We all need to move. But in this busy world, it doesn't seem easy to make time and space for movement. As our culture has become more sedentary, this topic is increasingly important for all humans--but especially for parents. Our children's brains develop through movement. My guest today is Katy Bowman of Nutritious Movement. Katy is sharing a bit about the history of movement and how changes in our society has shifted our natural tendencies. We are talking about her new book Grow Wild and how to get kids moving outside--even when there is a lot of whining!
Links to Katy Bowman
Our culture is becoming more and more sedentary. And like we don't even really recognize signals that we're sending to children to be still and quiet. And so, you know, imagine you're this emerging sort of computer trying to make sense of the world and, and everything goes, the world tells you to sit down, you know, sit down and watch this. That being able to be in a space still is a great asset for you to have. And at the same time, everything about your physiology and your brain is wired for, um, for learning for the world through movement. That that basically what you do as it will be called juveniles, hearing it is setting your adult body. So there's no go back.
Hi, this is Denaye. I'm the founder of Simple Families. Simple Families is an online community for parents who are seeking a simpler more intentional life. In this show, we focus on minimalism with kids, positive parenting, family wellness, and decreasing the mental load. My perspectives are based in my firsthand experience, raising kids, but also rooted in my PhD in child development. So you're going to hear conversations that are based in research, but more importantly, real life. Thanks for joining us. Hi there. And thanks so much for tuning in. I am thrilled to welcome Katy Bowman to the podcast today. I will say that I think Katy is probably the most requested of all guests that I've ever had. So I'm glad that we were able to finally connect and make this happen. Katy has written many books. She's a biomechanist who has taught us incredible things about movement, just general, everyday movement, not necessarily exercise.
And she has a brand new book that is perfect for families who are looking to get their kids outside more, get their kids moving more. Her new book is called, grow wild, the whole child, whole family nature, rich guide to moving more. In this episode, we're talking about all things movement related. Katy shares a little bit about the history of movement and how it's changed and a little bit about how she encourages families to think outside the box, by doing things like eliminating. Some of the furniture used for sitting in your house. Mostly Katy encourages us to put movement back into the non-exercise parts of our life. That's right. We don't need 30 minutes a day to move. We can be moving a little bit all day and incorporating movement into the things that we're already doing. Like parking the car in the furthest spot, away from the store, rather than the closest.
Not many of us have probably done that lately. This topic is so vital, not just for us as adults, but also for our kids. Our kids' brains develop through movement, but movement and childhood feels more complicated than ever before. So much of our children's lives are sedentary. Thanks again for tuning in, and I hope you enjoy my chat with Katy. You can find the links to get in touch with her and find out about her books in the show notes at simplefamilies.com/episode273. Hi, Katy. Welcome to Simple Families. Well thank you for having me. So I first read about you, Katy. When was the good housekeeping article? Was that like 2016?
Katy: Oh, you know, I have to adjust everything by how old my kids were at the time. So I feel like, yeah, I feel like it was 2015, 2016.
Denaye Barahona: Okay. So my husband sent me the article, which many people may have read because it went pretty viral, but you might've forgotten about, but the title is called. This family had traded mattresses for monk, for monkey bars. And it tells the story of how you live mostly without furniture in your house. Yeah. Yeah. So, um, I was fascinated by this and I very promptly tried to talk my husband into doing the same, which he laughed and said no way, but ever since then, I've been following you and I have been interested in your journey and how much amazing progress and information you've put out there for families who are interested in moving
Katy: Well, I'm, I'm just chuckling over here. Cause we were just at, um, an outdoor festival this weekend and at the, um, the guy that I had passed by was actually working at one of the boots. He's like, my wife has bought your book and he's like, now we're slipping on the floor. You know, it was funny, but he was just like, he's like, he's like, we're getting rid of our couch, you know? And I was up, it was funny cause I get that story a lot about oftentimes, uh, someone, you know, bringing one person, bringing the idea into the house and sort of like radically flipping the family a little bit. So I apologize to everyone out there whose idea it. Wasn't
Denaye Barahona: Sorry. Not sorry. Right, exactly. Yup. I'm so happy to have you on the podcast because I have a lot of questions. We talk a lot about movement on the podcast and my PhD is in child development and I am a huge proponent of outdoor play and movement. And I hear all the time from families that it's not easy to get their kids moving and it's not easy to get us as adults moving either. So tell me, how did you get into this area?
Katy: Well, I'm a biomechanist by education, which is a field of science that deals with, uh, how forces impact living system. So that seems pretty technical, but my own mechanisms often work in the realm of movements and it kind of go into, um, sports, you know, um, every professional team or professional athlete will work usually with the biomechanics at some point in their life to refine how their body works to improve their performance. But when I was in graduate school, I was like, this is all great. But I feel like this isn't a topic that should be applied only to add like elite athletes or even athletic performance or dance performance. That movement is so, um, fundamental to every human body. Like why don't we talk about how to optimize physical performance and just everyday tasks and it's the same, same formulas. It's the same science.
Katy: Um, but no one was really applying it in that way. It was always really to the niche of sports or dance or fitness. And so I, my, my first graduate school paper was on optimizing the vaginal delivery mechanics. You know, I was like, you can pull the parts involved in picking a baseball and you just look at different parts and the process you want them to be able to do. And so, like I sort of, I imagine I was kind of radical for my department because I was talking about things that weren't, um, sports and fitness. And I just sort of grew out from that, just looking at like basic things that human bodies do that are super mundane and yet they're way more applicable to our everyday life. And I just started teaching people, um, you need to move, you know, like I don't, I don't think that that's really new what I'm doing, but I was really into the part by part analysis of movement, which is what biomechanics do.
Katy: But I started to say it like, look at your environment, you know, cause I also work. And when you work in movement, you work in health by default, almost always because people are usually motivated to move for their health. Um, that's where we are right now. Um, and so, you know, you're like, I know I need to move more. I need to exercise more and I'll say, well, you know, if you just looked at your environment, you would see that you are actually creating an environment that keeps many of your parts still. So like what if you adjusted this aspect of your environment, if you're sitting there doing the same computer work, uh, cooking the same meal, um, that you would actually be moving more of your parts. So not only moving more full stop, but distributing that movement better over your body because disease really arises in these sedentary areas or overused areas.
Katy: So to help people see themselves sort of as a garden, if some areas that were under weeded and sort of stagnant and areas where you were almost depleted because you had been growing so many of the same type, like that would be like the analogy for repetitive movement. And we all have a really good natural sense of overused underused things that are well or not well-distributed, but we don't think in those terms when it comes to movement, so it was just providing a different framework and then that's where the article comes from. Right? Like that article, that was your introduction to me was really, I would say at the mid point of the last 20 years of what I've been doing. Um, and it was me going, you know, I am a person in this world. Like many people are in this world and my society that I live in requires, you know, quite a bit of work time, which also translates into, I would say still time, it doesn't have to be sedentary, but we'll say like in place time, I have to be in one sort of location at my eyes on my computer or my ears on someone talking to me and, you know, I live in an in house, you know?
Katy: Um, and so what I was able to do over the years, especially going from a very active, um, movement centric person and then having two children suddenly really like, like it does for a lot of us flip our, um, have it on our head a bit. So I was looking to solve like, how can I keep doing what I know needs to be done physically. Um, and then also help these new beings get the movement that I know that they need to develop mentally. Um, when there's so much stillness required in society. And I was like, oh, I have to change my environment. So, so it's, you know, furniture free is easiest to say even easier to hashtag, but, um, it really means that we've changed consciously changed up the sitting parts of our home. Cause there's plenty of furniture in my house. There's just not 30 seats. You know, most people will have 20 to 30 places to rest a bottom in their house on something specifically just for that. Even if you live in a two or four bottoms or six bottom house, there's 30 to 40 places of which encourage you to put it there. And so I just got rid of those and by getting rid of those, what we found is we all started moving in total, but also moving many parts, many more parts of our body, more
Denaye Barahona: Interesting. And I think that so many of us, myself included think about movement and exercise as being the same, you know, like I didn't get any exercise today. Didn't get any movement today because I didn't get my 30 minute bike ride in or whatever that is. Can you talk a little bit about how we need to think about movement more holistically?
Katy: Well, move on. It's just really, quite simply the change in physical position. And so, um, exercise is something a little bit different. So I always, I diagram it out. I'll draw a big giant circle and I'll write movements on the outside of that circle. And that's like, anytime your body's changing position, but in research, there's two subcategories to movement. One of them is physical activity. So that's any on any movement that essentially utilizes calories, burn calories, and then within. So like that would be, um, you know, raking the leaves in your yard, carrying a bag of groceries, a home or the stairs, that's physical activity. You're, you're using your body. You're using your musculoskeletal system specifically, um, in a challenging way that, um, utilizes calories because because movement has always been researched or was originally researched and it's really continuing to be focused on the idea that the reason humans need to move is to burn off excess calories.
Katy: And so that concept of why one in this particular society would need to move has sort of, I would say corrupted, or I guess I would say corrupted, it has overtaken the mindset of movement researchers and movement teachers, because we're not really aware of other benefits to movement necessarily. I mean, even though we know what they are in the list, if you go to research, mostly going to call up this idea of you have to be burning calories in order for it to count. Um, and then there's a sub category of movement inside physical activity. So we've got fixed circle movement, a smaller circle of physical activity that lives inside the movement circle. And then there's a smaller circle, still exercise that fits insights, physical activity. So exercise is movement that being done in a very prescriptive way. And so that would be that you're doing it for a fixed amount of time or a fixed distance where it's got some measurement to it.
Katy: So you're like, I'm going to do something for 30 minutes. I need to walk 3000 steps. I'm going to go take a two mile bike ride. I'm going to lift this 20 times. You know, like it's got more rigid parameters around it that are preselected before you do it. And often times it's also, um, usually involving a preselected mode, which would be like what you're doing with your body during that period of time. And it's usually repetitive movement in nature, meaning you're, you're usually picking one thing to do repetitively for that of time or the movements are, are repetitious. So that's what makes the exercise. And all of them are movement physical activity because it sits inside. Movement is movement and exercise is also movement. It's just that when we, when we have been sort of blinded by the fact that X or I guess when we, when we have you the concept of moving exercise to replace movement, we're stuck with this really tiny circle of what qualifies as the movement that we need.
Katy: And I just point out that like exercise is not really a phenomenon from, from nature or it's not from our human history. It's of very modern concepts that has arisen in a very sedentary culture, you know, culture that recognizes. We need to do something about the fact that our movement is slowly dwindling. So we're inventing this new thing, but it's not, it's not really working if you exercise, it works. But the concept of exercise, being able to be applicable to a lot of people in a robust enough way to get them to move at that they need is a concept or an approach that isn't working because people are just moving less and less and less. And so again, my work is just about going let's, um, let's try a different approach because there's nothing inherent about the exercise itself that is valuable to your body.
Katy: It's just one particular pathway to getting more movement, but there's many of them, and many of them are more holistic in the sense that they, um, move more parts of your body, that they, they fit into more elements of your life. Right? So exercise was an exercise time and exercise time can happen usually at work time and doesn't happen in parenting time. And it doesn't happen in school time. It doesn't happen in, you know, relationships time except that in its most natural setting or human historical setting movement, wasn't all of those places. We were dynamic parents, we were dynamic partners. We were dynamic and, um, getting the resources that we needed. And so I just teach how to put the movement back into non-exercise parts of our life so that we can actually get the quantity and qualities of movement that our bodies and our children's bodies still require.
Denaye Barahona: So simple types of movement, like cooking dinner and just moving around the kitchen back and forth. That is beneficial, even though we're not burning extra calories.
Katy: Well, you are burning. I mean, you actually are burning extra calories. It's just that it's not your, you know, your rate of exertion isn't necessarily changing in a way that's recognizable to you. So, so yeah, it's like, you know, I guess if you were just to sit at your computer desk all, and then you were to continue to sit at that same desk and prepare your dinner, if you compared that to getting up out of your chair and, you know, moving around the kitchen, that that would be one way to move a little bit more. But like, I would say you would probably want to challenge it a little bit more to say, just moving around the kitchen would be one way, but maybe what we did is we lowered all of our tables when our kids were little, because it allowed us then to add bending and squatting.
Katy: So by squat down, um, to, you know, make dinner on a low table, chop vegetables, or, you know, whiskey or something like that, there's nothing, there's no difference between the squat. So there's no physical difference between the squat that I am doing for seven or eight minutes, chopping vegetables and driving to an exercise class or a yoga class that has a squat in it. The difference with exercise is it's, you know, it's continuous really without a break because you're trying to concentrate it. You're trying to concentrate it like, uh, like you take a multivitamin or, or let's say, you know, I'm a vitamin C supplement. You're trying to concentrate what maybe you would get throughout the day into a single pill. So with exercise, we're trying to concentrate what we would get normally distributed throughout the day into a 30 minute or a 60 minute period.
Katy: And so we really don't see that if you take those same elements and distribute them throughout the day and then also get more of them, like, just do it more frequently that yes, you are, you are you're, I call it stacking. You're stacking the movements that you need into doing something else, like making dinner. And if you're teaching your kids how to chop those vegetables or working with them to then, then not only are you making dinner and moving, it also counts as parenting time. It also counts as teaching your kids about how to prepare food. And then also there's that modeling of like, oh, and they also see that being dynamic while doing all of these things is also a thing that I will do as a grownup. Right. Because children are always being informed about how society works by, by the adults that are around them. So, yeah. So moving around the kitchen. Yes. But I would, I would get more specific. Here are three ways to move specifically around the kitchen.
Denaye Barahona: Okay. I love that. And I definitely I'm, my mind is kind of already zooming on ways that I can start moving just within my house. And like this morning I actually walked my daughter to camp and then walk to the office. And it's probably a total of about two miles, but normally I would do that in the car, but it takes extra time to walk. And I think that's something that so many of us are caught up in, in today's society is that we don't have the time to move. Do you hear that a lot?
Katy: Yes. And that's why I like to reframe, like, I think that we actually, we, we don't have the time if we pick the same tasks that are filling our day, but you do have more time if you learn how to stack multiple needs in the same period of time. So, so I mean, a big point of like, I think at least a few of my books are the reframe of convenience. Doesn't actually ever save us time. It's almost always saving us movements. And so what I mean by that is you have a physical movement requirements for your body. Like it's a need. So a lot of times when we're getting rid of the movement, we are simply just not meeting our needs. And so in this way, you, you, um, aren't really adding extra time to your life by opting out of the movement, rich choice, because all you've done is taken the need for movement and it's all compressed to the end of the day only.
Katy: There's no more time for it. So, so, so you walked two miles today. If you were to just go take a two mile lock, you would perhaps need, I don't know, 40 minutes, you know, or 30 minutes you would, you would need to carve this extra time, but because you chose to use it as active transportation. So that counts now, like it counts as parenting time, your child also moves. That's one less thing you have to like, think about like, oh, I gotta get my kid to the movement class. Like, so the, both the, both of you, um, got that walk, you also had, you know, the conversation that you had along the way, or the connection that you had along the way you have the instruction of walking places is a perfectly acceptable thing that people have always done and still do, you know, you didn't drive your car in that case.
Katy: So, so I don't, I think that yes, like superficially we're like, we don't, there's no time for this to fit in. I have so many things to do today. If I take this walk, I'm going to slow down driving you know that me that extra 15 minutes, but we're not really, we're not really seeing that it would be like a kin to not eating all day, you know, and just saying, like I said, a bunch of time by not eating all day, like you're going to have physical repercussions by not eating all day. So you pick a different task, you picked walk, walk to camp instead of drive to camp and maybe you'll let something else go because you took that extra 15 minutes that you would've saved by driving. Um, and so you don't have to now, you know, like you normally did something else with your daughter that was more sedentary or your child that was more set in theory. You don't have to do that now because you did the connection part elsewhere. So like looking at the tasks that we do and taking different tasks, I think is a big solution for dealing with when time feels like the biggest barrier to getting more moves.
Denaye Barahona: Yes. And I will tell you what would have happened. Had I not walked her back and forth? And I just said, oh, well, I'll go for a walk later is I wouldn't have done it. You know, seven o'clock bedtime would've come around. And then I would have been like, oh yeah, that two mile walk. I'll do it tomorrow. I would've, I would've procrastinated it. And then just ended up not doing it.
Katy: Yeah. And then also, like, I think one thing that's undervalued in its impact on our lives is the stress we constantly feel, and we're not meeting our needs. And, and these aren't, um, you know, there's not spotting needs. It's like movement is like a, it's like, it's the same level of stress to your body as hunger, except we don't recognize movement hunger. We know what our bellies feel like when they're not getting food, because we've been trained in those signals and we've been trained to pay attention to them. They've been given a name. We don't have sedentary signals. We give them all sorts of names that sort of divorces, um, from the context in which they're arising. And so, yeah, there's a stress that you feel and sort of like shame, shaming that you potentially feel when you don't, when you didn't get your walk again, you know, like there's all this narrative that's going on. So it's like, I just don't, I don't think that ultimately it is saving us from much, you know, not really looking at how to add more movement back in.
Denaye Barahona: Right. I absolutely agree with that. Katy, we're going to pause to take a quick 60s break to hear from today's sponsor. The sponsor for today is Native. Sometimes it rains on your birthday. Sometimes the line for coffee wraps around the building. Sometimes gas goes up 10 cents. Sometimes life stinks, but the good news is you don't have to because the Native has your back. You probably already know about Natives, legendary aluminum, free deodorant, but have you tried their body wash toothpaste or even their brand new mineral based sunscreen? My husband and I have both been using Native for years and loving it. And just the summer I tried out the sunscreen and I am absolutely a fan of that too. I'm excited to see what else native has in store. Stay fresh, stay clean with native, by going to nativedeo.com/simple, or use the promo code simple at checkout, you'll get 20% off your first order.
That's nativedeo.com/simple, or use the promo code simple at checkout for 20% off your first order. I promise that's the best way to get the best deal on native products, right on the website. That's where I get mine. All right. Back to today's episode on my chat with Katy, let's talk a little bit about kids. I feel like there's such a catch 22 because, you know, we say our kids are spending too much time in front of screens. They're sitting around on iPads, but then there's also this larger expectations that kids need to learn how to sit still and be quiet and not move. So they, I think sometimes feel stuck where, you know, we try to get them moving, but we also are trying to get them to not move it's this back and forth battle with, uh, between a lot of parents and kids. Yeah.
Katy: I mean, I think that's a big theme of grow. Wild is recognize that culturally our culture is becoming more and more sedentary. And like we don't even really recognize signals that we're sending to children to be still and quiet. And so, you know, imagine you're this emerging sort of computer trying to make sense of the world and, and everything goes, the world tells you to sit down, you know, sit down and watch this. That being able to be in a space still is a great asset for you to have. And at the same time, everything about your physiology and your brain is wired for, um, for learning for the world through movement. That, that basically what you do as it will be called juvenile period, is setting your adult body. So there's no go back for this, this period of time that you have first off is setting your bone density for life.
Katy: It's setting, you know, your joint shape for life. And, and I think that we just don't think about it this way. We'll think like, oh, it's fine. That they're still, it's good because we have a hard time separating what society needs from us, from what our, you know, biology needs from us. So I'm always trying to find that middle ground for people to say, well, there are times when children and they're all centers when all of us needs to be, um, still and be quiet, but equally, if not more. So there are other times. And so we just have to make sure that we are aware of all of the needs of all the people in our lives and children just have an extremely robust requirement physiologically for movement. And so that needs to be met. And so I, in girl, while there's a lot of what I call bias check-ins, and there's one of them that really has you look at what are our family rules around movement, um, in our home, in other spaces that maybe children were all will find themselves in.
Katy: And obviously it really depends on where you live geographically because different locations actually have their own culture and their own requirements, um, of the, of the people that live there, including the children. And so, um, it's just, I think important to always know, like, it's just like a nutrient. I spent a lot of time talking about movement as nutrition, because I think that they apparently were like, Hey, there's a nutrient. We recognize that kids needed, you know, then there would be messaging around like, make sure you get this nutrient will movement is also a nutrient, but there's not equal messaging around the importance of getting it, like the importance of it sort of falls to the wayside of the importance of maybe other, other things happening in a society or in a particular culture. And so like, I'm just like a cheerleader, I'm a cheerleader for the kids to say, you know, let them fidget.
Katy: Like them fidgeting is not ultimately a problem. The problem is perhaps it doesn't work in the particular environment. So how do you negotiate? How do you negotiate that? And so there's a lot of solutions that are going okay. If movement is not permitted in 70% of where a child is currently spending their time, how can you address that? How can you make sedentary spaces, more movement permissive, or how do you change your individual family culture so that the children aren't really held to, to having to spend more time in non-movement spaces and movement spaces, and you can look to many aspects of your life to make different choices. So again, they're getting what they need and also YouTube cause cause adults also have a much more robust movement requirements that I think that they realize too.
Denaye Barahona: Yeah. And I think that some of us who have really wiggly kids need to move a lot. I have one of those can feel a little bit of shame and guilt around having a kid who quote unquote can't sit still.
Katy: Yeah. And I just, I mean, and, and also the children to have a lot of shame around constantly and being told that they are not right when in fact they're usually fine, it's, it's the world around them. That's not, that's not really working for their body in that particular way. So yeah, there's a lot about, you know, involving, um, involving children in that discussion too, about like, what do you perceive the movement rules are like, how would you prefer to be moving your body? And how can we meet the need? Like in this space, like, you know, in school, like grow wild, broke, broken down by environment, right? Cause I'm really looking at like, where are we spending our time? Kids are spending their time in this way. And in their, in their clothes, they're in school, they're in a, in a food or eating environment during a celebration environment, they're in an activities environment to give many solutions that allow children's bodies to move more, that don't necessarily push up against our perception that, that others need our kids to be still.
Katy: I mean, I do think that that's a really big factor. I mean, like even in the clothes, like if you have a mover and I have a mover too, how are, how are they being dressed every day? Cause it could be that they're very outfit to the cycling, their movement. Well, changing their outfit is an easy way to allow them more movement, freedom that does not affect any of the other things that we were talking about. You know, it just simply allows them to bend or squat or move or reach their arms up. And we're not into like behavior. Behaviorly challenging anyone else. It just is kissing their body more freedom to move just when they're, even when they are being still. Right. Because that's another thing that would cover it. There's many ways to be still that's right. There's many ways to be dynamic well, otherwise being in one place.
Katy: But there are a lot of tools that are being used. What we would say is special situations. You know, kids that are extra fidgety, they're extra problematic with their movements, but there's no reason why that those can't be distributed more widely because cause really all children have that high movement requirement. And when we say we have movers and we don't have movers, the ones that aren't. So we really, they also, they also need to move the same amount. It's just that they perhaps are, um, better. They have a better ability to stifle their movement signals and maybe another, but the need to move is there in all of them?
Denaye Barahona: Yes. And I love that. You said that because I feel like some people tend to classify their kids as nature kids or not nature kids and in grow wild, you talk about how everyone needs to move and everyone needs to be outdoors. And how do you handle a kid who doesn't appear to outwardly enjoy nature? What do you do? Do they still need to be outside?
Katy: Yeah, so I think, I mean we, my, my kids both went to early school and um, early, like to preschool and kindergarten and early elementary with Adam, we had very fortunate to have a nature program here. And, and I would say that after all those years, they're both of competency in nature is extremely high. Their level of comfort is in the high is high for that time. But I definitely have one kid that would prefer to sit inside and read all day. Like they have preferences, we all have preferences to what we want to do, but it's the requirement is there regardless. And I think that if you are just starting out, you know, once they're, my kids are now eight and a half. And so they started really outdoor and we started an outdoor focus just in our, you know, in our lives overall.
Katy: Like all of our vacations were always outside. We were outside and moving around, making a point to do that every single day, just to create a context in their mind, like this is what we do. This is the environments in which we're in and we need to adapt to this environment. But if you're starting, you know, in your kids are already eight or 10, those preferences that they have for, um, stillness or comfort, they're just deeper sets. And so my advice is to figure out what are the, what are the things that your kids love and to just transition them to a more dynamic or more nature, rich version. So like say you have a kid that wants to sit and play chess. Great. You can go do that outside. You can go do that in a park. You know, like what you're doing is you're, you're not cutting them off from the things that they have learned to develop and love within themselves, but you are making it so that they are also getting the things that they need.
Katy: It's. I mean, it's like my version of blending up vegetables and like shoving them in brownies, you know, like that's what people do. Like, oh, you get, get him to eat vegetables. You're going to puree them. They don't see them and you're gonna put them into something that they already liked. So this is like that you're gonna find out the things that they like, like you don't have your kids not eat vegetables just because they don't prefer them. I mean, we are, you have to, I think one thing that helps is to understand that humans are wired to prefer sweet, easily palatable foods, to nutrient dense food of, you know, a variety of nutrients. Like we're preferred to go to the simple, we're wired to do the simple, easy thing. We are wired to sit around and not move. So the fact that we have a preference to do that, isn't really like, um, it's not really a child's constitution.
Katy: It's just, it's their nature to sit around. We've just created the environment to give them permission to let that express. And then when you have that tendency express over their developmental period, it makes it hard to do anything for the rest of your life. So like that's not, I mean, it makes it hard to become active and nature-y, as you get older, because you've set in not moving so early and it gets set into our body shapes and in a certain way, because like I said, that early dynamic period where we come very malleable babies are born extremely malleable. Yes. You probably already know in the brain, but in the physical body as well. Um, and so the forces that we experience set up our body to be how we're going to move as adults, or that's sort of a capacity of movement that the parameters around movement.
Katy: And so yeah, you still need to get outside. Um, I, I mean, I certainly, I might be unique in my parenting where like, I don't find that everyone's super excited children wise to do the things that are good for them or that need to be done. You know, I don't have unicorn children in that way. You know, they're whining about what we have to do, but once we, once we get to what we're doing and that in there, I always say there's a 90 minute transition time for anytime we move from inside to outside, it takes us 90 minutes to shake off the inside. But once we do we're there and then we can be out there for the rest of the day or for multiple hours. There's just this, this body D-ring, you know, sort of like if you've ever given up sugar for a period of time or given up coffee, like it was like, I just would rather have that feeling over there and do that thing. It's just the same thing. Indoor is highly addictive. Indoor is highly palatable. And so we're working on making sure the movement tastes buds of our kids are, are allow them to succeed or flourish in multiple environments. And not just the indoor one.
Denaye Barahona: I'm glad you said that 90 minute rule. I'm going to remember that. I actually, we just recently took a family bike ride and we, it was hard getting out. And I would say the first week it was out in back and we went out for 30 minutes and then we turned around and came back. So by the time we got out of the house and onto the bike ride, it was, and then finished the first half of the bike ride. It was about probably like 75 minutes. And it was brutal, like so much whining, so much complaining. But then on the way back, literally my husband and I were biking next to each other. And we're like, yeah, I think we just finally hit our groove. Like we're almost back to the car now, but like, this is like, everyone is finally enjoying themselves. So yeah. Having to push through that hard stuff, the whining. And I think sometimes as parents, we feel like we are responsible for our making our kids happy. And when they're whining, they don't seem happy. And we feel like we're doing something wrong and sitting with that unhappiness can feel uncomfortable because we feel like we're not doing what we're supposed to be doing to please our kids.
Katy: Well, so yes, everyone can remember the 90 minute rule and, and we just call it the 90 minute rule. It can be, it all depends on, you know, if you're starting something at 3:00 PM in the day, or if you're starting at 9 am, you know, how long has it been? It's a transition. It's just a transition. So kids have a hard time. I mean, I, we say to them, aren't that I'm transitioning. I would say we all have a hard time transitioning. It's just that we get to the adults, get to control what they transition to. So it takes some of the sting out of it. But usually that period of time allows the front, you know, like you're frustrated because yes, you're just like, we're going to do this. And I know it's going to be, uh, an uphill battle to get out. But, but you, you stay aligned with your values.
Katy: Cause you're like, no, this is, this is what we, this is what we want to do. I encourage everyone to create a family mission statement. So this is in line with our family mission statement that we created. I know it's going to be a pain, but it's going to be great once we get out of there. And yes, always add on if you can, a little bit more time than you think, because it takes such a long time for everyone to get into the groove. And yet we want our kids. I mean, I want my kids to be happy adults in the long run, but I don't necessarily assume that that means that happy adults are made from a bunch of collective happy minutes as children. Like I'm a happy adult, but I have to slog through a lot of things that I don't, that aren't my first choice of what I would like to do.
Katy: And, and I recognize what is essential to do for my body. What is essential to do for my relationship was essential to do for work. So if anything, that's just practice for being a happy adult, which is learning how to push through and make it through as even a group, you know, you started cranky and then you ended up and that's, and that goes for me, I started the bike ride or the walk cranky too, because, because it's like, it's a lot of work, you know, I'm just like, why can't we just do it? I said, I wanted to do it. Why can't we all do the thing that I want to do? So it's my child, inner child, you know, upset because everyone isn't onboard with my plan. But then once we go, it all sets in and it's a positive thing. But just knowing that that's really the shape of how it goes.
Katy: And that, that discomfort about whining is sort of reflexive. I see it as reflective. It can't even help. It doesn't even matter. Even if you said you were going to go do the thing that they wanted to do, they're going to whine about that anyway. It's like, oh, you guys will pick the thing that in the end makes everybody better. Not the ones that seemingly make someone happy because I regularly point out to my children. Even when you get the things, that's exactly what you wanted, you're still whining about it. So whining is just a reflex and now I no longer affects me as it used to.
Denaye Barahona: Right. And that, that is a key piece there. It, it, how it affects you is in large part, your choice. And I like to remind parents that our kids aren't as good about filtering their words. And like you said, it is a mirror. You know, when I was on that bike ride, it was hot. My butt hurt, which is exactly what they were complaining about. They were hot and their butts hurt. And I felt those same things too. But as an adult, I've learned to keep certain things in my head and they haven't developed that ability to keep their mouth closed and keep those complaints up in their head. Everything just comes right out their mouths. And we hear all that stuff, even that stuff that we might be feeling, and we might be thinking, but we're keeping to ourselves, that's coming right out their mouth, especially with family. And I find that if we were with another family, my kids would not be complaining like that. I think in their comfort zone with their people, they just let all those feelings and all those thoughts fly. So I do remind myself that a lot of those things that they're saying, I'm also feeling I'm just not being vocal about it. So I can't let that be a barrier to us being active and moving as a family.
Katy: No, and I know, I mean, I'm a big kind of a jokey person. So like when we make a game out of it, you know, it's like who's butt hurts terribly right now, raise your hand. Who wants to stop like me to whoever had her be, you know, laying on the floor, watching the movie, you know? And like you, you just go through all of it because it's like, it could even be seen as just something that has to metabolize. And, um, and to me, like, I'm just really big on observing your thoughts and, you know, teaching my kids how to observe their thoughts and how it goes with the feelings, you know, so that you can see it's fleeting. And so we're like, okay, we just all had to get it out and yeah. To not take it to not take it personally, like it's not a, it's not a reflection on you or your parenting or your plan. It's just part of the process. It's part of the process of doing anything. And so if we don't allow it, then we don't do anything. And so we want to do things and we want to be active in this case, just as part of the package.
Denaye Barahona: Right. And it doesn't have to be the most fun thing that they've done all year in order to be active. And sometimes I get caught up in that. I think that, um, sometimes I'll ask my kids, like after the bike ride, I was like, oh, did you have fun? And they're like, no. And usually that answer will shift. I think if we get into a groove and we keep at it, but this bike ride kind of ended just after we started having fun. And they're just like, no, we didn't have fun. And I have to be really careful not to let that change our plans for next weekend, because it's easy to kind of fall into this hole of, well, they didn't have fun. They don't enjoy it. Like we're not going to do it again. It was a lot of work to make it happen and it's not worth it if they're not going to enjoy it.
Katy: Yeah. Where I say the enjoyment factor is not important. So of course the, the minutes of activities, the steps, the rays of lights, the wind, that's what you did it for. You know, like the enjoyment is mood the same way that I know. I wouldn't ask my kids. Did you enjoy that as a Piney? Cause I know the answer is no, they need it fit enough. And, and, and uh, and yeah, and I think also like we, we, we started early on like take a walk every day. Um, and it's, and it's, and I tell my kids, like, this is just, this is the vegetables of your day. This is this, these are the movements, vegetables, we get to do it. Um, but once again, once you get out there, like when they know they win, when it's not a special activity, I find that the lining is less because it's just like anything else that they have to do, you know, brushing their teeth or, um, you know, finishing their homework or whatever.
Katy: Like they accept, have to, they understand that protesting is sort of, uh, a moot point or they come to understand that I think over time, which doesn't mean that they don't whine, but they, they know that they're whining or maybe they don't know it. The whining is again, it's just a reflex of the situation. It's not, it's not a barrier. It's just a, it's just a skillset. It's just a, it's a way of delaying or whatever it is. So yeah, starting a regular movement practice. That's not fun. That's not, doesn't have to be a giant, anything. It's just a walk around the block before the, before bed or a walk around the block. First thing in the morning, like that's really a good way. Something short, something easy. It's something repetitive is a great way to establish a pattern. And then for you, you don't feel so bad because you made this big elaborate. Isn't this great, it's a family bike ride. We did this. And then it's such an outlier that it doesn't pay off necessarily for you in the sense of the work that you eat. It doesn't reward you emotionally. I would say for the, you know, the, what you imagined would happen, but, um, getting something set established quickly, um, now regularly and short, like I said, um, is really a good way to develop movers. Yeah,
Denaye Barahona: Absolutely. Well, I've so enjoyed this, Katy. I have so many questions and so many things just kind of flowing through my mind still. And I'm hoping that hearing you talk will really inspire people to get their kids outside, get them moving, um, to check out your book, grow wild or one of your many other books, because I think there's so much room for growth in this area for single one of us.
Katy: Well, thanks for having me on, I appreciated talking to you.
Thank you. Thanks for tuning in. If you want the information to get in touch with Katie or get one of her books, go to simplefamilies.com/episode273, you'll find the links in the show notes there. If you want to stay in touch with simple families and get my regular Friday updates of my five favorite simple things, go to simplefamilies.com/Friday as always. Thanks for tuning in and have a good one.