the day, but when I first moved here, we had maybe – and that was 4 years ago – we had 3 storms where we got maybe 6-8” of snow. So again, it’s not like, Minnesota. So I wouldn’t even say it snows. I would say it’s like fun snow. When you see it you’re like, oh, fun snow! And it’s super exciting, and here’s – this is a good example. In my town, when it snows, the post office shuts.
KATY: Which – it’s just because snow – we don’t have any snow equipment for our city.
KATY: So they just go, you know what? If it snows, everything’s just shutting down. Everyone just stays inside. They don’t plow the roads. Maybe the freeway. So it’s just – it’s not a snowy place. It’s not like, maybe – what about where you live? What’s your winter like?
DANI: Well, I live at the foot of the Rockies, so we get snow, and it gets really cold. A lot of sun still, but I mean, it’s ice – like, when I went out walking yesterday I, you know, had to slip around on the ice and stuff. And I grew up in Central Montana. I need this show, because where I grew up it was – you were outside all summer and fall and spring, and in the summer you kind of hunkered down, because there was like 3 or 4 feet of snow at all times outside. I’m like a Hobbit? I’m into that whole Danish concept of Hygge, you know?
DANI: Which is –
KATY: I do not know what that is.
DANI: It is spelled Hygge, and it’s pronounced “HOO-gah.”
KATY: I love the way you say that! It’s the Hygge, like the Swedish Chef on the Muppets!
DANI: (Not phonetically typable Swedish Chef noises)
DANI: And it’s the Danish concept of coziness. It’s like, you know, just being in – and I – I kind of always equate inclement weather with hunkering down with a sweater and a book. I need this show, so I’m so psyched we’re going to do it.
KATY: And just – I was thinking it might be helpful, because we are going to talk about getting your family out. How old are your children now? My kids are 3 and 4 ½.
DANI: 10 and 12.
KATY: Okay. So that’s who is doing this show right now. These peeps. You and I and the Hygge.
DANI: The Hygge.
DANI: Well, what are some things that people, like, typically complain about during winter months in relation to their health? Not about Black Friday or anything, but in relation to their bodies and their mental state during the winter months.
KATY: Well, so wintertime is what – wintertime is when people get – they’re more ill in general. It seems like it’s colds and flus and then, of course, in the Pacific Northwest we have – what’s the type of depression that comes?
DANI: Oh, Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD.
KATY: Yeah, SAD. So you know, there’s again, where we live, we have sunlight almost every day because we’re in this weird, 4-mile anomaly where it’s called the blue hole above us, essentially. But in Seattle and Portland you’re dealing with low doses of light exposure. Weight gain, right?
KATY: People tend to gain weight during this time or they’ll – whether it’s holiday food or wintertime or whatever, and just a general sluggishness which might be related, again, back to light exposure. I feel like depression really can’t be put into holiday category –
KATY: But I think – I do think, like SAD, like you’re talking about. There’s just this uggggh, I just don’t – I definitely don’t want –
DANI: There’s just kind of a general malaise when it’s really –
KATY: General malaise is the word.
DANI: - really icky out and you’re just like, I don’t even feel like doing anything?
KATY: What’s the Swedish word for malaise? Like if Hygge is one, what would be the –
DANI: Bygge? I don’t know.
KATY: Hygge and bygge.
KATY: All right. That is not helpful at all. Just, just – Kathy, just cut that out. Don’t even – and I want to see good spellings. I think Kathy should have to look up how to spell these foreign words. We should just make all sorts of foreign words and then be like, I’m sorry! We can’t accept this transcript! It’s full of misspellings!
DANI: She emails me all the time, like, is that a real word you just said? Yeah.
KATY: Oh, gosh. We are terrible, terrible people. Okay, let’s stop rambling.
DANI: Okay. We gotta come up with solutions, then.
KATY: Yeah. Well, so I think that solutions exist, which makes me happy, because that’s my favorite – my favorite thing is to come up with tips, I would say. Mostly because I have to figure out how to do it, and I think that if people share how they do it, then it makes figuring stuff out it removes a lot of that – that work. So I’m trying to think of the best order to do it in. What do you think?
DANI: Actually, why I started thinking about this show was sometime last year, and we were talking about your editor, and she lives up in Nova Scotia, which is just like, beautiful, but she gets walled in by snow for months at a time. And she posts these pictures, and you want to send in the Red Cross to help her out. I mean, it’s – it’s just incredible. And she’s got two little kids, right?
KATY: She sent me a video of – of opening – I mean, I don’t even know what winter is like. I feel like a total jerk for even doing a show on winter, because she sent me a video of her opening her kitchen door, and her husband had to get to work. So imagine a doorway, look at the doorway right now, whatever doorway is closest to you, and the snow is – it’s a wall of snow, and she opens the door. It goes from the ground, all the way up to maybe – maybe there is 18” of clear space, and it’s not even straight across. It’s kind of like a diagonal, like a hump. And her husband is standing on a kitchen chair that’s pushed up against the wall of snow, and he’s leaping through this tiny hole, trying to get out so he can –
DANI: That’s awesome.
KATY: I mean – I was like, that looks like fun! And then I was like, here’s a picture of me going barefoot in the winter, you know, because it’s 57 degrees today. So clearly –
KATY: I don’t know what I’m talking about. Yes. So that is a true winter. And you know, there were a lot of blizzards last year, even on the East Coast, like New York, and I remember needing to provide tips. So a blizzard was coming, and so I think it was GoodMorningAmerica.com or something wanted tips on what people could do for exercise during this blizzard. And so I got them all the tips in time, but the blizzard hit so that the power was down, so of course you don’t have access to Internet to see what kind of indoor exercises you can do. So we’ll just save that for next year – or this year, I guess. But I was also reading – I’ve been reading The Little House on the Prairie series to the kids – with, as a side note, heavy editing for the rampant racism in the book –
KATY: But it’s a really good, fictionalized account of, like, these people who have to labor year-round, you know, at least pause laboring. Because the men have to go outside. The women, on the other hand, they stay inside all day long for a week at a time. So, like, there’s not really this – exercise doesn’t exist. There is no, we have to stay fit or whatever. Food’s already pretty lean, so the idea of exercising for weight management doesn’t exist in the 1800s here. But Pa is outside every day. He’s still having to do all of his chores, and they’re living, like, in Minnesota, and they’re living in places where the winters are pretty harsh. So I feel like, I feel like we have to break down two ideas for this show. One being that there’s going to be times when you’re housebound, so how do you get more movement while you’re indoors? That’s one section, but the other section is, you are not going to die if you go outside. Although, I don’t know if I can say that across the board, because you’re like, I’m in, you know, whatever those places in Canada are that are, like, really, really close to the poles, so you might die. You know better than me. But, like, in general, so like, we – I asked one of our friends, Lindsay McCoy, who is Mama Aligned, she lives in Minnesota, and we were back there doing a course, and she was like, people in Minnesota do not go outside. They do the Huggah.
DANI: The Hygge.
KATY: The Hygge. It’s not the hugguh? Hugguh, hugguh, hugguh, hugguh. That’s my Polynesian interpretation. I always go for the Polynesian interpretation.
KATY: She was like, people don’t go outside. Your face will, like, freeze off and you’ll die. And that’s like the message of everyone, and everyone stays inside. So she has four children, and so last year was her first year of, like, really flipping that over in her mind and getting her kids outside. And she was successful. So I asked her for some tips. So like, there’s two – those two categories of things. And so there’s – I feel like, I feel like you need to say something.
DANI: I don’t. I’m just listening intently. We’ve got two categories, I’m following.
KATY: The idea is to understand why we need to go outside. So if we talk about all of the things that we were listing – so things that come up more, like illnesses and issues of lack of light exposure, and weight gain, and then we look at like, what is mechanically happening when you’re inside all of the time, and you’re not moving? You’re not pumping your muscles? Then it kind of – it makes the case for, we do – we have –
DANI: Well –
KATY: I don’t know.
DANI: I mean, are we also, like, not just pumping your muscles, but like you’re always talking about temperature, and how you love temperature changes.
KATY: Well, that’s pumping your muscles, too, though. So like, when you – this is what – what could people listen to if they wanted more? I think it’s the Skin show, but essentially, when you expose yourself to temp – so – one, I feel like I’m totally rambling. I think, you know, that Kathy should just organize what I’m saying into something nice and clean, instead of transcribing -
DANI: Could you write a better show, Kathy? Thank you.
KATY: Thanks. When you expose yourself to temperature, your body has to contract various muscles including the tiny ones all over your skin to deal with temperature variance. And that is actually a risk factor for obesity is a lack of temperature variance.
DANI: Oh, really?
KATY: Yes. It is. So I – there’s a blog post which we can link to in the show notes where it’s – I can’t even think of what it’s called, but I’ll remind you later. That this is – it’s a big deal. The fact that we are always exposed to exactly the same temperature. So even getting yourself out in the cold, and I’m not talking about streaking, but I’m talking about taking your body into a place where it is not being warmed by the utilization of some other resource, whether it’s wood or coal or fossil fuel – whatever you’re using for heating. Your body can actually generate its heat, but you have to train your heat-generating muscles, and so regular exposure to cold is part of that process. So there’s that, um, and of course, there’s also good gear, right? Like, making sure that you have adequate gear, and we were in REI because we went to the big city to do our travel, and my husband’s like, I’m looking for – because it’s outdoor, our kids go to outdoor school – I’m looking for gear that is not only really, really warm, but also very lightweight and flexible so it doesn’t interfere with movement and the guy’s like, yeah, we’re all looking for that. So that’s what companies are trying to create more fabrics and different weavings, like, I like SmartWool® a lot, that give you warmth while at the same time, you know, like, you know, there’s that old Christmas movie – A Christmas Story –
DANI: A Christmas Story, yeah.
KATY: - where the kid gets all bundled up, like he’s so bundled up, he doesn’t have any knee or elbow hinges.
DANI: Nope, he can’t bend. He looks like a tick that’s about to pop. And it takes her forever. Like, the mom’s sweating while she’s bundling this kid up.
KATY: Yes! And that is the biggest hindrance I have found from people who live in real winter places to getting their kids outside and going outside. They’re like, the clothing, the battle for the clothing – and then when you do get all the adequate clothing on, they’re not able to move, you know, so it’s not like, hey, we’re going to go take a walk! Because they’re like, I can’t! I have no hinges! All I can do is like, penguin to the store. So – so training for outdoor savvy, including temperature regulation, comes from, I think, introducing your body into nature with more regularity when it’s not freezing. So this is one of those kind of larger-picture shows. The more you go outside in sunny and then fall and then kind of rainy, not yet freezing weather, you’re getting used to it. Your body is slowly developing the skills to regulate temperature, and discomfort – so much of discomfort is a mental state, you know, you’re just not you know, like, I like sitting by the fire with a blanket, too, but if I get too much of it, then I start to feel uncomfortable in a different way than if I’m cold and dealing with temperature. So not always framing discomfort as a negative, but just as an adaptation or a signal is helpful. With clothing, what we talked about on other shows before is, you know, if you go outside for shorter bouts, you might not need all of the gear. You can just ditch some of the gear, go out for 5-10 minutes, and then come back in and warm yourself up, would be one, I think.
DANI: Yeah, actually, that’s brilliant. I remember you said that to the gal in Nova Scotia, the editor, when she gets walled in. She’s got little kids to bundle up, and you said, just, just let them run outside. Run around the house and come back in, you know? They’re not going to die and they get that change, and they get some movement, and it’s a good idea, because it makes you change your perspective on, what do I need to be in a certain place?
KATY: Yeah, and you know – we go to nature school, we have nature school here. But I have seen nature schools in places like Minnesota where the kids are out in that weather.
DANI: Oh, my kids have to go out this week, and there’s snow and it’s below 30, so.
KATY: Yeah. It’s a skill. I think that we – we don’t really think of – we think of muscles like, train to do a pull-up, train to do a marathon, but we don’t think of our musculature in that sense of, you need to train for a variance in temperature. And so there’s a couple resources – I’ve been reading and listening to Wim Hof, are you familiar with Wim Hof?
DANI: I just became familiar with him, and it’s so weird that you bring him up, because somebody sent me something, and I read this thing about him being at – well, you go ahead. Yeah, yeah. I don’t know him, but I am just getting into him.
KATY: Oh, I know him. He’s over here all the time. Sitting in my bathtub full of ice cubes.
DANI: Is he?
KATY: No, just kidding. I do not know Wim Hof, but his name is spelled W-i-m H-o-f. That’s a first and last name.
DANI: Is it Vim? No? Okay.
KATY: You’re asking the wrong person. I just say Wim, but you know, you’re the one with all the –
KATY: Hygge. I wonder what Wim Hof – what Vim Hof thinks of Hygge.
DANI: Probably not too much.
KATY: I laugh at your Hygge.
DANI: From what I’ve read, yeah.
KATY: So he is just someone who – like they’ve researched his body and he – he did – he was on the Joe Rogan experience, so if you’re a fan of Joe Rogan and the F-bomb, then go ahead and listen to that 3-hour show, because it’s great. I love – I love
DANI: Joe’s transcriptionist must have a lot of fun. Kathy, you have it so easy.
KATY: It just happens automatically. Every time – every time you start touching F, it just fills it in for you.
DANI: Quick key!
KATY: Um, so – that’s great to hear his story about how he trained himself so, just to back up a little bit. He is someone who can regulate his body temperature, which is supposed to be more of an autonomic pathway. Your body rises to the temperature regulation; that’s how it’s taught, you know, in biology 101 and even 201 and 301. But when you get right down to it, there are people who can regulate their physiology by doing, like, just a meditative state. What we would call a meditative state – it’s essentially, he has the ability to go turn on his thermostat up and down. He can – and they’ve researched him – he can sit in a pool of ice up to his neck and not drop his core temperature compared to other people by him using these techniques. And then he was also on Daniel Vitalis who I am – I adore. He’s got a great show, Re-Wilding. So those are two different podcasts where you can listen. So – he’s got – Wim Hof has some techniques on how you can start not being so adapted to warm and a single temperature. So, like little things like, you take a hot shower at night. A lot of people take a hot shower every day, and we’re slowly coaxing ourselves to not even be able to deal with cold.
KATY: So little things like not taking a hot shower, taking a slightly cooler, and then a cooler, and then a colder shower, so that you’re just washing in cold. How I do it was the easiest, it’s just not bundling up. Like, going out and actually being a little cold, and you do it in layers – just like, transitioning to minimal footwear, you can transition to temperature by going, you know what? I always put a hat on, I’m just not going to put a hat on today. Or I always put 3 shirts on and a jacket, I’m going to take off 1 shirt and then 2.
DANI: And you survived all this? Oh my gosh.
KATY: Yeah. I mean, yeah. But I’m – what happens is my body works more. My metabolism clicks up and now when I’m out walking, I’m doing more work than just moving my arms and legs for the walk. I have all these other muscles – including my skeletal muscles – moving blood around – so that my core temperature doesn’t change. So that’s – that is movement. Those are muscles, this is what we’re talking about in Move Your DNA. All of these things. So he’s a great resource. But again, you don’t need to start it in the middle of a blizzard. Like, all right! Let’s train our skin! You know, and bump your kids outside. Just to think kind of, maybe next year, of going, oh, you know what? It’s fall, we are going to start going out with less – everyone obsessively over – make sure you don’t over-gear. You don’t need to stay 85 degrees when you’re going outside. It’s okay.
DANI: Good point.
KATY: It’s okay to let yourself – like, we just have a tendency to over-bundle. And we definitely over-bundle our kids. And everyone’s like, you know, I’m fighting my kids all the time, they’re trying to strip down and it’s like, yeah, kids often times know what their physiology needs.
KATY: We were in Iceland, and it was freezing. It was 30 degrees, and we were on the side of a volcano, underneath a glacier, and we were hiking with the kids, and my daughter, who is – she’s extremely physically capable – I mean, she was the one who was walking at 7 months, like, that’s her thing. She did not want to wear a jacket. She doesn’t like the feeling of – of puffy or any restricted mobility, and I was like, well, it’s really cold. I feel like it’s really cold; I didn’t want to keep telling her how cold it was, so I said can you feel that it is? And she’s like, yeah, and I said, and this is a no carry, because it’s short, it’s only a mile and a half, it’s a no carry walk, so when you’re miserable, you can’t use my heat. This is part of growing up. She’s like, no problem. And she zipped her – she was wearing a hoodie, that’s what she was wearing, a hoodie. I have a picture –
DANI: I remember that.
KATY: Maybe I’ll post it in the show notes. She just zipped up her hoodie, and she jammed her hands in her pockets, and she put her head down. And it was like, a gale. It was wind coming off the glacier. It was – I was really cold – and she walked that whole walk with her head down and her hands in her pockets, and she had no problem. And so I was like, she’s doing all these things that I am – I am doing podcasts to instruct other people to do naturally, but my parental inclination is still, like, you’re going to be too cold! You know, so it’s like, wow, sometimes I really have to step back and go oh, you’re fine, and she’ll regulate as necessary. You know, I had her jacket, so she asked me, sure.
DANI: Good for you.
KATY: No problem. So.
DANI: I do the same thing, because I grew up in a wintery place, and so I have a mother that might have part lizard blood, because she’s cold in 75 degree weather, and I always had to wear a coat, even if I wasn’t hot – I had to bundle. And then I’m just out there sweating my guts out as a little kid.
DANI: I vowed that, I was like, I’m going to let my kids regulate that for themselves. They know when they need to bundle up.
KATY: They really do!
DANI: I don’t push the coat stuff. It’s like, you know if you need it, you know.
KATY: Yeah. Have gear – you know, I figure, as the packhorse – keeping the gear accessible is my job. But not forcing it.
KATY: Not telling her when she’s cold or warm. Just, like, staying – I try to stay out of her physiology now. My notions of parenting and all these things are so tainted with a cultural bias that I’m just constantly interrupting of her own physiology.
DANI: Okay, new show idea.
KATY: Yes, exactly.
DANI: Just stay out of my physiology! Slam.
KATY: Get out! That’s when she’s a teenager. All right, so what else?
DANI: Well, we’ve talked – we kind of just touched on the whys, and you know, you talked about going outside and moving outside are different things.
KATY: Well, you still need to trek. Like, I think – one thing I didn’t say, because I’m so disorganized for this show. I do believe that there is a natural, physiological tendency to move less in the wintertime. So I don’t want to imply – because natural movement means that there’s a period or frequency of movement at different times throughout your life, throughout a season. So I do think that getting more rest and expending less overall energy is certainly in the, I’m going to go bout and do this whole thing of exercise. It’s totally natural to want to conserve and hibernate, but at the same time, there would be a certain degree of movement that you would need to get. So all we’re trying to do is get the natural quantity. We’re not saying, hey, everything you did in summer you should do in the wintertime.
KATY: So I think that there is a period of restoration - 3 months long – is perfectly called for.
DANI: Period of restoration, yeah.
KATY: Sure. Perfectly called for. What happens, though is – in nature that coincides with food scarcity. But for us, our natural tendency to hunker down is pared with –
DANI: Mac and cheese.
KATY: With mac and cheese.
KATY: Or – or fresh baked cinnamon rolls, and all of the holidays where it’s just nothing but getting together and eating. So that could be – you know, this nature vs. modern world can be a problem. And I also think that as far as – one of the cool things about this terrible region we call Nova Scotia as far as weather goes, and I shouldn’t – for me from California, I was like, I could never live here, even though it’s the most gorgeous place on the planet. Just because of the weather. It’s that you have these bouts of time where you are playing your musical instruments, right? Some of the greatest instruments, kind of folksinger, songwriter, instrument skill is going to be coming from these long bouts of you getting to be with your instruments. And the writing, and the poetry, and the weaving – and all these things that happen. I do think that if we can think about movement and natural movement as it relates to nature and cycles, that we have a deeper understanding of it maybe a little bit.
DANI: That’s good.
KATY: But I do think you need to walk. In the wintertime. So it’s not just about, oh, the kids are outside for 20 minutes, you know, building a snowman. That’s being outside, and that’s great – you got the temperature. But you’re not getting the same types of movement, and so I had asked – one of the things that we do is we always have a destination. It’s not – I would never, ever say, we need to go out and get some exercise, guys. I would never – I would just never say that. There seems to be like, a reaction of going No! I just want to stay here! It’s more like, hey, we need to go deliver this to Auntie’s house. We need to go take this to the post office. We need to walk into town and get a hot chocolate. That was a big thing for us in the wintertime was on Sunday, we would get up and that would be what we would do, is this 2-½ hour walk, into downtown. That’s how long it took when the kids were 2 and 3. When they’re 3 and 4, I’m sure we’ll cut that time in half now because they’re walking a lot faster now.
KATY: But we would just go walk, and a tip for everyone out there is to do one way walks. If you need – there’s always someone in our family, adults, who needs more movement than the other because of a situation, because of a stressful week, because of what they did the night before, or whatever. So like, my husband will go, I need an extra couple of miles. So he’ll go drive the car to the final destination, so we only have to do a 1-way walk, because it’s so much easier to just fatigue yourself to this one way walk. And then he walks back, so he gets the 2 miles or the 2-½ miles. Then he walks with the family, so he got 5 miles to facilitate this family walk and then we’ll take turns doing that. And Lindsay, from Minnesota, said she does the same thing – a similar thing. That walking for – she said hot chocolate is basically her secret – to get these, she’s got 3 kids and a baby, and they walk, and she said they have these places.
DANI: And she carries her baby.
KATY: She does. She doesn’t use a stroller.
DANI: No. No gear, she just uses her arms.
KATY: Right. Yeah. So she – she’s such a tiny little thing. She’s just, she’s a powerhouse. So much power packed into this tiny body. To preschool drop-offs, and pickups, and her studio – regardless of the weather, the whole family knows that they walk, because they’ve set it up that way. They don’t even think of driving as an option, because it’s never been an, aw, let’s just go ahead and drive. She just sticks to it, she’s like, we walk. I think that’s the biggest thing with kids, is you – the adult – sticking to the routine and just, when it gets a little whiny, just pushing through it. You know, and it might be whiny one or two times, but after that you’ll save yourself a whole lot of whine on the other side.
DANI: Well, whining like a cold temperature – you’ll live through it. You’ll get used to it. Yeah. You’ll survive.
KATY: I find that the whining comes with the – because there’s a payoff of, well, if I whine enough they’ll just drive. But if just go, nope! And just keep going, then eventually, that will – well, the whine is just a – it’s just their mechanism.
KATY: of trying to conserve their energy. But anyway.
DANI: Oh, you’ll do just fine. Okay, well, let’s move on to the hows. We’ve kind of touched on the whys. You want to get to the hows? Tips, tips, tips?
KATY: Quick tips! Obstacle courses. Obstacle courses are genius, and that was really the bulk of my blizzard tips is, create an obstacle course. Compile that stuff now. Get a 2x4 so you have a balance beam – put it all in your garage. I think we talked about this, I think in the Household Hacks show. Exercise balls, pillows, and then – it’s not just like walking through it and then walking through in the other direction. It’s like, okay everyone, now we’re going to crawl. Or you can’t use your hands.
DANI: I love that.
KATY: We have a center and my husband is great at setting up obstacle courses of all different things, and it could be, go over the furniture, climb over the furniture. She brought us to the studio, and he made an obstacle course that we had to do blindfolded.
KATY: Because so now, you’re – and so you – I had to go through it crawling, because it had, like balance, and wobble boards and all kinds of stuff. So I’m reaching out, trying to feel, like the motion just increased 10-fold because I couldn’t just reach for the next thing, I had to reach all around trying to find where that thing was.
DANI: Ooh, you probably got to get some extra senses in there of just that – wow.
KATY: Yeah. There’s a picture of it on Instagram. It’s amazing. It’s amazing fun, and it’s natural in that it’s like going through the dark. It’s like trying to get someplace in the dark when you can’t see. Movement DVDs, videos, you know, make sure that if you have power outages that you have stuff loaded up, batteries charged so that you can play those things if you want. And think outside the box. There was a drumming – like, we had a drumming workout – it was like this aerobics – oh, man. His name’s Robert, and I can find the DVD, but when my little boy was like a year and a half, I would put this on, and it was like an aerobics DVD with a drum and you’re going around the drum. He loved it. And we got to the point where he would just do it for a few minutes – so just, just turn on – and like a dance party.
DANI: I was going to say, dance parties are the natural progression.
KATY: Yeah, that’s the easy one. And then winter’s a good time to get rid of your furniture, or to really vow not to use your couch so much. Because you are going to move less if you live in a cold place. So if your life has more movement built into it, you know, all those squats, and floor sitting and getting up and down – they’re going to add up to more than the exercise that you were missing, certainly in terms of, like, geometry and movement. The frequency is really high. And then chin-up bar, something to hang from. If you have indoor locations, we have an old, like, senior center/rec center, and it has a huge basketball court that no one was ever on. So a lot of times at the end of the day when – again, we had little, little kids who just needed 4 or 5 sessions of 2 hours of movement. We would go down to the basketball court and just run around there and, you know, walk laps. So just look around the place where you live and see if there’s any emergency places you can drive to get some more movement, and if you see a break in the weather, even if you’re in the middle of, you know, an art project or you’ve figured out you’re going to hunker down, reading a book and you look out and you see that it’s stopped raining or it’s stopped snowing, get outside for 20 minutes. Just go, you know what, we’re going to put it down, we’re going to put our stuff in, because we might not get this chance again. Be real fluid. Pay attention and just – grab any of those moments, because you don’t know when the next one’s going to come in. And then just think about movement throughout the day, temperature-wise instead of in one big hunk. Like, don’t think, oh, how am I going to get my five mile walk in? Or how am I going to get 45 minutes of cardio in? Think about, I need to move a lot throughout the day, and just fit it in in little bursts, and that’s kind of the best way.
DANI: Well, and you could do, like, extra chores or give your kids chores that they normally don’t do, like household chores. And then kind of rethink how those are done, you know. Help me fold the cloth napkins, but we’re going to do it squatting on the floor instead of standing at the kitchen counter. Or you know, add stuff into their repertoire, or your repertoire, just for more movement, because it doesn’t have to be you know, in yoga pants. Although that’s always good.
KATY: Well, and you know what – movement for movement’s sake. I don’t know if we’ve done a show on this, but we really should. Movement for the sake of movement; that is very difficult to motivate 1) yourself and 2) children to do. Like again, we’re going to go outside and get some exercise. That sounds like work and boring to them. But fake – like you said, we make fake chores all the time. Oh, we gotta chop all this wood! And then all of a sudden, the kid who didn’t want to stop doing the puzzles in front of the fire is like, I want to chop wood! What, I get to use an axe? And then the clothes are on and they’re running outside and they’re not cold and they’re not tired. They’re bored. They’re bored with modern life’s monotony of actually nothing to do. Not like, things to do for entertainment, but no physical, survival-type tasks, so you’re going to have to fake it. We fake it all the time. This house is just one big façade of all these tasks. Our kids are like, oh my gosh, we didn’t even know we had to build a boat, but mom says we have to build a boat out of all this wood! And we’re hauling stuff, and you know, and I’m sure it’ll come back to haunt me, the constant stream of lies.
DANI: Yeah. Well, we’ll make sure that these are taken off the air before the kids get too old to listen to them.
KATY: Kathy, could you just edit this out? Just go ahead and edit it out, thanks. Okay!
DANI: Well, also like, games, you know, when you’re really snowbound, and you know, you have the wall of snow outside your front door that you have to dive through the porthole to get anywhere. There’s just like, so many body games that you can play.
DANI: You know, like, Twister and those yoga cards that your friend had, and my friend came up with one called Flexity Jig, and there’s Bop-It, and you can invent stuff, but – you know, that’s under the guise of, let’s play a game, and it’s goofy, but you know, you’re getting up and down.
KATY: Twister! Twister.
DANI: Twister was on my lister. Sister.
KATY: Oh, my goodness. Hey, mister. Anyway, well.
DANI: Are you a pelvic lister?
KATY: Oh, geez. Why is there no pelvic lister in Twister?
DANI: I don’t know.
DANI: We need to invent – we need to re-do Twister.
DANI: We’ll call it Hygge. There’s just so many different ways, like you said, think outside the box, and you’ll probably think of a way to get some movement in during the day.
KATY: Yeah. Change your life, change your home, change your mind. All those things.
DANI: Awesome. Thanks for the tips.
KATY: Hey, thanks, Dani, and thanks, Kathy, and thanks all of you guys out there listening. For more information, books, online classes, you can find me at NutritiousMovement.com, God willing.
DANI: We’re hoping.
KATY: And you can learn more about Dani Hemmat, movement warrior and Hygge lover at MoveYourBodyBetter.com.
DANI: All right, take it easy.
We hope you find the general information on biomechanics, movement, and alignment informative and helpful – but it is not intended to replace medical advice and shouldn’t be used as such.
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