Life Web 101
This is life happening. Right there. Shown in that image. It is NOT your phone, tablet, computer, and certainly not your news feed. There is the Sun. There are trees. There is water and animals. When sunlight hits the trees, photosynthesis happens. This is like magic. It is the foundation of the food web. Trees make their energy by converting carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O) via sunlight to sugar and oxygen (O2). You, the human reading this, have power plants inside your cells that liberate energy by reversing this process. You take sugar and oxygen and via sunlight create water and carbon dioxide. The water you drink forms the battery that drives your internal processes. The oxygen that you breathe is the terminal acceptor of electrons within your mitochondria in the process of ATP production. The birds in the image can take flight because they have mitochondrial capacity. This and other aspects of the life web will be explored as this website continues to build. Whether you are here as an athlete, someone who wants to shed fat, have more energy or are just curious, let’s explore these areas and see how we can move closer to optimal.
If you are an athlete (everyone that moves is an athlete), hopefully you spend time and attention on proper biomechanics, on the optimal form within your sport. Whether you are practicing your golf swing, your serve in tennis or set shot in basketball, you likely are engaged in proper form and technique. Let’s leave the professionals aside for a moment. They are likely engaged in proper biomechanics (hopefully). This is not the case for amateur/recreational athletes. For some sports there does live inside the general consciousness the idea that one needs training in proper technique to fully and properly engage in the activity, even as an amateur. Ballet, for example, is all technique. One does not simply engage in ballet without proper form. What about lifting weights? With the hammering of ergonomics and proper form to lift a weight, even a pen, at the office or at home by the government and various organizations, one does not simply pick things up anymore. There is training at the office or at least available elsewhere. Think about the gym. One wants to use the machines properly. On the other hand, the amateur athlete can still pick up a racket and play tennis or squash for fun without talk about technique or strategies. All fine until injury occurs. This happens to be a lot during running. Here we know something about running (and lifting weights). There are many runners all over the world. From meta-studies we can gather that 40-60% of these runners get at least one serious injury per year. That is millions of runners each year that are out, sometimes for weeks. They are wearing down their wonderful machine, their body, that could easily last them their lifetime. Proper technique in running and weightlifting will also pad this website. Movement is one part in the road to optimal.
Let’s keep this up for runners. Are you going far, fast, or both at the same time? Is it recreational? Is it to stay in shape, as in, an athletic build? Let’s quickly create a stereotype runner. You eat healthy. At least you think so because you have a shake, or maybe even whey protein. You buy all the gear, from shoes to shirt to the pocket on the arm with the matching smartphone, earbuds and running app. You go out when it is dry, likely. Preferably sunny. And you just run. We all run differently anyway.
Let’s introduce a different perspective. What about the light in your environment? Is your circadian rhythm matched to your environment? Did you know that a lot goes on in the body before food becomes relevant? You might know a bit about hydration but then again, there is overhydration among runners. Then there is the gear. Most athletes are not in tune with their body. Then there are the effects of manmade electromagnetic radiation and blue light on biology. That smartphone in that pocket, that alone is a radiation and blue light hazard. Then finally we get to the biomechanics. Those shoes are horrible pads for biomechanics (and they disconnect the body from the effects of grounding). Many athletes move horribly when running. With the popularity of the sport and all the distances available, injuries are just accepted as part of the game. Let’s say a 5k. This is quite short, so to speak. Yet, if one step is one meter, that is still 5000 steps; with two legs that is 2500 times hitting pavement for each foot during one event. That’s going to take its toll eventually.
The human body was engineered to perfection over millions of years of evolution. Now it has become domesticated and ill, as have the pets it keeps. Let’s start moving back to optimal. Get to know the term ‘wild human’. Be a different kind of animal.