Book Review: Built to Move: The 10 Essential Habits to Help You Move Freely and Live Fully

Built to Move Book Cover

Book: Built to Move: The 10 Essential Habits to Help You Move Freely and Live Fully

Author: Kelly Starrett and Juliet Starrett

Reviewed by: Leah Parkhill-Reilly

The Premise: Mobility pioneers Kelly Starrett and Juliet Starrett have crafted a book that answers the questions: “What makes a durable human? How do we continue to feel great and function well as we age? And how do we counteract the effects of technology-dependence, sedentary living, and other modern ways of life on our body’s natural need for activity?”

The reality is we all have one thing in common, a body that is aging. We can’t outthink it, outwork it or turn back that clock. But we can look at how we are interacting within our environment and understand what helps or hinders our ability to live vital lives. The book is  judgement free and it is exactly as billed, 10 chapters, each devoted to a different physical practice, each beginning with a simple explanation as to why this practice is important to living a vital life, followed by a simple assessment (some feel simpler than others). Once you’ve got your baseline, the authors then provide simple steps and strategies to improve.

The Bottomline: I really enjoyed this book. Now admittedly I have a library of books related to physical health, wellness, fitness and mobility and I spend many hours listening to science-related podcasts. All that to say, I’m aware that I might have a bias. I actually own a copy of the Kelly Starrett’s prior book “How to Be a Supple Leopard” (file that one under “best title ever”). That book is quite dense and more textbook-like rather than something I could easily pick up, absorb and put into action. With this book however, the Starretts’ have cracked the code. They’ve crafted a book which is accessible and includes an immediately applicable set of practices that truly can reset your mobility, range of motion and physical comfort.

I coach many leaders who grind away daily at their desks, giving 110% to their teams, their organizations and those who matter and very often are dealing with physical pain that comes with spending those long hours at their desk.  I could see this book being useful to them. I consider myself a healthy person with a range of practices in place to manage my physical and mental well-being, but I still adopted new tools related to my eating habits, the way I walk, hold my shoulders, and even breathe. To be clear, it’s not a training guide, it’s a practical guide for anyone who wants to live healthier at all ages and levels of ability. The book’s strength lies in how it simply combines science with storytelling and meets the reader at their level of ability, totally without judgement.

Recommendation: If you spend many hours of the week seated at a desk, then you should read Built to Move. If you have a body, then you should read this book.

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