Books : reviews

Katy Bowman.
Dynamic Aging: simple exercises for whole-body mobility.
Propriometrics Press. 2017

rating : 4 : passes the time
review : 18 April 2018

What if your pain and lack of mobility aren’t due to your age, but your habits? What if changing how you move can change how you feel, no matter your age?

Dynamic Aging is an exercise guide to restoring movement. This book:

• Is geared to a 50+ audience and anyone looking to improve basic whole-body mobility
• Includes exercises and postural adjustments that require no special equipment and include modifications for all fitness levels
• Will help you move and feel better

Alongside biomechanist and movement teacher Katy Bowman’s instructions are the experiences of four women over seventy-five who have used these principles and exercises for years. They’ve found recommended surgeries unnecessary and regained strength and mobility, and they move more than they did a decade ago. From hiking in the mountains to climbing ladders and walking on cobblestones with ease, each of these women embodies the book’s message: No matter where you’re starting, if you change how you move, you can change how you feel.

As we grow older, we can enter a vicious cycle of getting weaker, so getting less exercise, so getting weaker; also, a growing fear of falling leads to a shuffling gait that only hastens this cycle.

Bowman explains the problems, and advocates “dynamic ageing”, where a relatively gentle exercise regime helps to break this cycle by improving posture and gait, increasing whole body strength and flexibility, and improving balance.

The book has large print (presumably to help those simultaneously ageing eyes) and sketches of the changed posture needed. It is a bit repetitive, with the second part just summarising the exercises explained in the first part. But it all looks perfectly sensible and do-able, and it interspersed with anecdotes from several now-sprightly septuagenarians who have benefited from adopting the approach to break out of their own vicious cycle. I probably need to ensure I don’t slip into the cycle in the first place.