Tools of the Healthier Living Trade

Let's say that if you want the most ideal health, you might be best served by undergoing a lengthy (read: years) conditioning program in the woods and then be released permanently into nature. But you're not going to do that. And neither am I.

How about we work on a Plan B?

Plan B might require that you spend a lot of time in nature to avail yourself of things you can never have in a human-made environment such as uneven, unpaved surfaces. In my opinion, Plan B also requires replicating some elements of how you'd live out there in the wilds. Here I provide a few of the essential house tools that have been part of my family's effort to be and stay healthier longer.

 

1. A low table with cushions.

 Is it just me or does living with a person under the age of 5 automatically mean the floor is perpetually trashed?

Is it just me or does living with a person under the age of 5 automatically mean the floor is perpetually trashed?

While we sometimes stand around to eat or sit on the floor of the deck out back for most meals you'll find my family here. After 30-some (or 40-some, in the case of my man) years of accomplished chair sitting, this is proving to be a great transition for us. Plus, it has meant the wee one has a surface that is perfect standing height for him on which to munch on bok choy stems, draw pictures of his uncle's truck, cut construction paper into impossibly small pieces and mix Playdough until it's all a pukey green-brown color.

 

2. A squat platform for the toilet.

 I love everything about this photo.

I love everything about this photo.

We use a Squatty Potty, but you could just as easily pile up some books (maybe ones you are done reading, yeah?) or build yourself a platform. The kiddo is now comfortable standing on and squatting over the toilet to eliminate, but the adults in this house don't really have that range of motion comfortably available to us. But an unloaded (pun sorta intended) squat is great prep for a weight-bearing squat. Plus, this really is the position your body is meant to be in while hitting up the loo.

 

3. Something to hang on.

 Easy to hang, inexpensive and adjustable.

Easy to hang, inexpensive and adjustable.

My family climbs and hangs from trees regularly. But we live in the urban jungle, which means that getting to a suitable climbing tree is at least a half mile walk. Having this adjustable trapeze bar/rings combo hanging in the doorway between the dining and living rooms means that we can more regularly work on that upper body strength-to-weight ratio and get the arms (and shoulders) into positions they don't normally find in our forward-focused, computer-driven world.


If you want the mobility to get you up and down from the ground throughout your entire life, or you want to eliminate more effectively, or you want to be able to squat again someday without pain, or you are ready to begin restoring full function to those shoulders of yours, there are a lot of simple ways to get started. But, just as in the case of home or car repair, you're more likely to get the job done if you already have the right tools on hand.

What's in your toolbox?