Let’s talk about why the fittest people on the planet do squats. Before you start cringing, let’s face the facts. Squatting is critical to our everyday lives.
Most of us, oddly enough, use something to support us when standing from a chair. That’s pathetic. If our legs and core muscles aren’t strong enough to get us out of a chair, then we are at risk of falling, tripping and aging much faster than other people in our age group.
I regularly do 25 squats three times a day. When you think about it, that’s not much of an effort to get great results.
Read on to learn some more reasons why doing squats is important for you.
Squats Burn Calories
Squats help us do more than maintain our independence past ninety. Squats can help burn more calories!
If you are not losing weight like you think you should be, consider how much you work out your legs. Many of us spend too much time on the wrong exercises. Especially if your workouts are all cardio based. Working out your upper body in general isn’t necessarily going to help your metabolism, especially if after your workout you spend most of the day sitting in a car, at the office or at home. Your legs are made up of the largest muscles in your body and the more they are used the more calories you burn!
By doing squats you burn calories and build the large muscles in your legs and buttocks. These muscles keep burning calories even when you’re not working out. Now who doesn’t want that?!
Squats Help You Look Good
Squats help you get your butt nice and perky, maybe to the point that you can bounce a quarter off that thing! Not only that, but the stronger the butt the less back pain one will have.
I understand that a lot of women don’t want to look like Hercules. But that’s not what this is about. Squats help build your lower body muscle mass, which tones your body and even more importantly improves your posture! Instead of being hunched over and uncomfortable, your body is free to perform as it is meant too. Having a proper posture helps your inner well-being as it allows you to take deep belly breaths that calm your nervous system. Plus proper posture prevents muscle imbalances that can cause pain.
Squats Help Boost Your Mood And Energy
If you have stronger legs, you can have more energy because your body is going to be able to produce more ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP is a technical term for the kind of energy that allows you to move and groove all day long.
Exercise in general helps release endorphins which are your body’s feel good hormones. Doing squats a few times a day will help you feel good chemically, mentally and physically. Studies show that physical activity can actually help break up the negative mental patterns associated with PTSD and trauma.
Squats Help Prevent Back And Hip Pain
For most people, lower back pain is not actually from having disc problems, bone spurs or a narrowing of the spine. It is because we sit too much. Sitting too much results in weak gluteus and hamstring muscles. Our back muscles are forced to work overtime to stabilize us. Over time our back muscles tighten up, get strained and then we feel pain.
The solution is to build a strong foundation from the legs up into your glutes. This let’s your back muscle focus on what they do best, which is to support your spine.
Squats Help Your Sex Life
So ladies, if you have something called vulvodynia, or a pain in the pelvis when you have sex, it is often because your deep pelvic muscles are super tight, which is a result of weak gluteus muscles.
If this is a condition you struggle with, I do not recommend jumping into tons of squats right away. Please go see a pelvic specialist to get a better understanding how to best address your individual diagnosis. Once they clear you for doing squats, get to it!
Squats Help You Poop
I’m a doctor. I love to talk about poop. It’s our bodies daily gift! Every single day it tells us how we’re doing.
If you don’t pay attention to the deposits you leave in toilet then you are missing out! They can give you a lot of information. For example, if you’re not pooping on the regular basis or if you’re struggling to poop, then something is going on.
A lot of times chronic constipation isn’t due to something functionally wrong with the gut. In many cases it could be an issue with your muscles not providing enough support for your body to function properly.
The same nerves that go to your back muscles also go to your colon. If your back or hip flexors are tight, this may cause nerves to become compressed, and in turn affect your bowel motility.
On a positive note, if you keep maintain your back, pelvis and hip mobility, while building muscles that help strengthen your glutes you will subsequently support your digestive system, then you can poop effectively well into your hundreds.
For some entertainment on how squats help your poop, check out the Squatty Potty Song on YouTube!
In Countries That Engage In Squat Style Sitting Mobility Is Improved And Pain Is Reduced
A lot of Asian populations squat to sit instead of actually sitting.
Research shows that these folks do not have lower back pain like their American counterparts. They do not have constipation issues like Americans and their hip mobility is incredible. Workers in these countries are able to work for years longer than Americans.
Now here I go talking about poop again! One thing to note is that public bathrooms in some countries and I have seen it first hand in Mexico and Turkey have are holes in the ground for toilets that force one to go to the bathroom in the squatting position. Now that could get very interesting if you didn’t have strong legs and glutes. In Fact, some research and experts suggest that squatting is actually a much more natural way to defecate.
Squats Increase Our Mobility: More Mobility = Less Pain.
Having improved mobility means that our muscles are loose and not tight. Our blood is flowing well. We don’t have pain.
Do you have knots in your muscles? Do you have joints that do not move as well as they once did?
Reduced mobility could be due to extremely tight muscles or fascial tissue adhesions. Adhesions occur when your muscle sticks to the tissue surrounding it.
Adhesions are when your muscle sticks to the tissue surrounding it.
This is not good. It decreases your mobility which in turn decreases your blood flow to the joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments further setting your joints up for injury.
Just as movement is critical for the function of your arms, it’s critical for your hips and back as well. Maintaining good mobility and helping your blood to flow freely is critical for your overall health.
One of the best ways to improve mobility is to get into a practice of doing squats every single day.
25 Squats – Three Times a Day
It’s best start your day with a session of squats. Then maybe do a session during your mid morning break and another set during your afternoon break. You’d be amazed at how much energy you get from a little physical activity during the day!
I typically will bust out my squats while I’m brushing my teeth. It’s a great combo. If I’m not doing them while I’m brushing my teeth, I am doing them in the kitchen while preparing my food for the day.
So start thinking about how you can get in 25 squats, three times a day within your schedule!
Take It Slow And Be Safe
Listen to your body. If you have any discomfort or pain in your joints or muscles when doing squats, I highly recommend you see an orthopedic doctor or physical therapist, as they can help determine if you have any underlying issues that need to be addressed prior to getting started with a squat program.
If you are just getting started with squats and are unsure of your ability or balance. Try simply sitting down and getting up from a soft, well supported chair without using any aid to get you up at first. This will keep you safe in case you fall or can’t quite get up all the way.
It’s important to make sure you are able to do a squat properly prior to making squats a regular part of your daily routine. I hope that you are able to check out some of the resources that I linked in this blog to get you started on your way to strengthening your lower body, improving your mobility and burning more calories!
This blog post is a summary of my full podcast covering this topic – listen to my podcast on squats here!