Here’ more about the Savage Factor™, Stretch…
While people live in a box (house), or work in a box (office), or travel in a box (car), they spend much time sitting, bent, and still; they do NOT spend much time reaching and moving their body in multiple directions.
In contrast, the person living in an ancient civilization would move and reach in many different directions throughout the day; hunting, or gathering food from bushes, or trees, or from roots. The person living in an ancient civilization would frequently stoop, bend, crouch, and stretch. If one’s survival depended upon hunting, gathering, or farming, or soldiering, one wouldn’t be able to survive spending most of the day sitting and staring.
Sitting all day, in one study, gave office workers as much cardiovascular risk as smoking cigarettes. But, sitting all day, without reaching or moving in multiple directions, also affects the movement of the body making it stiff and wasting body energy on the tension of stiff joints and a stiff spine.
Stretching your body in various directions works as a savage factor to counter the ill effects of modern civilization.
Of the ways to counter the diseases of lack of full range of motion seen in modern civilization, one of the most thoughtful and ancient practices is haha yoga. In the yogi tradition, a person is as young as their spine is flexible. Should you be inclined and have time for formal Hatha studies either as an instructor or through various online resources, then I highly recommend that.
I have not had time for a full Hatha yoga practice, I’ve found the classic Daily Dozen to be the answer. It only takes about 7 minutes and can be done almost anywhere.
The Daily Dozen was first proposed by Walter Camp in response to requests from the military during the time of World War 1. The army found, even in the days before desktop computers, that men were showing up to be soldiers and they had lived so sedentary that they weren’t ready for combat. And then during the process of training a man for combat, sometimes the training session left the men too fatigued to then go on the march and carry their gun and go do the things that soldiers do.
So President Wilson commissioned Walter Camp to come up with something that would be a quick routine that would allow the soldiers to wake up and be ready to go, but not exhaust them. The Daily Dozen was the result.
Walter Camp was a health guru of that time and actually was the person responsible for coming up with the idea of four downs before a first down in football. He was the one that came up with the idea for having a line of scrimmage in football. He was an elite athlete who went to Yale and played basketball and football and baseball; but his most revolutionary ideas were in the arena of football and his design of the Daily Dozen.
During his day, the Daily Dozen, which he taught to the military, was confined to the military and found to be very effective—even though it looks and feels very easy.
Later, after World War 1, he published the Daily Dozen in a little pamphlet that sold hundreds of thousands of copies (in the days before the internet and Amazon). So, the Daily Dozen went viral before things went viral very often
Because the pamphlet did so well, he expanded his ideas about how to be healthy and about the Daily Dozen in a book called The Daily Dozen.
If you do not have time for Hatha yoga, then do the Daily Dozen—every day. You’ll find a video and description of the Daily Dozen on my website, savagefactors.com/stretch and you’ll see it’s a quick and easy thing you could do in about seven minutes.
The 12 exercises won’t leave you sweating. You can do them in your clothes at your office. Walter Camp recommended that you do them first thing in the morning, while naked, and followed by a shower, and only then dress and go for a walk. Then off to work.
Walter Camp lived did the Daily Dozen every day for 60 years and lived a long full life. I first learned about the Daily Dozen when reading about an author who was still writing after passing the age of 90—still doing novels; and, he had started doing the Daily Dozen during World War 1 and just never stopped after he got out of the military.
Nothing beats Hatha yoga for flexibility; but, the Daily Dozen gives you a simple, easy routine that only takes 7 minutes. You can see videos and explanations on the reference page on our website.
References & Further Helps