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Jul 12, 2017

“You need to cross-train your balls, is basically what I’m saying.” Biomechanist Katy Bowman gets straight to the point in this week’s podcast. We interviewed Katy at Paleo (f)x Austin, where she’s a featured speaker on the concept of movement -- not to be confused with what we often refer to as “exercise.”

“There are more muscles than you’re working in the gym, and those muscles will go on to affect your health,” says Katy.

We’re big fans of her book, Move Your DNAwhich mentions the various casts we put on or around our bodies, from shoes to mattresses to underpants. So, in fairness to Katy, she didn’t lead with cross-training your balls. It was the first question we brought up.

Rather than focusing on the biomechanics of workouts, Katy’s expertise is in the total ecosystem of our movement. How we move, what we move, and when we move, during the full 24 hours of our day. Through this lens, she evaluates health on a cell-by-cell basis, rather than looking just at the muscles developed in the gym.

“The difference between [a person who works out] and a couch-potato is like 4% in terms of total movement. So we’re not moving well for health, because we’re teaching to the test. We’ve set up the variables that we think will correspond to better health… You end up getting people who are fit, but unwell, and they’re extremely confused.”

Unlike old-school fitness models where athletes are encouraged to basically be sedentary when they’re not working out, Katy emphasizes that the real thing our body trains around will be whatever we spend the most time doing (or not doing). Those of us who work office jobs are usually training our bodies to sit. Then maybe we hit the gym after work. Then we go home and train our bodies to sleep on a soft mattress. So we spend billions of dollars trying to perfect that one hour of exercise we get during the day.

Listen in as Katy graciously points out the way we’re screwing up our lives every day, and what tiny and iterative lifestyle changes will improve us in our cells and beyond.