There are 5 things which scientists use as criteria for something being alive.
1. Respiration: Turning food and oxygen into energy. Our bodies convert so many different types of materials into fuel that we should get a tax credit for being a “hybrid” vehicle.
2. Reproduce: Make miniature genetic approximations of ourselves, we call “babies”. Even one-celled amoeba replicates by dividing itself. How romantic.
3. Irritation: Must respond and adapt to the environment. When it’s hot, you sweat. When it’s cold, you shiver. When we hurt, we get in the car and see your chiropractor.
4. Death: Yep. For something to be considered living, it must have the ability to die…so no vampires, zombies, or Volvo’s.
5. Movement: If something is alive, it must be able to MOVE! You know, that thing you do between sleeping and sitting.
3) How you move. These all work together to determine your physical experience.
So, what’s so special about movement?
1. Movement stretches your arteries: We now know that one way exercise prevents artery hardening (arterial sclerosis) is by veraciously pumping blood through the arteries and stretching them out; keeping them loose.
2. Movement stretches your joints: After about age 15, your spinal discs no longer have blood circulation. Fluid must be pumped in and out in order to get nutrients in and waste out. This is accomplished through movement. Movement and stretching of the joints forces necessary fluid in and prevents joints from accumulating buildup of waste and becoming stiff.
3. Movement strengthens bones: We now know that nearly ALL exercise increases bone density. By contracting muscles, you pull on their bony attachments, causing stress along the bone. This stress signals your body to thicken the bone and make it stronger. A tennis player’s racquet hand’s bones are always more dense than the opposite hand due to the stress of the vibrations coming off of the racquet.
4. Movement moves white blood cells: With more blood moving through the nooks and crannies of your tissues, white blood cells have more opportunities to run into viruses, bacteria and the daily cancerous cells your body produces.
5. Movement builds your brain: Did you know movement recharges your brain like driving your care recharges your battery? It’s true! In fact, exercise literally adds density to your brain by forcing the neurons to create more and more connections in your brain. This is why people who exercise have less depression and lower rates of Alzheimer’s. Children who exercise in the morning tend to score better on tests as well. For more about activity in the brain, check out the book “Spark” by John J. Rately.
IF you have questions regarding low back or neck pain call our office at 623-587-7463 or check us out online.
Dr. Aaron L. Wiegand, DC