GUEST POST: Move It. Use It. But Don’t Lose It! (De-Tox? Or Not-To-Tox? Part 5)

AL NATRINS – a qualified Krav Maga Instructor and Personal Traineris guest posting for us. He shares why moving naturally brings big benefits.

“For the vast majority of our evolutionary history, humans had to exert ourselves – often quite strenuously – to get food. We naturally spent a lot of time outdoors in the sun, walking, hunting, gathering, and performing various other physically-oriented tasks. We had no concept of this as “exercise” or “working out”.  It was just life.”  (Chris Kresser)

Picture the long days in nature, just being human.  No worries.  No mortgages, no credit cards, no traffic jams, no office desks, no computers, no ‘devices’, no pollution, no newspapers.  Sure, maybe a couple of bears.  But hey – back in the day we could actually move it if we had to!

Back then, not only was life simpler and far less stressful but our ancestors moved – naturally – all day long.   Now, our modern life not only chronically stresses our body, it keeps us chronically sedentary and sitting still all day long.

Lack of physical activity has a huge impact on our health.  Moving regularly not only protects us from disease, it prevents oxidative damage and inflammation – the primary mechanisms underlying heart disease and most modern, degenerative diseases.  So move. Use it. Or you will lose it!

This is Part 5 of the series: ‘Detox? Or Not-To-Tox?  In the first three parts we talked about the tedious ritual of ‘detoxing’ and ‘cleansing’; the longer-term restorative benefits of nutrient-dense, traditional foods; and the toxic combination of chronic stress and poor sleep

Read PART 1 here: Part 1: ‘The Detox Treadmill!’

Read PART 2 here: Part 2: ‘Detox De-Bunked!’

Read PART 3 here: Part 3: ‘Nourish Deeply’

Read PART 4 here: Part 4: ‘Stress and Sleep Are Toxic Bedfellows’



Why is movement a central element of our philosophy?

Well, one reason is that it’s absolutely crucial for the proper functioning of our lymphatic system.  The lymphatic system – which comprises a series of ‘drains’ around our body – is intimately involved in our ability to detox well.

A second important reason, is that lymph fluid starts in the digestive system, so ensuring optimal detoxification also means ensuring optimal digestion.  So it follows that resetting our digestive strength and moving our body also resets our natural detox pathways. However, although it’s part of the circulatory system the lymphatic system has no central ‘pump’ – so it depends primarily on our moving our skeletal muscles to transport the lymph fluid around the body to ensure  the lymphatic drainage.

So, to explain how and why moving naturally can bring big health benefits, we’re pleased to welcome our guest, AL NATRINS – a qualified Krav Maga Instructor and Personal Trainer. Over to you, Al!

Hi Guys …. Al Natrins here!

We humans have always been built to be active, on the go and ready to take on whatever life throws our way. Whether it’s been catching our food, building our homes or simply socialising with friends, throughout history we’ve always had to move around to get things done!

So “MOVE it, or you’ll LOSE it”!

Being active and moving frequently is what our body expects of us, and we suffer if this expectation is not met – familiar with the phrase ‘move it or lose it’?  Exercise (being active) has been shown to produce a whole host of health benefits including, but not limited to:

  • Improved circulation and decreased blood pressure
  • Improved strength, stamina and mobility
  • Improved mood and energy, and decreased stress
  • Improved immune system function
  • Proper hormonal functioning
  • Optimum gene expression

It’s almost as though our bodies are saying a big ‘THANK YOU’ for moving!

Move in nature – keep it simple, natural and functional!

Guys, I’m here to tell you that you don’t need a gym membership in order to meet your body’s requirements for exercise! Although we think of exercising as something that we ‘do’ at the gym, the great news is that there are all sorts of ways that we can incorporate activity into our daily life!  Like hanging from trees, for example!


Haha … seriously, the key here is to keep things simple, natural and functional by doing the things that our body was actually built for. And ‘more’ isn’t necessarily better. You don’t need to do a lot to really notice a difference (we don’t!) but of course, if you love to exercise … then go right ahead!

1. So WALK that walk!

Above all, we’re built to walk for miles a day, over all sorts of terrain, yet most of us don’t walk anywhere near as much as we need to. Walking is the probably the single most beneficial, yet most the under-rated form of movement!!  But how easy is it to avoid walking while while there are cars, public transport, lifts and escalators!

Walking is the ultimate low-impact activity that will help improve circulation and improve the mood. It will also help recovery from exercise. So go for a walk, preferably in nature!

Obviously, when we need to travel significant distances using transport is sensible, but here’s how we can include more walking in our daily lives:

  • Don’t drive or catch a bus if you can walk to where you need to go.
  • Park further away than you usually do to get those steps in.
  • If you have children or a dog, take them out for a walk!
  • Obvious … but take the stairs instead of the escalator or lift!

So get yourself out there with friends, family or even ‘mindfully’ on your own and enjoy walking!

2. RUN – but ‘easy’ does it every time!

Running is another way to move your body naturally, although if you’re not used to it ‘jumping in’ with both feet and pounding the pavements is … a really bad idea!

Although running’s a natural human movement pattern, all forms of running are high impact so will stress the body. If running’s something you’re not used to, you’ll need to ease yourself into it, slowly.

Running, then, is ‘high intensity’ – and as we’ve seen, can tax the sympathetic nervous system. But, some research suggests that very ‘light’ jogging can have beneficial effects on the parasympathetic nervous system.

Even so – and from our own personal experience – we’d say that those who are just starting out, suffering from chronic stress, or have been ‘overtraining’ and need to get their parasympathetic nervous system fired-up into ‘rest and recover’ mode – might be better advised to avoid any form of running and enjoy walking!

> > A word about running – barefoot or otherwise – watch this video!

There’s a whole lot of ‘mis-information’ and mis-conception out there about running. So, before you start out on any kind of running:

  • You might want to train or retrain the way that you run, to suit your body’s unique biomechanics (as you age, you’ll be glad you did!)
  • Make sure you have a good pair of running shoes, preferably minimalist
  • Start slowly with a ‘walking circuit’ and incorporate short intervals of running
  • Focus on good form and proper breathing
  • Don’t overdo it – aim for short distances, not 10k runs! Make LIFE a marathon, not a single run!

3. Weigh-in with CALISTHENICS – but take this easy too!

We humans have been pushing and pulling, squatting, lifting and climbing for millions of years! Good, old-fashioned calisthenic (body weight) workouts are an excellent way of improving strength, muscle tone, increasing bone density and burning body fat. And the best thing is – you don’t need much time or equipment to get great results!

But the same advice holds here as for running – it’s easy to be counter-productive, so those who are just starting out, suffering from chronic stress, or have been ‘overtraining’ and need to get their ‘rest and recover’ parasympathetic nervous system fired-up – might be better advised to avoid, or limit calisthenics and enjoy walking!

You can try going for ten of each of these, and see how you get on. When you find them easy, do another round of ten, and so on:

  • Push-ups – great for the chest, shoulders and core.
  • Pull-ups – great for the arms, back and core.
  • Squats – great for the legs and core.
  • Dead lifts – great for the legs, back and core.
  • Planks – great for the core.
  • Bridges – great for the core.

Always keep your ‘form’ correct (check out this video) and use compound exercises that work your body as a whole (check out this video).

Think about working-out outside – you burn more calories! It won’t take long for you to start noticing benefits – a short work-out, twice a week (or three times, if you have time) would be perfect!

4. ACTIVELY sweat the daily small stuff!

To meet your body’s need to move, you don’t even have to do what you might consider ‘exercise’! Walking, running and using your body to move things around is important – but how about doing your ‘day-to-day’ stuff with a little vigour? So when you’re …

  • cleaning the house
  • doing the gardening
  • cleaning the car
  • playing with the kids
  • going dancing with friends
  • hanging from trees …

… just move it! As long as you’re moving, you’re being active! Your body doesn’t care what you do (within reason), just as long as what you’re doing helps ‘flip’ your body into that crucial rest, digest and recover mode!

Guys – I hope this helps! I can’t cover everything that needs to be said in one article, but I hope I’ve given you some ‘moves for thought’ and a few ideas of how to put them into action.

Please, though, be mindful of any health issues you have and in the first instance, consult your primary medical practitioner.
Moving your body as nature intended is good for you!

All the best, Al Natrins

Next time …

In the final part of this series  Is Social Connection More Important Than Smoking?  (Detox? Or Not-To-Tox? Part 6) we take a look at the consequences of social isolation and disconnection for our health and happiness – and what we can do about it.



References, Links & Further Reading:

Chris Kresser: Move Like Your Ancestors

NHS: Why Be Active – Benefits of Exercise:

Luis M. Alvidrez and Len Kravitz, Ph.D: Hormonal Responses to Resistance Exercise Variables

First Endurance: Exercise and Nutrition

Mark’s Daily Apple: Reprogram Your Genes


Izabella Natrins

I'm here to inspire and support women at midlife and beyond to re-ignite purpose and meaning to take back control of their health and create the radical, resilient heath they want and deserve. As a whole-health expert with over 30 years experience in the field, a qualified Health and Wellness Coach and Ballymaloe-trained nutritional chef, my real food nutrition and lifestyle medicine programmes support women fighting fatigue, struggling with overwhelm, weight gain, sleep, energy and niggling or multiple diagnosed health issues. As an advocate for real food nutrition, regenerative agriculture and whole-health, my book 'The Real Food Solution' is an evidence-based treasury wisdom for energy, vitality and better health for people and planet and a call to action to change the way we grown, source and cook our food. As the CEO at The UK Health Coaches Association, I'm proud to continue the task of leading the first professional association for Health and Wellness Coaches in the world and the gold standard for the UK and Ireland.

You may also like...

27 Responses

  1. Mark says:

    Great article, couldn’t agree more. I honestly despair when I hear people in their 40s and 50s complaining about having to walk somewhere/move in some way! I feel suffocated when I’ve been stuck at my computer working for too long.

    Your tips on incorporating movement where possible are great – I find that when I’m in the frame of mind of embracing movement (fortunately most of the time these days) it translates to my food choices and general mood.

    • Thanks Mark… it’s so true, just walking for just 30 mins, once a day makes a huge difference to your whole LIFE! I find the same when I’m writing, so I make myself stop and take breaks – even if it’s only surveying the sorry state of my veggie patch and dreaming about what it might produce this year!

  2. Stacy says:

    Thanks for this – a great read!

  3. Donna says:

    Brilliant article Izabella, I love how its pitched at a realistic and achievable level. Often these articles can be more about the writer and their achievements and less about the reader and their capabilities. Well Done!

  4. Amie says:

    I couldn’t agree more. This article is great! I always makes time in between writing and blogging to get out and get some fresh air for at least half an hour each day! I much prefer being outdoors rain or shine then being stuck indoors sat at my computer.

  5. Always great to hear people taking about the importance of movement – some great suggestions here. An interesting read!

  6. Jo Merrett says:

    Super article – how ironic I’ve been sat at the laptop for ages now reading blog posts and writing comments – eek!

    Just wondered – you listed gardening, housework, cleaning the car, but I notice no mention of sex in that list 😉 just noting tee hee

  1. March 17, 2018

    […] Next story GUEST POST: Move It. Use It. But Don’t Lose It! (De-Tox? Or Not-To-Tox? Part 5) […]

  2. March 17, 2018

    […] This post and this post explain why and how movement (especially if we make it playful, natural and enjoyable) is SO critical for healing and for our general and mental health too – and give a wide a range of suggestions for simple, natural and functional ways of exercising (at leisure and at work) to heal.  No, we’re NOT talking the high intensity stuff that further stresses a struggling body! […]

  3. April 12, 2019

    […] you’re stressed, exercise may be the last thing on your mind, but moving your body can have powerful effects in combatting stress. you don’t need a gym membership in order to meet […]

  4. January 29, 2020

    […] Moving your body is essential (especially outside and in green spaces) for physical and mental health and some people find it helps improve their self-esteem. Join (or volunteer at) a local Parkrun – you don't need to be able to run.. it's not about the run, it's about building community. […]

  5. February 11, 2020

    […] and Exercise from Darryl Edwards Movement is a key element in our well-being. We were born to move – moving our body is absolutely fundamental to restoring, building and maintaining our […]

  6. February 11, 2020

    […] Read PART 5 here: Part 5: ‘Move It. Use It. But Don’t Lose It’ […]

  7. March 18, 2020

    […] in Nature – we were born to live and move in Mother Nature’s green spaces. Woods and water are particularly microbially-rich […]

  8. April 19, 2020

    […] lockdown is not being able to get outside and move in nature when you want to? For me at least, nothing beats getting out in nature and moving my body. The benefits of moving are myriad, from improved cognitive function to making us happier and […]

  9. May 6, 2020

    […] let’s enjoy and properly appreciate all the benefits of our natural environment. We were also born to move and moving outdoors is critical to every aspect of our […]

  10. July 23, 2020

    […] regular exercise works off the biochemical and physical changes that can wreak our bodies in the stress […]

  11. October 7, 2020

    […] to ‘rest and digest’ allowing our natural detoxification and healing mechanisms to get to work. This post and this post explain why and how movement (especially if we make it playful, natural and enjoyable) […]

  12. October 9, 2020

    […] Do more exercise – Even moderate levels of exercise (around 150 minutes per week or 20 minutes per day) have been shown to reduce breast cancer risk, by reducing body fat and, in turn, oestrogen and other hormones in the bloodstream. Exercise also reduces inflammation in the body, reduces insulin resistance and decreases oxidative stress and moves lymph fluid – all of which help reduce cancer risk. However, don’t go crazy in the gym… over-exercise stresses the body and produces a damaging hormonal response – see my post Move It, Use It, But Don’t Lose it. […]

  13. May 10, 2021

    […] Getting out and moving our bodies in nature is THE perfect way to improve our mental health and wellbeing. Picture our ancestors' long days in nature, just being human. No worries. No mortgages, credit cards, traffic jams. No office desks, computers, devices. […]

  14. November 8, 2021

    […] Check out this guest post from Al Natrins on having fun getting into exercise and how to incorporate movement to improve body and mind. […]

  15. January 11, 2022

    […] Check out this post: Get Off Your Butt and Take Your Mind For a Walk and remind yourself why movement is critical for our overall health, in this Guest Post ‘Move It. Use It. But Don’t Lose It!’ […]

Leave a Reply

Sign up for my periodic emails to receive interesting, relevant and informative content, news, research, advice, tips and more.

As a 'Thank You' I'll send you a FREE pdf with great advice and information on reducing the toxic load of your home and other simple lifestyle changes you can make to improve your health.