Can you get up from sitting on the floor without using your hands?
According to some researchers, this is a test that can determine the health of your hips as well as if your body is aging in a healthy way and potentially, your longevity.
This is interesting to me.
Longevity is hard to predict.
However, the effects of aging in our bodies is easy to observe and track if you’re paying attention.
You can see it and feel it in your own body, as well as witness it in those you are closest to.
When I was younger, I didn’t think much about aging.
I thought more about whether or not someday I’d be able to stick a handstand away from the wall (I can) and whether or not I’d ever get my leg behind my head (I can’t and don’t care).
Neither of those things was attached to age, although I think in the back of my mind, I had some concerns that it would be harder as I got older.
Maybe I also wondered when my hair would start going grey (it already is) and what I’d look like with wrinkles (spectacular, so far).
I think in some ways, I couldn’t imagine “older Naomi”, even though aging is something that happens naturally and constantly from the moment we’re born.
What I struggled to imagine, when I was 18 and 21 and 25, was what I’d look like and feel like at 35 and 40 and 55 and beyond.
In some ways, I still can’t.
Age is a funny thing.
Sometimes, I still imagine my parents are in their 40’s and that my brother is 15, which doesn’t even make sense mathematically.
I regularly have difficulty realizing that I’m rounding the corner on 40.
I don’t even know what 40 is supposed to feel like.
What I do know is that I want to keep my body healthy for as long as I am alive.
I know this means I need to get more sleep than I am (please talk to my children about this. They do not seem to believe in sleep). What I put into my body matters, too.
And how I use my body — how I move her and live in her — makes a huge difference, as well.
The idea that the health of my hips can impact my longevity or simply how well my body ages, is fascinating.
And it totally makes sense.
First of all, your pelvis is what holds your body together meaning that how your hips feel will impact how the rest of your body feels.
If your hips are feeling tight or weak or unstable, this will affect how comfortable you are when you sit on your couch or in your car or on the ground. The health of your hips will also impact how comfortable you are sleeping.
Second, your hips will play a part on in how your body moves dynamically. Your hips will dictate how easily and how long you can walk, as well as run or dance or even have sex.
Getting up from the ground without using your hands requires both hip strength and mobility.
If you have reasonably good hip mobility and strength, your body is capable of a lot more. This gives you greater autonomy as you get older. It also offers more opportunity for what is possible with your body as you age.
Your hip health also contributes directly to your knee health, ankle health, and spinal health.
All of those things are part of the equation when it comes to getting up from the floor without using your hands.
And it turns out that getting up from sitting down is an important life skill.
A few years ago, I created a video for my YouTube channel called “Stand Up from Sitting Without Using Your Hands.” It’s 7 minutes long. I don’t teach anything specifically “yoga” in it. And it’s also my most popular video on my channel with 20k views and rising.
When I created it, I had no idea that it would go viral.
I’m also glad it did.
This is something we all need, whether you’re 18 or 38 or 58 or 78.
More body awareness.
Definitely more hip mobility and strength.
And also more tools for aging in a way that feels healthy and strong and empowering.
My 39 year old body definitely feels different than she did when she was 19.
I’m actually stronger than I was then.
My body has grown and birthed 3 children.
I can do a handstand away from the wall.
I can run without injuring myself.
I can hang upside-down from trees.
I can get down on the floor and play with my kids and then get back up again. In fact, I can get up off of the floor while holding any of my kids in my arms.
While I might have lost some flexibility, I’ve gained dynamic strength — a combination of mobility and power.
I can’t say what the next 20 years will bring. What I do know is that taking care of my hips is an essential part of it.
Want to learn more about how to have healthy hips now and always? Join me for my free online workshop, How to be Hip Forever Monday November 24th at 11am ET. If you can’t make it, the class will be recorded and you can watch anytime. You’ll also get some sweet gifts if you sign up.