Built to Move

About the Book
Title: Built to Move
Authors: Kelly Starrett and Juliet Starrett
Length: 336 pages (hardcover)
Publisher: Knopf
Copyright Year: 2023

Kelly and Juliet Starrett co-wrote Built to Move around their 10 “vital signs” for being healthy. This isn’t a comprehensive fitness or nutrition guide, but rather, it focuses on the big-picture issues that form the foundations of overall health. With topics ranging from breathing properly to rest to mobility benchmarks, this book can form the backbone of a person’s approach to improving their fitness. For the purpose of this review, we won’t dive into each of the vital signs detailed in the book, but we’ll instead discuss the overall themes and their importance.

The vital signs can be loosely grouped into three categories. The basics include breathing, getting up and down, sleep, and nutrition. The movement-related category includes walking and creating a movement-rich environment. And finally, the mobility category includes hip extension, squatting, and the mobility of the neck and shoulders. Note that the chapters are not presented in this exact order in the book. For each vital sign, the authors present a way to evaluate yourself, along with practical ways of improving.

The very first vital sign that the authors present is the ability to get up and down off the floor. Studies have shown that this simple metric—one’s ability to get down on the floor and back up again—is related to mortality. In fact, this is why each chapter is presented as a vital sign, because the tests and measures presented in the book help form a baseline of one’s vitality.

The chapters on breathing, sleep, and nutrition give insight into the value of paying attention to each, from understanding how your body reacts to carbon dioxide to the importance of a good night’s sleep. Breathwork, in particular, is a topic that doesn’t get much attention, and the authors present a strong case for taking more care in how we breathe, with longer, deeper inhales and the value of proper breathing for stability through ...

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