The interest in natural movement fitness has been growing over the last several years. At the moment, in terms of numbers of participants, facilities and qualified professionals, CrossFit is far more popular. But I predict that the gap between these two approaches to fitness will soon begin to close as more and more people appreciate the benefits of natural movement.
Here are five reasons why I predict natural movement fitness is going to become the new CrossFit:
1. NMF is the new CrossFit because… There is a growing appreciation of ancestral health
Ancestral health looks at the diet, movement, community and health-care practices of traditional cultures (either from historical records or from modern indigenous people) and uses them as a model for our health today. This is becoming an increasingly respected field. Ancestral health experts come from a range of scientific disciplines and use evidence-based research to inform their practices.
Natural movement fitness aligns with the ancestral health perspective because it looks at our movement holistically; what movements are required to navigate the world around us safely and effectively? What movements are missing from modern life? How is this preventing us from achieving optimum health?
2. NMF is the new CrossFit because… Natural movement fitness facilitates time spent outdoors
Related to the growing appreciation for the practices of our ancestors — we now have a better understanding of the benefits of spending time outdoors. The sun is no longer public enemy number one; it is a crucial source of vitamin D, and there is scientific proof of the mental-health benefits of spending time in forests (a practice called forest bathing, widely used in Japan).
CrossFit can be done outdoors, sure, but by giving you the physical skills to move through the natural environment with ease natural movement fitness makes you WANT to move outdoors.
3. NMF is the new CrossFit because… Natural movement fitness is movement in context
A lot of people struggle with the “why” of fitness. Why lift the same heavy object up, only to put it down again? Why pedal or row on a machine that takes you nowhere? And, as we all know from being children when we were forced to eat someone’s overcooked broccoli, being told “because it is good for you” just doesn’t cut it.
Natural movement fitness, however, has context at its core. All of the movements are linked to the way that humans navigate the world around us: Lifting awkward, asymmetrical objects, balancing on uneven surfaces, crawling under low obstacles.
The way to progress in natural movement fitness is to make the context as close as possible to the natural environment, rather than just lifting heavier things for the sake of lifting heavier things.
Check out this video of the Slovakian Climbing team training with a natural movement fitness approach:
4. NMF is the new crossfit because… Natural movement doesn’t stop when your workout ends.
The natural movement approach to fitness recognizes that our ancestors would not have “worked out” for an hour and then gone and sat at a desk all day. Humans evolved to move continuously, at a low intensity for the vast majority of our waking hours. There would have been short periods of high-intensity effort, which we can replicate during our workouts, but the same foundational natural movements (walking, sitting, getting up and down from the floor, lifting, carrying) can and should be continued outside of the gym for complete and lasting health. In this way, natural movement fitness is a more complete movement system.
5. NMF is the new CrossFit because… Natural movement fitness ticks many of the same boxes as CrossFit.
Some of the reasons that CrossFit has become so popular are:
- There is a clear progression and sense of achievement
- The workouts are intense but relatively short
- It can be done almost anywhere.
- The workouts are varied and challenging
These are all inherent parts of natural movement fitness!
Because of its popularity, CrossFit does have the benefit of a large community that is easy to access. But, thanks to the growing popularity of natural movement fitness, there are more and more natural movement fitness facilities and trainers appearing all over the place. And there are many facebook groups where it is possible to find an online community of passionate natural movers.
If you are the sort of person who likes to be ahead of the wave, then subscribe below to receive a FREE Natural Movement Fitness Starter Guide and begin your natural movement journey today.