Description: Language—and words—matter. Recent headlines in the news can lead to a murky grasp of how health and wellness are really attained, and what we’re really discussing, for that matter. We’ll talk about recent news that will hopefully prompt a deeper examination of our sedentary culture and how it is shaped by both the biggest and smallest of things.
KATY: It’s the Katy Says podcast, where movement geek, Dani Hemmat, joins biomechanist, Katy Bowman – that’s me – author of Move Your DNA for discussions on biomechanics, movement nutrition, natural movement, and how movement can be the solution to modern ailments we all experience. Dani Hemmat, how are ya?
DANI: Aw, I’m great!
KATY: I feel like – I miss you!
DANI: I know!
KATY: We were just together for a whirlwind weekend.
DANI: It was crazy. It was just a montage of fun. That’s all it was, was just hiking and food and fun and friends, and then it was over.
KATY: Like that.
DANI: It truly was one of the best Saturdays of my life, really. It was fun.
KATY: I think it was particularly great when you were like, it was like we just lived a montage. We did a movie montage of going to Boulder, Colorado for a week was what we did in a day.
DANI: Uh-huh. Totally true. It was fun. And before that, the past few weeks in the news have just been crazy intense, and I’m not even talking about the political stuff. Like, there’s been a lot about our culture – our sedentary culture –
DANI: Which we usually focus on, you know, natural movement in the news, but I want to talk about all the stuff that’s been going on and we’ve been saving.
KATY: Well, we keep sharing it, right? We keep sharing it on Facebook, going, “you guys, pay attention to this, you guys, pay attention to this!”
KATY: And this was originally – we like to do news shows because they’re super relevant, and plus – I don’t know if you do, but any time anything about movement comes out in the New York Times exercise section or whatever, I get a ton of emails and tags and various social media going, “what do you think of this?” But we were – we were saving these really from the last – since April, maybe? It’s May now. So maybe the last 8 weeks we’ve been saving stuff, but they just keep coming in, and finally, you know, I – there’s this common theme. I’m also working on this book right now, Movement Matters which is a book of essays, so all of you who were going, “I thought you said you weren’t going to write another book!” I’m not really writing another book as much as I am pulling out old essays that were written before and like editing them and putting them together to make a common theme more easy to see. Kind of like what we’re going to do here today.
DANI: Now, are these just like essays that you’ve – were they old blog posts or stuff that you’ve kind of –
KATY: Both. Both.
KATY: They’re essays that have never been published – I write, actually, a lot of blog posts that I never publish because I’m not able – like, I start it, I usually, it works for me where I’m inspired, I sit down and I write 2 or 3,000 words and I don’t really have time to edit it, or I’ll just put it aside. Like, I want to come back – this isn’t finished yet, but I don’t know exactly why it’s not finished. So I put it aside, and if you do that for years, you end up just having essentially a book written. But it’s not really a book with a central theme, you know? It’s not a plot, for you writers out there. It doesn’t have a plot. It’s just like, it’s just like a bunch of short stories. However, as I went back to reflect on them, they all had the same central theme –
DANI: Oh, that’s awesome.
KATY: And when they were grouped together and slightly edited where I could really call out that theme over and over again, it was like, wow, this is a really powerful collection. It’s not an exercise book; there’s no exercises in it. It’s about movement, how we think about movement, and specifically how a culture is similar to a corporation in that it’s a culture’s best interest to perpetuate itself and how because we are part of this culture, we are really unaware of the ways that we perpetuate sedentary behavior. I think this is why I’ve been so diligent to really separate exercise from movement, and I think that even a lot of people who are like, oh, I don’t exercise, I move, and I’m like, yeah, but you’re still only considering big movements. Some of the things that we’re going to talk about right now are some of the smaller movements, and this book is really good at breaking that down.
KATY: So this podcast is about – I’m writing this book, and you probably know when you’re – if you’re in the middle of writing a book, you’re thinking like the characters, right? I don’t know, I don’t write fiction. But I imagine that if you are – you almost embody your characters because you’re – you have to.
DANI: Oh, you do. You have to.
KATY: I am embodying a person who is hyper-aware, or certainly trying to be, of all of the sedentary messaging. And because I am that character in this book – it’s my persona, right now – every time anyone sends me these things about X or Y, the things that we’re going to cover right now, all I can see is the central theme. So that’s what we’re going to do is take some headlines – top headlines – not top headlines, but just some occurrences, and pick out a central theme with the hopes that you will be able to see that theme in many other things that you read going forth.
KATY: All right, that’s good enough. Wrap it up!
DANI: Good bye, thank you! Okay, April was just crazy. It started out on April 1st. and I’m just going to read the headlines and then we’ll go back and talk about all of them.
KATY: Wait – is this an April Fool’s joke?
DANI: No, that was our job.
KATY: Wasn’t that so funny? Because when you read these headlines, I was like, when I saw this headline, I thought it was an April Fool’s joke.
DANI: I totally thought it was.
KATY: Okay, what was the title?
DANI: And even there’s a little bit of irony because it’s a series about misconceptions.
KATY: Oh, man.
DANI: In the New York Times, we’re just going to talk about those, and then go back and break it down. Okay, all right. The first one was – the headline was: Exercise is not the path to strong bones. Okay?
KATY: April Fool’s!
KATY: Just kidding.
DANI: And then there was one – these were all New York Times in this particular episode that we’re doing. One minute of all-out exercise may have benefits of 45 minutes of moderate exertion.
DANI: And then there was Getting people to move more. All right. And just so everyone knows – all this stuff will be linked in the notes, so I’m not going to say it again. Okay. Let’s go back to the first one, that exercise is not the path to strong bones. The series on misconceptions was that they were saying that it was a misconception that all you have to do is walk or do even modest strength training to build strong bones, and they came back with this thing that said, well, it has little to no effect on bone strength. And: go!
KATY: Yeah, well, she used very powerful language, so she was – what she was saying – and I don’t think I disagree with the sentiment of the article, but I was paying hyper-awareness to the words that were being used, and what she was saying was, you know we’ve all been told that we need to exercise to strengthen our bones, but the data doesn’t back it up. In fact, research shows that exercise does not benefit bones; the only thing to benefit bones are these particular drugs or medical interventions, and it was on April 1st, I thought it was a joke, and then I was like, it’s not. I was looking – I always look at the research. So her overall hypothesis was – she didn’t clarify. And she did print a clarification – she printed a clarification –
KATY: - that was more like, “I should’ve done this, and I should’ve done this,” as opposed to rewriting an article that was more accurate, which I thought was interesting. I was like,
DANI: Well, I guess there was a pretty big – she got a lot of feedback. There was an uproar over this particular what we thought was an April Fool’s joke, and a couple days later she had to say, oh, ha ha, eh.
KATY: But it was weird because I think I would have just appreciated an actual better article, not an article about what she should have done in the first article, meanwhile leaving the article up. So I went to pull the research that she was citing about, you know, data shows that exercise is not protective against fracture, and this is the thing – so I actually had to buy it. Sometimes there’s a lot of open access, but I don’t know if a lot of people know, when you actually go to read the research, you will often times have to purchase it. There’s companies that – I want to say ‘harvest,’ they harvest research, and then they resell it, but you pay $30 in order to be able to read an article. So when I went to go find the article that was cited, and I’m sorry, I have like 100 things open on my computer right now – when I went to go pull up the article she cited, what I wanted to know is: okay, you’re saying exercise doesn’t work. Exercise is a category of many things. So what’s better – and we’ve talked about this before in lots of different episodes – is when you’re going to make a big statement like that, exercise is not the path to strong bones, and a lot of the flak that she got was like, “well, here’s some articles that show that it is.” And she was like, oh, I wasn’t talking about that kind of exercise, or that population – I was speaking to an undefined population that I’m now going to define, and the type of exercise that I’m now going to define. So when I went to pull the article, I was like, well, what does the research when they showed that the effect of exercise was negligible on bone, what were they actually testing? Because that’s what they – your headlines can always be written – like if you’re going to sum up a study with a sentence, it would be better to show, this type of exercise, X, Y, and Z, was not the path to strong bones. This is a much more specific – that’s the actual research sentiment. They didn’t research all types of exercise, they researched one or two or six. So I went to pull up what this review article was citing and when I bought that article, all I wanted from the article was the protocol. What’s the methods? What was the exercise that people were doing? They said, you know, essentially, thank you for buying this article, but we used the protocol of this other article. That’s what they do a lot, right? So then I’m like okay, so now I had to go - $60 to make this podcast right now, people. And also for my own personal understanding. So then I had to go buy the article and just hope that that the actual methods were in that one. So when I went to get the research protocol, the protocol that they’re researching is standard fitness type exercise, right? It’s 3 times a week –
DANI: What is that?
KATY: I mean, it’s everything that you think of when you think exercise.
KATY: Not necessarily the clinical definition, but it’s the general fitness kind of assumption – like, what I call the Shape magazine interpretation, or Fitness magazine interpretation of exercise, which is 3 times a week, 40 – most sessions are 40 minutes long, but they run anywhere between 40 and 60 minutes by the time you add in, you know, they have a warm-up and whatever. It’s 12 weeks of doing this program and they have a strength training program and then they have an aerobics-based training program, so it’s, you know, like, when you’re doing the aerobics-based program it’s usually walking or running or jogging, which I don’t know exactly how they delineate – probably by speed. And then you’re working on a percentage of your heart rate max, which is kind of different for everyone. So you’ll do this many minutes at this percentage of your heart rate, and this many minutes – so basically the cardio is 20-30 minutes of doing it at one particular intensity with maybe a couple minutes of going higher or lower, and then when you have the strength training protocol which is what is used for a lot of bone because there is an understanding of osteogenic benefits come about with things that really bend or stress the bones in particular ways, whether it’s bending or compression or tension. And when I try to pull up – what were the exercises? Squat, stiff-leg dead lift, lat pull-down, upright row, calf raises, crunches – it’s like stuff – it’s like the stuff if you’ve ever joined a gym.
DANI: I was going to say, it sounds like the first training session I had at orientation.
KATY: Exactly. The orientation session.
DANI: Orientation 101. 24 Hour Fitness.
KATY: So that. That protocol – when you exercise 40 minutes, 40-60 minutes doing those types of things, 3x a week for 12 weeks, does not improve your bone. This is a radically different statement than –
KATY: - research has eliminated exercise as, you know, a benefit to bone. So I think – I can’t remember exactly how I wrote it up, but she’s saying like the, there actually is a tiny benefit to bone, but it’s 1% or whatever and it’s like super negligible, and I was like, well, so is your movement program. Your movement program is like, I think the percentage was 2% of time spent moving, and so really the results that you got are exactly what you would imagine from an almost negligible movement program, right? So that’s how I reframed it, going, if you’re going to measure almost hardly any movement, it’s not radical to expect hardly any improvement. The conversation – the more important conversation would be – more important, I think, to this discussion of these follow-up articles which we’ll talk about, which is like, why aren’t Americans moving more? Is because there’s headlines of exercise doesn’t work, rather than, we’re barely moving and that’s not sufficient to keep us out of the risk factor for fracture. So I just think that you can see it 2 different ways, and I was just like, I bet you there’s a ton of people now who then are being told by their medical health team or their family, you know, you should really move more to be healthier, and it’s like, research shows that exercise isn’t going to do anything for my bones anyway. And then it’s the New York Times; it’s a very prestigious publication.
DANI: Reputable, yep.
KATY: And you know, because they have no idea how the exercise program was delineated, and then you can also see it this other way, which is yeah, this is right on track for understanding how biology and movement work together. Like, this is completely what I would expect, not surprising, right on par with biological and mechanical mechanism. So, yeah. Anyway, that was the first one. But I just thought, look at the messaging! The messaging here is – and she actually concluded that, interestingly enough – because someone was saying via social media, like, what’s the purpose, what was the purpose of this study or this article, and what I found interesting was that the article ran on the same day or within a couple days as the press release for the new bone enhancing medication –
DANI: Oh, really?
KATY: Yes, so – so
KATY: So she concluded her article – gosh, it would be so much more powerful if I could actually read it right now. Hold on.
DANI: I’ve got it right in front of me.
KATY: What’s the bottom, the one that says, the only thing that works?
DANI: Yeah, and that was really – I had to read that a couple times, because I was like, really? That’s –
KATY: A super bold statement.
DANI: It stuck in my craw.
KATY: Oh, here it is right here. “At this point, nothing except injections of parathyroid hormone and perhaps a new injectable drug called uh, a-b-a”
KATY: Say that again? Abaloparatide.
DANI: Yes, that.
KATY: So I thought it was interesting that she – to include a potential new drug as something that would work, while spending all this time, like, talking about not having evidence of this other thing. Like, it was just strange. But that was the thing. So okay, anyway, I’ll read it again. “At this point, nothing except injections of parathyroid hormone and perhaps a new injectable drug called blahblahblah now being tested in clinical trials make bone denser or stronger.” I found that – like, from a journalistic perspective –
KATY: Like, from a writer’s perspective, this seems to be a – it didn’t flow with the rest of the article.
DANI: Can I say my word for it?
DANI: Okay. I consider that irresponsible journalism, because not everybody knows to look deeper or dig deeper, they just believe the words on the page, and I just feel like that was leading. It was really leading somebody to a conclusion without giving them the other side. You know, there’s no devil’s advocate in there.
KATY: You know, and I think here’s another thing about language – she said – she wrote, “at this point, nothing except X, Y, and Z makes bones denser or stronger,” when what she meant was, “at this point, there’s no evidence of anything making.”
KATY: So that’s two different statements, because this is another big theme I have about people and their understanding of science. I think that people perceive that if there’s no evidence for something – that something only works once there’s evidence of it working. Like, gravity wasn’t happening until Newton defined it. And so like, we have this kind of relationship now with science and evidence where it’s an authoritative type thing. Like, well, okay, it will work once we define it, and no, it’s working or not working all of the time regardless of who understands it. Those are just the laws of the universe. So I turned into this hyper, like, when I read – and I credit my husband with this, because he’s an editor, ironically, because I’m a terrible speaker and writer, but he – but he taught me the appreciation of like,
DANI: That’s exactly what you need. That sounds like a perfect match to me!
KATY: It’s a perfect match, right?
DANI: There’s nothing ironic about it, it’s awesome.
KATY: Yeah, and so he was like, no, well, what you’ve said is actually this – and I was like, no, well, that’s not what I meant. And he was like, that’s what you said. So you know, clean up what you write to mean what you say, and that’s helped me tremendously in the past couple of years, but it’s also really helped me to tune in to how people are using language to lead us – or maybe it reflects the way that they think, but in turn it perpetuates the way that we think and the way that writers write. And so I think that this is all part of sedentary culture. Right now, movement doesn’t work. It will work maybe if a scientist can prove it later on, but at this point, it doesn’t work, and then of course her follow up was like, well, of course, I still think you should exercise, but just know that it doesn’t work. And I was like, okay, I don’t get it. But anyway.
KATY: All right, next one.
DANI: I think we should go straight into the – can we go to the one minute follow up exercise?
DANI: That one. Okay, because I feel like that ties into the same thing that you – what was the post you said, you started out saying you could compare pomegranates to –
KATY: Oh! I said, if you define a pomegranate and an orange, or insert any two fruits, if you define a grapefruit and grapes as being fruits, then you can set them as equal.
DANI: Exactly. The one sentence distillation of this article was, her thing was, hey, let me just tell you that it’s been found that one minute of arduous exercise is comparable in its physiological effects to 45 minutes of gentler sweating. I read some of her other stuff and she’s a big proponent of high intensity interval training.
KATY: And cardio, she’s a runner.
DANI: Right, which is like – for those of you who don’t know, it’s like, a sprint, you know. One minute of something really strenuous like a sprint. And then you walk, or jog, or do something else, and then you do a sprint again or a crazy amount of jumping jacks – something to just kind of like spike your heart rate and then back down. It’s just a different way of doing that. But anyway, tell me about your post.
KATY: My comment on this one?
KATY: It was just the same thing. It was just like, really tune in to the message that you’re being given here. This is an article – ironically, the title of the article and the body of the article was really like, 1 minute of all that exercise, meaning you’re working as hard as you can. It’s not just, you know, at 75% heart rate max. like, you’re sprinting – you’re all out exertion. It could be similar and benefit to like 45 minutes of something more moderate. This is not necessarily a new approach. It’s just the first time that the New York Times has come out and said this, and is like going, you know, maybe if you only had that one minute to exercise, you can think about it as being the same as 45 minutes. My commentary was mostly to the language, and also the way that a sedentary culture is trying to approach its movement and health problem. It’s like, well, let’s research how much we can move in a single minute and still feel like – or still have the physique of – or whatever – because I don’t think that you would find comparable, physiological benefits. Some similarities between the two, but if you listed all of the things that are happening in either case, I think that you would see, of course, they’re extremely different. However, there are also always going to be ways in which you can make them the same, and then when you make them the same, it’s easy to go: well, I’ll just do it, it’s the same. You’ll see the similarities and then feel okay or feel supported by scientific evidence for why you only need to move for one minute. Interestingly enough, the actual research was not on a single minute: it was a single minute done with many other minutes.
KATY: I think it was like 8. I have to apologize, because I don’t have that ready. But it wasn’t even a single minute, and if you read the comments, they were like, the researchers didn’t measure a single minute, they did a single minute with like a 4-minute warm-up and a cool-down. So you can’t call out just that single minute, but I think that what she was trying to say is that working really hard for a minute does your body good. That’s a great statement. I am behind the working really hard for a single minute, because I think that – when we talk about human movement, there’s definitely a need for all-out exertion, not 50 minutes, not 30 minutes, but just a short peak. You know, I look at my cat: my cat does like maybe 20 sprints a day. If I go outside, my cat runs around real fast and then runs up a tree, and then like, runs down and goes back to sitting down. And humans, you know, do this, and there’s you know, if you’re talking about hunting or chasing a kid – I chase my kids for a minute, it’s like, “aaaugh!” really fast! But to say that that is something that you do in lieu of all the other exercise minutes, and of course we haven’t even mentioned movement minutes or anything like that.
DANI: Well, I was going to say, yeah, I have a problem with the word, and this is maybe going to ruffle some feathers, is: biohack.
KATY: I know.
DANI: Hacking things is great, you know, if you can stack your life and do these things, it’s great. But I really don’t believe there is a biohack. I feel like things like this promote that thought, you know, and they take your train of thought away from the fact that it is about movement, you know, we’ve distilled it down to, you know, you’ve just got to exercise, and now – look – you only have to exercise for a minute!
DANI: It’s like, okay, but let’s back out of the room slowly and look at the bigger picture about what’s going on all those other minutes of the day, you know. You cannot biohack movement. It’s just – I think it’s a=a with that. You have to move.
KATY: We should do a one minute version of this podcast and be like, “they’re the same!” and then just like, just say it quickly, you just come on and say, like, 20 puns real fast and I just like drone on for 30 seconds.
DANI: Make up some words. You can make up some words.
KATY: It’s the same! It’s the same. It’s the same.
DANI: Yeah, it’s the only podcast you’ll ever need of Katy Says right there.
KATY: The one minute Katy Says podcast – intensity!
DANI: And boy, was it arduous. Woo hoo!
KATY: So, yeah. Just, again: messaging. What is the messaging of – so these are our wellness journals. Or wellness blogs. These are the areas of the news where we set aside to kind of educate us, I think, on being well. And so far, this is – these are both in April – these two, I don’t know if they come out once a week – and they come out and both have told me that I can move less. That movement won’t help my bones, and that I can move 1 minute instead of 45 minutes. I feel like that’s what being implicitly implied, and I think that’s – that makes people happy, right? Or it makes people feel maybe not so bad about the culture that they’re participating in, right? Because if you feel paralyzed to move, then kind of the – who are these – we have appointed these journals, these texts, these newspapers, these authorities of kind of feeding back to us what we need to know to maintain this culture. So far, less movement seems to be okay. I feel okay about less movement, because it wasn’t going to fix my bones anyway.
DANI: Sure. So there. I was right this whole time.
KATY: Well, I was – I don’t know if I was right, but I was stressed before and now I feel better.
KATY: My stress potentially being a motivation to move more; now I don’t have to make this decision.
DANI: Okay, in the same blog, in the same month – it’s very confusing – the same person wrote a blog post called, Getting people to move more. And this one is a little – I like this one a lot more. It’s a little more straight forward in its language, and the essence of it was that in 2010, a group of public and private organizations got together to develop a national physical activity plan, which was like a blueprint for getting Americans to move more. And it recommended things like every school child be allowed, you know, physical education classes, preferably daily, employers find ways to reduce sitting time, and that cities – municipalities – create and promote park lands and walking paths, bike paths, other ways for communities to be active. But then there’s this other group that since the release got together – like, Heart Association, the CDC, Department of Health and Human Services, and they came out and said, hey! This is was all great 6 years ago, but physical activity levels in the US have hardly budged. And for many people, they’ve declined. And this article was interviewing one of these people that had a new physical alliance that released the physical activity plan back in 2010, they’re like, okay, we got a new one that was released this April.
KATY: A new plan?
DANI: A new plan.
KATY: All right.
DANI: A new national activity plan. And then they interviewed one of the people who is a professor of public health and –
KATY: And basically the new plan is that we’re not going to talk about exercise anymore, we’re going to talk about movement.
DANI: Movement. That is really encouraging.
KATY: Yeah. There’s a lot of – there’s a lot of different ethnicities or groups of people throughout the nation – this is something that I worked on when I was in school – who, you know, like, working out is really a luxury of people with disposable income or disposable time or a particular family structure. It’s a really elitist thing to do. So you’ve got people who – where is all the research coming from, they’re coming from people at Universities – like, we’ve got to get people exercising more. It’s like, well, many people make, you know, below, I mean they’re basically making, they’re in poverty.
DANI: Yeah, it’s poverty wages.
KATY: And so with that goes – what? A certain type of amount of working, how many jobs you have to have, and it’s like, why aren’t you guys working out? It was culturally lost, so within our culture there are subcultures, and so it’s a culture of one group trying to tell another group – and I think this article addresses it, too, like, we’re going to recognize – it’s like, okay, that –
DANI: They added a diversity committee to that panel.
KATY: Of course.
DANI: Because they understood that it was not being addressed.
KATY: Right. And that’s – I think that we have gotten that everyone is not moving, but some people have gotten the luxury of having their sedentary life with exercise and some people don’t.
KATY: So this is a cool approach, but it’s basic stuff like take the stairs, don’t take the elevators. Can I tell you a story, though?
KATY: I left you at the Denver airport. The Denver airport doesn’t have stairs; it has escalators and elevators only. Check that out next time you want to go somewhere.
KATY: The escalator was out and blocked.
DANI: You couldn’t even walk up it like stairs?
KATY: No. No.
K; Because there was someone working on it.
DANI: Oh, okay.
KATY: So you had 150 people – and it was the escalator to get down to the train to get to all of the gates. So they had made it where you couldn’t even use your own muscle work to get down. I had to stand in line for 15 minutes to wait to catch the elevator. There were 4 elevators busing and of course there were 150 people when I got there but it was constantly being supplied from the back.
KATY: And then I found – and I’m like, this is ridiculous – I’m walking all over, trying to find another set – there was no other stairs. There was no other escalators that I could walk to. And then I found the emergency stairs, and I was like, yes. They called it the tornado shelter.
DANI: Mm. We get tornadoes here.
KATY: It doesn’t say stairs, it says, “tornado shelter,” but I opened it because I’m nosy. And I was like there’s stairs here, but as I walked down to the stairs to get down to get to the door that would let me down to the train, it was emergency sounding. And I was like –
DANI: You set off the emergency alarm?
KATY: No, I didn’t do that, because I’m nosy but I’m not going to break the law. So I walked back up the stairs and stood in line for the elevator. But I was like, this is where we are right now. There is no place to move my body physically myself. I was just – I couldn’t even – it was just surreal. So when I got back to Seattle and I was happy to see the set of stairs next to every single elevator, where there is none in Denver. Check that out next time.
DANI: I will! I’ve only been there once.
KATY: I couldn’t even choose to – I couldn’t take the stairs if I wanted.
DANI: You were just being shuttled along like cattle.
KATY: It’s weird.
DANI: Well, this was good and I hope that people do read through this article. They just did a short Q&A with one of these professors that was on this committee, but he addresses – I’ll just read one of his things. “many people think of exercise as something that is planned: high intensity and a lot of work. Physical activity is a more inclusive term. Any movement can be considered active and beneficial, even if you just walk around the house instead of just sitting on the couch. We want to convey the idea that you don’t have to exercise to move more.”
DANI: Yay! And they have stuff in this group of recommendations, for, like schools. Even if they don’t have resources, ways they can use community facilities and community members to help facilitate more movement in the school. Like, they don’t need a grant in order to get all the kids Bosus or whatever, but just ways that it’s more attainable. That’s really cool – and very aware that it’s just so easy now to not move. In fact, you were being forced to not move at Denver International.
KATY: Well, listen to this – this is in the Q&A, he said: “we’re swimming upstream. The social conditions that promote inactivity have been building for decades.”
DANI: I love that.
KATY: It’s so easy not to move. So I just think that – you have to recognize that the culture depends, the culture has adapted, the culture has parts that require our sedentary behavior. It makes people very uncomfortable once you start moving and when you point out that their movement has been outsourced.
DANI: Mm-hmm. Tru dat. I would like to – I have not yet read the whole released thing, their activity plan.
KATY: When does everyone in the nation get that? When do we get that?
KATY: Could you link to it?
DANI: I think this afternoon. I think everyone is supposed to have a copy by this afternoon.
KATY: Could you link to it so that everyone can read it?
DANI: Oh, it’s in there, but I’ll link to it, but I’ll print it up, you know, I’ll separate the link if people don’t even want to read this article.
KATY: It’s too much – it’s too – I have to move too much to read the article. Send me the link.
DANI: But that’s so great, because the last part of it, how they ended it – I’m sure this isn’t how the conversation ended, but it’s how, fortunately, the editor chose to end it, and they’re trying to make up for that whole ‘exercise doesn’t help your bones’ headline that they came up with over there so we can redeem ourselves. It says, “we want our children and loved ones and ourselves to be well, and in order to achieve that, we must move more. I’m not saying to exercise.” Yay.
KATY: And at this point, probably what’s needed is a strong definition of movement and exercise to be used in all research and journals going forward. Then it’s like we all know what we’re talking about, right? If everyone’s on the same page, then it’s like, oh, great, exercise, doesn’t work my bones, fine. Doesn’t mean anything about movement affecting it.
DANI: All right, so let’s move on to apples.
KATY: Yeah, well, actually to go before that – so this is not in the news but it’s in my news. It’s in my world. I posted – if you want to go to my Instagram, you can link to it in the notes here – this bag of – so I’m in this, and remember, I am in this persona of Movement Matters, movement ecology, outsourced movement persona right now.
DANI: You’re looking at everything through your movement ecologist glasses right now.
KATY: It is, it is, which are beautiful. They’re beautiful glasses, but they are – they expose a lot. They’re like x-ray glasses. They show you a lot of things you might not have wanted to see before. And specifically, I’ve been talking – and there’s a whole section in the book on food and eating, and you know, we used to have to just move directly in nature for our food, and then slowly it’s become outsourced, and now people get food and they have no idea the movement that was involved in making it – movement that they didn’t have to do themselves. And you could go, growing – you know, like, you don’t think of like, farming or growing or foraging or gathering or whatever. Those are movements, but then there’s also the cutting, the washing, the slicing, the mashing, the grating – whatever it took to get the thing that you finally buy at the store to eat. So this was a bag of dehydrated beets. And if they had called it anything else, it probably wouldn’t have even triggered anything. But the name of the product was called, “Just Beets,” which was different than the beets sitting on my counter, which I would also call just beets. Or maybe only beets. So like – I was just irritated by the language of minimizing what they were. Like, they’re Just Beets, Man. It’s like, okay, well, so I went to the Trader Joe’s website where they came from, and they had this whole, gorgeous, poetic thing about that their distributors grow these in Mexico and they pluck them fresh, you know, from the earth, and they scrub – and Trader Joe’s had broken down all of the labor in their write-up, which I found – I felt like it was trying to pan-
DANI: Oh, really?
KATY: Oh, yeah! I feel like the write-up – I quoted the write-up in there.
DANI: That’s right.
KATY: It’s like the write-up was pandering to your like sense of going, oh, it’s fresh from the earth, and hands have done this.
DANI: Well, sure, that’s their job – it’s copywriting.
KATY: It’s copywriting but they had so well laid out my point, I’m like, look at all the movement for this product. Not only have they outsourced the planting and the harvesting, but who are the people who are scrubbing? It actually said scrubbing the beets. Hand-washing and slicing.
DANI: Lovingly. Did they have lovingly in there?
KATY: I don’t know. That might be in their dehydrator. And to go man, the fuel created for this product, and the packaging, the packaging that’s 3x the size of the beets that are in there just so you can fit the word “Just Beets” on there.
KATY: And I was like, this product is pandering to the health conscious, and yet it epitomizes the opposite of clean living, right? Because we boil – “we” when you have the luxury of getting to think of really only the health nutrition of the foods that you put in your mouth and not the labor conditions and other things – you know, who is paid, for $2.99 you got this bag that is garbage in the future. These people are out growing and cutting and hand-slicing these beets and you just have to pluck it off – drive and go to the store and then throw this trash in the garbage, and all this work is done for you that you never know about. So there’s a little bit of a Just Beets rant. And then someone sent me this article from the Washington Post, which is all this research that was done about a movement to make public school lunch healthier, so they’re putting apples because apple consumption has gone way up – only to find that the kids are throwing them away. So they did all these investigations and spent all these research dollars, only to find out that apples are just too cumbersome to eat – you have to slice it. Kids will eat it if you slice it. So they’re pre-packaging the slice. And they actually say – you have to think about how hard it is. The apple – why don’t you read it?
DANI: Okay, it says, “the hardest part in getting kids to start eating fruit is to take the first bite. And that’s precisely what slicing the apple makes more appealing.” Ba-dum-dum. They punned and they didn’t even know it. “A child holding –“ I love it. Okay. #thestruggleisreal “A child holding a whole apple has to break the skin, eat around the core, and deal with the hassle of holding a large fruit.”
DANI: And then it says, “that barrier might seem silly or superficial,” ya think? “yet when you’re wearing braces or have missing teeth as many kids do,” Let me just interject there – both my kids are in braces. They can’t bite into an apple during this time, but that’s a very short time in a human’s life. They cut their apples up at home if they want to eat an apple, because their orthodontist said, don’t, you know, don’t be biting into the apple because you’ll knock a bracket off. But that’s like when you’re chewing food for a baby like a mother bird. It’s a very short time.
KATY: I also think that what we’re not paying attention to is why are kids needing braces in the first place? Because they don’t chew.
DANI: Right but that’s a whole other thing, we’ve –
KATY: You know what I mean? They’ve never chewed, it’s like, puree all their food, buying packaged stuff. When you use your jaws and your mandibles – it’s – and also, apples now are huge. We’ve created monster apples and weak jaws through our habits, and now we have to create a technology which is apple slicers and various chemicals to put on the sliced apples so that they don’t turn brown.
DANI: I would like to just say, too, a lot of people in a lot of cultures eat the core, too. I eat the core, because I don’t want to be poisoned by arsenic, so I figure a small dose of arsenic in the seeds is – I’ve always been paranoid.
KATY: That’s funny.
DANI: I’ve always eaten an entire apple except for the stem.
KATY: I like that about you.
DANI: Do ya?
KATY: I do.
DANI: Okay, it’s true. I kind of like the core. But a lot of cultures eat the core; they eat the whole fruit so that’s kind of – when they said eat around the core, that’s just –
KATY: Well, a lot of cultures eat the whole animal, too, not just the filet.
DANI: Right, yeah.
KATY: It’s just like, really, the waste – and the movement, you know what I mean? Like – the trash.
DANI: Well, they pack it – you know, the chemicals that they have to spray on it. If you slice an apple, you know what happens to it unless you spray stuff on it.
KATY: So the point is not about - my point with this thing is not about how you eat or whatever, it’s just like – look at the strengths that, we are a human being right now that is – but our kids – and adults, too – do with like – throw the apple away because to hold the apple and chew the apple and bite into it is just too cumbersome. Too much movement. And we are so used to someone else, something else, some machine – fuel, the carbon footprint of our diet is like, crazy. And a lot of it stems – ding! – from
DANI: Yay, that was a good one.
KATY: We could have done that in one minute. It stems from a recognition of not moving. Anyway.
DANI: And the thing is, we want kids to eat more apples for their health.
KATY: It goes on and on. Let’s leave this on a positive note – actually, all of this is positive, because when you see it, that’s when you can start embodying the change. But tell me about some other people’s change.
DANI: I’ve got some really cool stuff. There was other stuff in the news that didn’t make you slap your palm to your forehead. A couple things on WNYC radio, which is the great creator of RadioLab and good shows like that. They did this cute little story, that we’ll link to, about this kindergarten in Brooklyn that decided to take matters into their own hand with their kids getting outside. So they’re right in Brooklyn, right in the city, and one day a week, they bundle all these little kindergartners up and take them outside for most of the day to a park. They bring no toys, all the kids have are their hats and coats and boots and you know, whatever stick they find, whatever mud or rock they find in their park. They go out in all weather, so there’s no rain or snow that keeps them inside, and so that all the kids could participate in this program in this classroom, the two teachers that started it got grants so that they could buy galoshes – did I just say galoshes? How old am I? Good god.
KATY: I don’t know.
DANI: So they could have the gear to enable them, these little ones, so their parents wouldn’t freak out about being outside. And they didn’t wait for any administration to say, hey, let’s get these kids outside. These two teachers had just been reading about nature school, the effects of nature on kids and their learning, and decided we’ve gotta do this. They’re not out in the woods; they just go to a park in Brooklyn.
KATY: Which is awesome.
DANI: It is awesome. There’s even a sweet little video that you can watch – these kids learning cooperation because they have to lift logs, and then making mud pies and selling them in the mud pie market. Their little rosy cheeks from being out in the crisp air, and they’re just so happy to be outside.
DANI: That part was cool, that was a good story. And then, I just heard this at the end of last week – I love this so much, and I’ll link to the show. This was on NPR, and there’s this guy in Orlando, FL, called – his name is Chris Castro, and he started this thing called Fleet Farming. He works for the city government in Orlando, and his parents were farmers and so he kind of knew his way around things as far as city work, but he found out that residents in Orlando could farm 60% of their lawn. That’s pretty awesome, because in a lot of communities, you can’t. you know, you have to have grass or city ordinances will complain. So he found out he could farm 60% of your lawn, so what he did is he started this fleet of volunteers, and he went to houses and said, would you like to have fresh vegetables? Are you tired of mowing your lawn? Can we farm on your lawn? And everybody that he asked said yes – these first 10 households that he started with. All the volunteers that come and farm on these people’s land – they come and harvest the stuff after they’ve grown it. They give some to the people whose house it is, then they take the rest and ride their bikes with it over to the farmer’s market. Everything’s like – he’s built the whole plan around this system of how they can ride their bikes so there’s not a lot of fuel being used, and then they take it and sell it at the farmer’s market. It’s so cool.
KATY: Yeah, that’s genius, out of the box.
DANI: It’s so genius. Right now he has 10 farms and there’s 300 people on a waiting list that want to do this because for them, you know, they’re not having to have their lawns and mowing, and they’re getting to have fresh food. It’s awesome. There’s good things happening with people creating a movement movement. I hope you get a chance to look at all of those things, and listen to all of those things.
KATY: Yeah, you guys, check it out.
DANI: You know, just skip us. Go straight to the – whatever we said, it’s all the same. One minute, it’s all the same.
KATY: All right.
DANI: Well, thank you so much for listening. For more information, books, classes, etc., you can find Katy Bowman at NutritiousMovement.com, and there are a lot of free resources there – a lot of education, a lot of things you can learn. [garbled audio] Oh, hold on.
KATY: I just tried to call you right now to see if you were home.
DANI: You can learn more about me, Dani Hemmat, movement warrior and devourer of the whole apple – core and all – at MoveYourbodyBetter.com. Bye.
KATY: See ya!
We hope you find the general information on biomechanics, alignment, and movement helpful, but it is not medical information and should not be used as such.
APRIL 1, 2016 NY TIMES “Exercise is not the path to strong bones”
*as reference for above: APRIL 22: NY TIMES (a clarification after uproar of her above piece) “A second look at a ‘Misconception’ of exercise and bones”
APRIL 20: NY Times Well Blog post: “Getting People to move More”
April 27: NY Times Well Blog post: “1 Minute of All-Out Exercise May Have Benefits of 45 Minutes of Moderate Exertion”
Beets Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BFuQzIAAEd5/?taken-by=nutritiousmovement&hl=en
Apples : https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/05/19/the-apple-industrys-strange-savior/
May 10: WNYC Radio: “One School’s Experiment with Outdoor Play”