I’m reading a book that I think should be required reading for every human being on the planet and it’s called “Built to Move: The Ten Essential Habits to Help You Move Freely and Live Fully” by Kelly and Juliet Starrett. There was quite a buzz in the fitness industry about this book and I was anxiously waiting for my copy to arrive. Kelly Starrett is a physiotherapist and is a cofounder, along with his wife Juliet, of the fitness website the Ready State https://thereadystate.com/.
Here’s the link to the Built to Move page on the website.
The main theme of this book is that humans are built to move and there are certain types of movements that we should be doing on a daily basis if we want to move well and keep moving well as we age. The book is divided into 10 chapters called “Vital Signs” and each contains a movement test(s) and physical movement practices to help you move and feel better. The movement practices could include a series of mobilizations, a strategy to help you sleep or eat better or a combination of activities. The 10 Vital Signs are foundational practices – they are important for everyone who has a body (everybody), not just athletes. The Vital Signs include sleeping, squatting, hip extension, breathing well, and building a movement-rich environment.
Despite its title, this is not an exercise book. It presents movement based activities that we should be incorporating into our daily lives and it also is full of information about how to make this happen. There is is no shame—you start where you need to and progress at your own pace. They also acknowledge that some days are busier than others and frequently say “Anything is better than nothing!” in terms of movement. The relevant scientific research is included in the text, along with full citations at the end, in a way that is accessible for regular people. It’s not too scienctific! Personally, I’ve been running, lifting weights at the gym, hiking and kayaking for a long time and this book has helped me uncover areas where I have work to do. One of the best parts is that it also tells me exactly what I need to do to improve and how to fit that into my day.
As musicians, every sound we make on our instruments is a result of movement somewhere. Music making is a full body activity, it’s not just our hands and faces as flutists. If you feel better and move better in your body alone, then it logically follows that you should feel better when you’re singing or playing as well. Reading this book and putting it into practice in your life could potentially help with so many areas. I give this book 5 stars, or as my 15-year old daughter says, “I highly recommend.”