It’s MAILBAG TIME! Your questions are answered by Katy and Dani in this episode. Rhythms and movement, bone shapes, kid feet and pelvis tucking. Woot!
DANI: (Makes noise)
KATY: Are you cutting paper... sounds like you were ... you're just all like shooooo
DANI: I'm ripping paper (laughs)!! Oh my gosh.
KATY: Welcome to the Katy Says podcast where Dani Hemmat, that's you,
DANI: That's me!
KATY: and Katy Bowman, that's me, talk about movement: the tiny details, the larger issues and why Movement Matters. I'm Katy Bowman, biomechanist, also known as K-Bow.
KATY: Did I tell you that for Christmas I got an embroidered belt with K-Bow on the back of it
KATY: from our friend Debbie, at Positively Aligned.
DANI: That is awesome.
KATY: I should take a picture. It's really, it the old chain stitch like on the back of the western...
DANI: Ooh. That's pretty awesome.
KATY: and it's California poppies around it for my California-ness.
KATY: It's beautiful. I should take a picture of it. It's spectacular. But anyway...
DANI: She's got about 8,000 pounds of thoughtfulness in her doesn't she?
KATY: Yeah, and also about 10,000 pounds of DIY. She does everything herself. It's like, she made this podcast by hand. She just wove it together, like, with post-it notes.
DANI: She eats Pinterest for breakfast.
KATY: Exactly! Anyway, back to what I was saying! I am Katy Bowman, biomechanist and author of Move Your DNA. And you are who?
DANI: And I'm Dani Hemmat, without a belt, and I am a chronically curious movement teacher.
KATY: Old beltless Hemmat.
DANI: Yes. Long time no talk and what we should do is roll it out with MAILBAG!
KATY: We're gonna do mailbag.
DANI: Everybody loves the mailbag. Are you ready? Because really this is all on you. You have to answer all these. I just get to read them.
KATY: I am. Well, you think. You think. You have no idea, I could be throwing things back at you. But yes, I am ready for ... I was talking to a couple of people and they were like, "I love the mailbag!" and I was like, "Really?" So, yeah. So let's do some... you get to pick the questions. You don't know the power that you have. If anyone wants to know, you have to appeal, like attach, like, you're appealing to Dani
DANI: That's true.
KATY: As she opens the questions. So throw in some puns and you're for sure going to get in.
DANI: I'm pretty easy that way. All right, let's get going. This one is from Sarah, from Portland. Which... Portland! "I recently met a woman who, upon learning that I was studying restorative exercise, told me that she has always been inflexible. Even as a child when other kids were measuring their sit and stretch, she would be in tears trying to get into an upright sitting position. So it made me wonder. How much can our potential range of flexibility be influenced by genetics or maybe womb environment?" I'm gonna read all of these, ok? There's tons, because it's kind of a big question. "Is it possible that the length and/or geometry of your bones can cause significant limitations to a person's range of motion or are most of the body parts involved in natural movements like squatting and hanging, malleable to a point where one could expect to eventually accomplish those types of movements fully with the right changes to lifestyle and movement habits and barring any barriers such as traumas or rare deformities?"
KATY: Well, ok, that's only two questions. So that... and the answer to both of them is, "I don't know." So this is gonna be an easy question for me. I do think, I mean, it's kind of hard, you know, that word "always", "I've always been". You are going to begin perceiving how you always have been at a particular age as probably after a very robust developmental phase, right? Like, you're not gonna be on ..."it's been like this since like the first day I was born" you know? I mean you don't know your hamstring mob... you're not aware of your hamstring mobility probably until a couple of years in. And there can be a lot of environmental impacts, you know, like ... this is like a big, a tangent. But I once read a thing, like, and I probably have said this before, have I said this, "If you're gonna go to Peru, do not even think about going less than 30 days but if you are gonna go less than 30 days..." like, "Do not even think about going less than 2 weeks..."
DANI: Oh my gosh...
KATY: "Do not even think about going less than 3 days..." and then it would like put like the things that you were supposed to do so, like, you could say that, like, what's the most important or influential developmental phase? It's probably going to be equally all of them. It just depends on where you're going to look. So what happens in those first few years before you're perceiving how you've always been, I would say is also impacting you tremendously.
KATY: And then, of course, I do think that you're coming with, uh... I mean you could be having range of motion issues that are absolutely influenced by your in-utero environment, whatever that is. Whether it's mechanical or also nutritional. I mean, like, we are... like our behaviors right now as humans are totally outlying behaviors compared to all other humans, you know, on a particular timeline. So we're just dealing with a bunch of stuff that we don't know anything about. So I would say that sure, I only have, like as far as seeing someone every single day and monitoring their development, I only have my kids...
KATY: ...to monitor. And I can, my, one of my children has way less hamstring mobility than my other child. But they also have extremely different positional habits. And so I don't know which one came first. Was it their immobility that they came out, I mean, because
KATY: I measured their joint range of motion and their joint ranges of motion seemed to be about the same but they have preferences with the way that they take, that they use their body. And I don't know how much of how they use their body is mimicry, you know, like if my son is really having similar tension patterns to my husband, is it because they are standing similarly. Like, how much do anthropometric dimensions influence particular things? That all being said, I think that you wouldn't automatically be, you know, like in a natural environment, be getting humans that were incapable of physical feats that kind of seems like sort of baseline. Like not having enough mobility to drop into a squat, even though you've perceived like you've always been very very tight, I don't... it'd be my opinion that I don't think that you would have humans coming out that couldn't, like, go to the bathroom in a natural voiding position that would be more suited for a chair.
KATY: You know, at this scale. So I think it can be a little bit of all those things. Now the second part of the question would be, I'm gonna try to recall it in a simple form. So her other question was, "Are the body parts..." I mean she's saying are the body parts involved in natural movement malleable? I mean, all your body parts are malleable. What makes the effects though, that you see, the adaptations, have everything to do with frequency and abundance of movement. And I've been on Instagram a lot this morning, responding. I don't always have a lot of time to respond but because we're in April right now, I'm not sure when this podcast will go out...
KATY: I'm doing a lot of foot, I'm doing a lot on the feet. I just love feet. People love feet. They're like, "I can really" like ... everyone's feet are like unchartered territory so it's like a whole new world in their shoes, so like there's a lot of interest, more so than feet, like, then like squats. I don't get a lot of shoulder questions like I do get shoes, and feet, and texture, and terrain...
DANI: Oh that's awesome.
KATY: Yeah, so I've been answering a lot of questions. And you know people keep saying things like, "I get adequate movement." And I was like, your understanding of what adequate movement is is different than maybe what my understanding of what adequate movement is. Like we define, "I'm getting plenty of exercise", "I'm getting plenty of movement" and these ideas of what constitutes enough, like you should be adapting to, um, I think might be skewed because of our understanding of movement entirely as exercise. So if you do something for like an hour or two hours a day, like that's plenty or a lot to you. But if you don't recognize that the two hours of movement is also 22 hours of not movement ...
KATY: ... then the math changes a little bit. So, I think the bigger question, maybe, I'm gonna assume, is, "Am I just so tight, you know, genetically, or so early on established that these movements will never be available to me?" And that could be the case but the way that I frame it is, what is available to you is so great that I don't think you have to worry about the end goals of like "When will I be able to walk 40 miles?" Or, "When will I be able to ..." Whatever big thing that you have in your mind that you feel your body is really entirely unsuited for, in a permanent way, then just scale back what you're shooting for and ramp up how much movements and the breadth of movements that you're doing to try to accomplish that and see if you can't make headway that way. Because I think our minds probably limit our progress more so than our bodies do.
KATY: And so, if you can just, if you feel, like, that your mind, that this understanding of, "I've always been tight, I'm never going to be able to...", with mobility it's kind of interesting, because I think this is one of the, we talked about this on a couple shows ago which is, when you set up the goal to be touching your toes, you know, where the goal is the the mobility itself, rather than a larger feat, if you will. Or referring back to looking at how your overall health is doing, then when we can't do it and we just can't, keep seeing the thing that we can't do, it kind of prevents us from approaching, from trying different approaches, right? "I've done, I do this hamstring stretch every day for 30 minutes." Like, well, but the hamstring stretch is one of seven hundred recommendations. How often are you approaching your hamstring length through hiking 27 miles or, you know, there are...
KATY: There are so many other, like they're all feeding into each other. So... I guess that would be my overall, those are my overall thoughts when I hear a question like this. But I do think that you can have a structure that, right now, I think a lot of us, our structure is unsuited for and has been unsuited for a particular type... like I'm unsuited for a marathon right now. And I've been unsuited for a marathon almost every single day of my life. But is that, it's just because I grew up in a different place where I was surrounded by people that ran long distance and was at a particular altitude, I would be better suited for it.
KATY: So I think that there are a lot of natural movements. Again, we've talked about natural movements being something that perhaps there's a range of what movements, through like, your different phases of life, like what movements are available and should be available to you. If you can just, if you can find like what you feel like you might be suited for. Look at the things you feel entirely unsuited for and scale back, you know, like your goal a little bit. Like is there a portion of that big thing that you want to do that you could approach and then increase the frequency and the breadth of how you're trying to get there, I think that you would feel more successful and thus end up moving more.
DANI: Yes. And your talking about the word "always" brought to mind a quote that I heard a few months ago and I really like. And it was: "Argue for your limitations and you get to keep them." When you're using, when you're coming from that approach of always, always, always...
DANI: Well, I guess that's, that's what it's gonna be.
KATY: Well and I think that there's definitely an element of that, like in all of us, for different things. But then there's also like the very, it's a good question to ask too. "Is there a point at which..."
KATY: "Is this completely a futile path?" And so, my biggest answer is, "Nobody knows."
KATY: I mean if you put an artificial hip in there, then you can test the range of motion of that hip. Then you know what's possible and what's not possible. But the fact of the matter is that, we have very little data and understanding about this type of movement that we're talking about and how to, and what happens to a body because of the culture that it's immersed in. We're at, like, day one of what could be hundreds of years of investigation if we're lucky. So it's all available right now. So good questions and then just watch, you know, your ... I have to personally watch when questions like this are for me desiring to actually know and also as mechanisms for me to not take action. So you just have to know yourself well enough to know, "Why am I asking this question?" "Why am I..." and this is not anything about Sarah from Portland. I thought it was cute - why did you laugh at Portland? What's up with Portland.
DANI: Portland. You're going to Portland.
KATY: So Sarah maybe we'll see you there. ... that oftentimes I find question asking, including doing my work of investigation, to simply be my mechanism of staying sedentary. Like it's so ingrained in me that I don't see that as my justification of not moving. I'll be like I have to know...
DANI: Wow. That's crazy.
KATY: Yeah. And I explain that in Movement Matters a few times. I recognized that my inquisitive mind, you could also see that as my most ingrained habit for not taking care of myself. Meaning, I've outsourced my movement, etc., so I could do my, what I'm perceiving is my important job of finding out the facts. And so, I've had to stop. Like part of this big retreat that I'm doing, which we'll talk about, you know, like from social media and you know even book writing, which I swear, I'm really trying to do is to look smack in the face my outsourcing privilege.
DANI: That's awesome. Did you ever have a substitute teacher in elementary school and the whole class would ask her totally inane questions just to keep from doing the work that the real teacher had left for them? They would just ask, I mean our whole class was in on it and it reminds me of you, you know, asking questions to sit still. We didn't want to do the work that we were supposed to do we'd just ask her really inane questions and keep her tied up in knots with that.
KATY: Well there's definitely...
DANI: Sorry Mrs. Miller!
KATY: No, and my kids will do that to keep from going to bed, "Oh, oh, I just... can you explain.." and they're just...
DANI: I like how you're doing a Dian Fossey on your kids, you know.
KATY: Totally doing it. But to do Dian Fossey on yourself, that's the hardest part.
KATY: I was like, I get it.
DANI: So this one is from Rich from New Zealand.
KATY: Hi Rich!
DANI: Hi Rich! I see you. "Hi Katy, love your work. Over the years I've noticed some people have been taught in Pilates to posteriorly tuck their pelvis when doing some floor exercises." And then he refers to an article from a gymnastics bodies coach, "Where the coach explains that doing a plank should be done by tucking the pelvis. What are your thoughts on when this might be appropriate if at all, to maintain strength and stability in the spine."
KATY: Ugh. That's a hard question. One of the reasons I'm finding... and you know in a different time I think I would have spat out an answer for this...
DANI: Don't do that. That's gross.
KATY: Blurted out an answer. Spat! Now my question is, "What are you doing a plank for?" Like what's the purpose of a plank? So I guess anytime I get a question about any exercise, the answer has to revert back to, "Why are YOU personally doing the exercise?" Because I would argue that not everyone is doing quote a plank for the same reason. I will say that, you know, were all your hinges fairly loose and mobile, when you would do a plank, the weight of the pelvis would relax, would relax it so that it would tuck. That you would experience, you know, to maintain quote a neutral pelvis in a plank position would require that you actively anteriorly tilt so that you are firing that, um, firing those muscles be it like your erectors spinae or your quadratus lumborum or however else between your pelvis and your thighs, you know, your hip flexors, so that you basically maintain a standing position but in a plank position. In which case, if you do that, you would be training a particular tension down your lower back. So that, this is why I'm trying to shift out of the exercise paradigm altogether. Because I think what's happened is it's our sedentary nature to keep refer... to try to find the best optimal static positioning for every single position. Right? So like, the idea of alignment that most people have grasped is not the best way to move through life, including terrain. Or not necessarily the best way but what are the outcomes that come from how you are moving all the time through all the terrain considering all the variables, but what's the best way to position my body for this exercise, rather than, like you have to
KATY: Are you cutting paper? You're just like all shhhoooo
DANI: I'm just lifting paper. Oh gosh.
KATY: Just cutting out shapes over there.
DANI: I'm making paper chains.
KATY: Wow. She's like, "I'm gonna multi-task." That, again, that question just refers back to, like the gymnastics body coach might have a very specific reason of why they want the pelvis in this particular reason because it's going to refer back later to some gymnastics feat. That if you are to do it requires this position.
DANI; Mm. Makes sense.
KATY: Where oftentimes, like, I will use, not "the" plank but a similar type of exercise to see if people can get up off of the floor without tensing their lower back. If they're able to use other muscle groups in which case I would say your lower back should not change positions. So, I think the answer is that it all depends on what that exercise is ultimately being used for and what type of larger system and end goals it's integrating into. And that's where we are lost right now, is many of us are exercising right now simply for the sake of exercising and we're not relating it back to what our larger objectives are about how we want our body to be now in the future. So that lack of knowing why we're moving, besides the fact that other people have told us that we have to, I think that's the issue.
KATY; In my next book, that I actually pushed back another year to rest...
KATY: Is really to say you know what, your movement program starts with a list of reasons why you are doing it. Because without that, it's very difficult to answer any of these questions because the reason you move is up to you. You get to pick. But if you haven't picked yet, then you could be following a movement program that isn't taking you to where you want to be going. So that's gonna be my recommendations for the future. But you have to wait a while.
DANI: That's ok. We're cool with waiting.
KATY: We're ok.
DANI: We're gonna see.
KATY: Thanks, Rich and I'm coming to New Zealand and I'll see you soon.
DANI: Oh. Lucky you! Ok. This one, this is like guy day at the mailbag.
KATY: There's like, there's like two guys in it. We're like it's guy day!
DANI: It's guy day.
KATY: There's not 40 questions.
DANI: We don't get many guy questions. All right. I love this question. You may not even answer this but I don't care because I just want to say it. It's awesome. So Jim asks, "Could you please tie movement to rhythm in the body? As we move, let's say walking, we create a rhythmic movement and it seems to help regulate emotions and possibly impact the natural rhythms of the body. One such example could be circadian rhythms. Tai Chi, Yoga Dance, etc., seem to have a regulating effect on the deeper rhythms in the body. Do you see movement in general as possibly impacting the mini-rhythms in our bodies?" And ... GO.
KATY: Yes. I mean. I do. I mean like, I think probably the most general way that I've talked about this, again, usually it reverts back to I think it's in one of my parenting course, not a parenting course, but a little baby kid movement which is, I just think of, the example that I flesh out a couple times is you have this baby and it's crying and we all kind of culturally understand that when you have a baby that's you know melting down or whatever, that you pick it up and you bounce it right? And you're trying to create a pleasing rhythm. So like, you're standing there, it's 1 in the morning and you're like bouncing the baby, bouncing... or...you get in the car, right? To create like a high-frequency movement. Or you put it in a chair that swings it. Or you put it in a vibrating chair that vibrates it. And you could say that it's a lot of things but you could also say in all those scenarios you are putting movement into a still child. A child that has, like in the same way that you would be putting food into a child that was hungry, you took a child that was perhaps, we could say - it's hard to say if it's under moved or not relative though to all humans really before it, it's significantly under moved. Like we live in the equivalent right now of a movement drought. Right? If we were used to getting movement in the same way that you and I are used to getting water, imagine the discomfort you would feel if someone removed food or water from you. That's what we've done with movement from our own bodies. So, we put in movement. But then I'll say, like, you know, if you had just carried that baby and that baby had been with you moving for seven or eight hours because you were moving from point a to point b, that there would have been, a soothing, like it's kind of hard... We call it soothing and so much of it is about the words and we say what is happening. We think that I'm bouncing to soothe the baby, but if you feed the baby are you really soothing the baby or are you just meeting its basic needs.
KATY: Like you're squelching its signal. So I would say maybe we don't think about that movement soothes the baby as much that baby was starving for movement and we just fed it in that moment when the signals were disrupting its ability to carry on and it was letting us know like, "I can't carry on right now. I need some input here." And so
KATY: And so like we have a circadian rhythm. How much of like the problems we have sleeping or what not come from the fact that we ourselves are in a movement drought. Like how is our hunger regulated by how much we move or don't move? And so like, when I think of rhythms, I'm gonna think of like, and this might be different than how Jim is thinking about it but I think about our emotions and the distribution of our behaviors as having rhythms to it, whether it's seasonal, whether it's over the period of a day. So I think so much of what we're talking about, what I talk about, is how movement or lack thereof... the disruption of rhythms or you know feeling or whatever emotions that we have before we start trying to figure out what the problem is we can look at like, Oh. Like the big elephant is in the room is again, like we said, we're in the equivalent of a drought as far as movement goes. So it's very hard, you have delineate between what is, um, a problem (I'm doing air quotes if you can't hear it in my voice) "a problem" and what is an expected symptom from a drought. So then you have to go back and look, "What does water do? Would I expect to wake up in the middle of the night and want a drink of water when I'm thirsty." And instead of going, "My kid has a problem sleeping." It's like, well, maybe. Would we call that the problem or would we call these other things the issues? So it's hard to say what it is but I'm saying we have to start with asking those questions first before we can go on to the next step. So, Jim, yes, I would say that movement is, how could you separate rhythm from movement? You know what I mean? It's the rhythm of life.
DANI: Yeah. That was an awesome answer. I'm gonna drop the mic for you and let's just stop.
KATY: Come on!
DANI: Boom. Ok. Speaking of needing movement input and needing to be soothed with movement, here's a travel question from Emily and Emily writes ... oh and it's to both of us, oh, look at that, thank you, Emily.
KATY: She knows. Emily knows how to get in.
DANI: All right Emily. "Hi, Katy and Dani. I have a question about travel. I like to travel but don't enjoy flying because I can't stand sitting still and feeling confined for hours. I'm wondering how the two of you approach air travel. Do you book end your travel time with plenty of movement to offset the lack of movement that comes with being on an airplane or do you have any other tricks that you can share?"
KATY: You wanna do yours first? Do you travel? Do you fly a lot?
DANI: Yes. Well, not tons. Not as much as you do, but enough. And usually longer trips like, you know, over continents and stuff like that. And I always try and start the morning no matter how early the flight is with a big walk if I can do it. And then I never, I never ever ever ever ever ever preboard. I think that's like the cruelest joke ...
DANI: ...to humans ever is preboarding.
KATY: Especially if you have young children.
DANI: Pre Boarding is not a privilege people. It's not. It's a trap ok?
KATY: Especially if you have young kids. It's like, "Put your young kids on the plane 30 minutes before." As an extension to you... as a grace to you.
DANI: Yeah. They do it for you but don't buy into it. So I don't pre board and I never sit at the airport.
DANI: There's so many chairs and I'm either walking or stretching on the floor. But I never am sitting in one of those chairs because... oh and I bring usually a, like a yoga tune up ball or something in my bag.
KATY: Mm-hmm. Yep. Very similar you and I.
DANI: Well but, what about you.
KATY: Well I travel a lot as most of you know. And you can see a lot of these travel tips, I've put them on Instagram because it's easy for me to snap a picture it's like, "here's how I'm coping with it right now." But very similar. We're often traveling with kids, so, I mean, we select our, I mean not everyone can... a lot of times we're bound by, you know, finding the cheapest air fare.
KATY: But like we will tend to go for if it's possible a flight time that allows us a hiking bout before or some movement in the morning. Even things like we will wake up earlier just to go on a walk, like you said, or just to take a walk. Um, we will prioritize the day of travel - like you would never find us doing a sedentary activity the entire day that we travel. It's always... and it's interesting because you actually move a lot on a plane. There's that vibration all the time which...
DANI: Oh yeah.
KATY: ...we were just talking about it being soothing on one case. I find it aggravating after 5 or 7 hours. And a really fast way to ground, if it's possible, it's just a little bit of a barefoot hike afterward as well too. I find that that dissipates, like kind of like you get off a ship and you're rocking and rolling...
KATY: ...even though it's solid ground. I find myself still feeling like I've been on a plane especially when I've been on one for a long period of time. So lots of walking and outdoor activities as much as possible just to get, like, the fresh air, sandwiched before and after flights. If we go to the airport, a lot of the airports have playgrounds. You just have to google them. Like they have one room and so we always go there. We never sit at an airport. Ever. Ever. Ever. And if I'm there with extra time, I walk the entire time. Especially if I'm there by myself. I'll walk two miles.
KATY: If I have 45 minutes you would see me walking for 43 minutes and then running to sprint. Never preboard. Yeah, preboarding that's just...that's a myth. Pre Boarding doesn't exist. It's just pre-sitting. It's extra sitting. Would anyone like to extra sit is the question.
DANI: [laughs] If you have squirmy children would you like them to extra sit for an extra 30 minutes? You're welcome aboard.
KATY: Yeah, welcome aboard.
DANI: Oh and raising hands. You taught me that.
KATY: Yeah, putting your arms up.
DANI: So on my last flight like a chimpanzee.
KATY: Moving on the flight! Well, it's funny when you sit on the plane and you're the only one with their arms over their heads. So like I often, I often get up. I'm often, you know, I use my own seat. I'm always respectful of other people. I mean, I'm certainly not going to let a fear of other people feeling uncomfortable because I'm moving around keep me from moving but neither am I doing a hamstring stretch on the back of their chair.
KATY: "Can I put my foot on your seat?" I'm not doing that. You know, walking, trips to the bathroom. Sometimes just getting out standing in the aisle doing calf raises, top of the foot stretch. My daughter handed me, she packed, my four-year-old, packed a yoga tune up ball in her backpack...
DANI: That's awesome.
KATY: I said, "my feet are aching". She's like, "I got a yoga tune up ball" Great, roll it around. You can slip one under one butt cheek. Right.
KATY: It's that same thing. Some movements are small. Traveling with a yoga tune up ball is actually pretty great. Because you can just put it behind one shoulder and lean back into your own seat and do really small movements. And so if you approach it that way, you can really stay moving the entire time. So yeah.
DANI: It's easier to find than a Melt Ball. Because I used to bring those but then I'd lose them. And they're real tiny.
KATY: They're rolling down the aisle.
DANI: Yeah, I'd have to go four to eight rows up and "have you seen a little blue ball?" But the yoga tune-ups a little easier.
KATY: You could crawl down the aisle. Crawl down on your hands and knees. Like I don't suggest doing your MovNat routine like down the center. You're not doing anything big. It's not invasive. But you know, use your space. Like we are definitely we definitely look like we're in an exercise class when we're in the airport itself. Like not only are we not mov...we're doing our stretches, we're doing our squats. We always, if we're there for a long time and we're eating, we're always on the floor. I've had other people say "I've seen your family at an airport. You stand out." If you go to an airport you see that everyone is just like, they're just sitting. They're sitting in their chairs on their phones before they get on the plane on their phones. And it's just like, you know, sitting for five or, I gotta go to Europe, it's gonna be a lot of flying this summer. But the key is to look to where you don't have to sit and make sure... That's the key to all of this. Like, how do I move more in my life? It's look to the areas that don't require you be still and start moving there before you start stressing about the parts where you can't move as easily.
DANI: More restrictive.
DANI: All right. Hopefully that helped Emily. Ok, this is from Jennifer.
KATY: Hi Jennifer.
DANI: Hi Jennifer. We see you too. I'm interested in this because I was just walking behind a little girl that was doing this in the store this morning. She writes, "Aside from negative heel or flat shoes, what can I do for my 10-year old that toe walks? I try to encourage her to do the calf stretch and she had trouble keeping her balance. She never complains about tightness but I can see it's hard for her to lower her heels. She currently wears standard tennis shoes that I believe squish her toes, especially the pinky, but she claims it's ok. She has some sensory issues so transitioning to a wider toe box shoe has been difficult because other things she seems not to like about the shoe. We walked just over a mile to school most days - yay - when the weather and attitudes permit. However it's mostly concrete. Since discovering your methods, I asked her to walk off the sidewalk as much as she can." What a cool mom. She says she really wants her daughter to put her best foot forward.
KATY: Oh. Like all of us. Like every parent.
DANI: I know.
KATY: It's interesting. Again, I feel like I could just give up the podcast for Instagram because I cover a lot of this stuff on there regularly. So the thing that I just posted, I kid you not, half an hour before we hopped on, was a section, I actually just took a picture of a sidebar Kids, Texture and Toe Walking from Whole Body Barefoot.
DANI: Oh my gosh.
KATY: I have addressed so much within the actually books that I write. Like if you've only listened to the podcast, consider getting the books and there's audio books for many of them so if you're a listener, like, "I don't like to read." It doesn't matter. You can listen to me read the books to you. Which would be great except my strange voice. But this sidebar is about research that they were doing where they took toe walking children and they had them walk barefoot over different surfaces. Like gravel, carpet, and then the laboratory floor. They have since, this was in 2014, I just pulled up, man it's probably still on my computer. They pulled up the research that they expanded upon this from 2016. It's currently linked in my Instagram bio but it'll be gone by this time so, you can see the picture of it though so you can go look it up yourself. They found that when kids walked barefoot over texture, right? So now this is not in a shoe, this is not about a minimal shoe. I've also talked about vitamin texture the last couple of days because, again, this is National Foot Health Awareness Month. It's not enough to have a flexible sole. You have to have something that the foot can flex around. Which means that flat level hard can still mean movement deprivation for the joints within the foot. So when they put these barefoot kids on these textures, the heel height of the toe walkers decreased. So like, dropped down. So that's where they were beginning to form the hypothesis that exposing feet to texture could be a treatment for idiopathic toe walking. So I would say, given that, and would be like you've got the minimal shoes which is great. I mean, you've got ... you're walking to school with your kid. I mean that's like, that's amazing.
DANI: Yes pretty awesome.
KATY: That's a hurdle that a lot of people are like, "How can I do this?" So that's that's wonderful. The next thing would be to, if you wanted to start, it depends on how you perceive simple, I would add ... Like doing a calf stretch - kids doing corrective exercises, I've written about it. You can read about it on my blog. I'm not sure if that's the best way to go, like, medicalizing cultural immobility. Right?
KATY: Like the fact that we just have sedentary habits. I don't know if making it a medical issue, like now we need to do our therapy exercises, is going to be helpful in the long run. Rather, I just see it as family choices of like, "you know what, we are all gonna hike this hill." Your calf stretch, if you've read Move Your DNA, calf stretch is just adding hills, right? It's like trying to infuse your flat level life with a little bit of hillage to kind of prepare those body parts. So, going up hills would be a more natural non-therapeutic, non-medical, medicine type treatment. Like this is just what's gonna. Your calves are gonna be called to this task and that's going to involve changing how they, changing their resting state. Changing the tissue structure. Changing... your malleable. You're changing it.
KATY: But you could also make a fun project like a texture mat. A pebble mat, you know. Or create a space in your backyard where you can walk over rocks. So it could be that she just needs more foot mobility over all and then that would be a way to start getting it. But again, it's always best done not with like, "Hey you know, you toe walker go do this therapy or exercise." It's more like, "This is what we're all doing!" Like, I'm creating this fun thing. Like everyone has to walk over the texture mat, like, to get dessert tonight. You know, it's just like, you're making it part of the culture of your family...
KATY: ...rather than, rather than what you do because something's wrong with you.
KATY: I don't think there's anything wrong with you. Like, you being dehydrated in a movement drought is not like, oh there's something wrong with you, you're dehydrated. Understand the context. So I'm just much more for that perspective over the last few years. So that's what I would offer. Texture. Vitamin Texture.
DANI: Vitamin Texture. Awesome. Well, that's enough questions for now. You did a good job. Before we go, there are some changes happening. We are always moving. Trying our best to move a lot and right now that means into different projects and adventures. You want to tell them what's going on?
KATY: Yeah. I will explain it the best that we can right now. Like we said, we're sort of transition. As I mentioned before, I've been planning on taking a longer social media break for very specific reason which we'll talk about probably in our next show. But, so I was gonna put the podcast on hiatus for a while but I find it valuable and I find audio to be a, it's like a... I understand that everyone is in transition, not everyone but many people listening to this are in transition from a sedentary culture to a moving culture. And we do need tools and we do need exercises. And that's my job and I enjoy doing that. So I'm really just looking for ways of doing that that not only nourish you all better and also nourish me better. Like a more sustainable model. So I wanted to keep the podcast and audio going but what I thought I would do... So you get a lot of the, I mean you see more questions. You filter out a lot of the questions. And of the percentage of questions that you get, how many would you say are directly answered by something in a book or ...
DANI: Oh gosh. Of the ones I don't do?
KATY: Of all of them that you get. Yeah.
DANI: Well probably 95%.
DANI: That's why we only answer 5% on Mailbag.
KATY: Yeah. So that's a big deal. Like to realize that there are so many people out there with questions and also so many people out there who haven't taken advantage of any of the resources that I've already put my time and labor into. So, I want you to have the information that you want. But I also want you to use the resources that I've already spent lots of time creating. That's the most sustainable model for me to continue to do what I'm doing. So I thought that I would create, for the rest of the year. Like we're almost at the midpoint. I'm like, such a leap-er ahead. 3/4 of the movie, I'm like, "Well that was a great movie." And my husband is like, "yeah, the movie is still on." I tend to jump to the end of something. But I see really this second half of the year, maybe a little bit longer, being me working with you through the books. So like that Katy Says would really be almost like a book club format. You certainly don't have to read all the books. Like if you're just a listener like, "I'm not reading books." That's fine. You will still be able to glean lots of information through it but I'm going to systematically work through my books and I'm having someone who had two things. One, she's a journalist and two, she's not in the same movement world as Dani and I are. When you're in the movement world, there's a lot of things that we take for granted.
KATY: That other people are like "but wait, I have this question." It would never occur to us because we're movement professionals. So I thought I would bring someone in who was like, as layman as you can ... like a lay person whose job it is to get to the bottom of ideas and have her basically drill me on different points in the books for your benefit, the listener, and you can read along. It'll definitely be, we'll give you ahead of time the order of the book and which sections of the book each podcast would refer to. So it's kind of like gonna be this extended, it's what I've always wanted, which was a dynamic book club, right?
KATY: I mean it's not an exchange. But you can certainly comment via social media. Although if I'm on break we'll have to think of another way for you to comment in. But yeah, I'm working on that for a while. And then Dani and I will still be doing, we'll still get together and do our regular mailbag podcast. It's what I want to do to set a platform. Because I figure we will be able to go deeper into topics once everyone is kind of up to speed on the the breadth of work that I've already put out there. I feel like that's the most... it's the most efficient way for me to continue doing what I'm doing, right? It's giving everyone the same baseline. So that's the plan. So we will be dropping more information once we have any details. It's in loose formation.
DANI: Yeah. We're wingin' it. It's being wung.
KATY: Per usual.
DANI: And also you have done a lot of interviews on other people's podcasts so for you keen listeners, I am in the process of gathering all of those interviews and podcasts and organizing them. That will be out shortly too. Whoo hoo.
KATY: You know what. I do probably five to one. For every one podcast that you and I do, I've done five other podcast episodes.
DANI: That's crazy man.
KATY: It's huge. And so chances are that there are, like if you are a listener and you enjoy that format of learning which I think is great. I've definitely... have you done more audio. Are you switching to audio? More podcasts, more audio books.
DANI: I'm doing a lot of audiobooks with my walk the year program. I'm going through books like candy, man. It's awesome.
KATY: Tell me, like, what would be your top three audio book recommendations? I just think it'd be so great to start recommending different audio books.
DANI: Oh yeah. I have them on my Instagram, I have them on my Instagram. Uh, The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho.
KATY: What's your Instagram.
DANI: Uh, what is my Instagram? Uh, @MoveYourBodyBetter?
KATY: So Alchemist by Paolo Coelho.
DANI: Yes, Alchemist was phenomenal.
KATY: Uh-huh. Yeah.
DANI: And, I'm currently reading or listening to The Shallows by Nicholas Carr. And that one it's about how the internet is ruining our brains.
KATY: Oh. I know.
DANI: And it is fascinating. Lots and lots of stuff in there.
KATY: iBrain is good too.
DANI: By Brain?
KATY: Along those same lines.
DANI: Oh yeah, that's on my list. That's on my wish list. Yep.
KATY: All right. Well, that's good. Ok.
DANI: Cool. Ok.
KATY: So, a couple more things, just like housekeeping. I will be taking a break from social media. We will be doing a full episode on that. That being said, I'm working to still like put out information. Just in, instead of doing it five times a day in a way that requires a passionate relationship with my smartphone, I'm trying to do it in a way that has a more, "I'm sitting down with my computer for three hours right now" and just doing one solid piece.
KATY: And put that out via a newsletter. So that, not only am I not attached to my phone, but other people don't feel like they have to be to be in a relationship with this information.
DANI: That's cool.
KATY: So that's the change I'm making. So if you are not, if you haven't signed up for my newsletter, go to NutritiousMovement.com and it's right on the front, you can sign up for it. We don't spam or do anything but I will be telling you this until I take my break which is, if you want that kind of hunk of information when I go on break I will go back to how I used to work 7 or 8 years ago before social media, which was just writing kind of one meaty piece monthly rather than feeling like I had to drop 10 pieces of education every single day. So sign up for that and then, oh. And then also, Dani was talking about compiling stuff. We'll be disseminating it that way. So we will have a "here's the podcast of the week and here's like the bullet points of that" and it's on someone else's podcast but at least you can scan it to go "I wanted to know about that."
KATY: I have just created so much information, most of it unconsumed by people interested in consuming this information that we're just trying to streamline it to make it easier for you to find what you're looking for. So look for that. Yeah, go looking for it.
DANI: Sounds like fun. Kind of looking forward to it. Change is fun.
KATY: It is fun.
KATY: It's movement.
DANI: It is movement. Speaking of movement, what are you up to? What's the schedule like lately?
KATY: Well I had to cancel Portland so I've since rescheduled Portland so when will this come out.
DANI: This will come out on the 25th.
KATY: Ok, so I'll be in Portland. I'm in Portland right now. Look at that!
DANI: Whoo hoo. Stop listening and go see Katy now.
KATY: Exactly. I'll be at Barnes and Noble and you can go find that on the Appearances page on the Nutritious Movement website for details. So I'll be in Portland and what month is this? This is April.
KATY: April. So April I go to Austin, Texas. In May I'm speaking at PaleoFX and probably one other signing. So details on that, and that's, like the 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd around there.
DANI: Is that on your appearances page?
KATY: Yeah, everything is listed there. And then I will be speaking at the Ancestral Health Symposium in Seattle this year. Close for me. And that's in September.
DANI: Oh. Cool!
KATY: And then, as I mentioned before, I will be at the Ancestral Health Symposium New Zealand in October.
KATY: So talk about long flight.
KATY: I will not be pre-boarding for that at all.
DANI: No but it'll be totally worth it.
KATY: Yes. It'll be worth it. So that's it.
DANI: All right well...
KATY: That's the happs.
DANI: Thanks everyone for listening. For more information, links, and online exercise classes and to sign up for the newsletter you can find Katy Bowman at NutritiousMovement.com and you can find more from me, Dani Hemmat, at MoveYourBodyBetter.com.
VOICE OVER: Hopefully you find the general information in this podcast informative and helpful. But it is not intended to replace medical advice and should not be used as such.