Athletes are built as upright vertebrates.
Their bodies contain bones, which provide a skeleton or framework upon which soft tissues attach.
The function of the skeleton is to provide stiff, rigid resistance to the force of gravity and still provide enough flexibility for movement.
A cranium protects the brain and centers the skeleton. An S-shaped, flexible column of bone supports the cranium. The column appears strait when viewed from the front or back.
The column is made of a series of vertebra (odd shaped bones) joined together by a series of ligaments and disks. This gives the vertebral column some flexibility and protects the spinal chord from injury.
A flexible head sits between two shoulders.
Each shoulder articulates with an arm that is made up of three bones.
The three bones are joined by an elbow. The lower arm articulates with a wrist, from which a hand is attached.
The connection between the shoulders and the hips is via the trunk. It is made up by the vertebral column and the large muscles of the back and abdomen. The strength of this connection helps keep the skeleton remain balanced.
Two hips anchor the trunk. Each hip articulates with a leg.
The leg is made up three bones joined at the knee. The lower leg articulates with an ankle from which a foot is attached.
Normal posture maintains an erect and slightly curved spine with the two shoulders and two hips parallel to the ground. The longer an athlete can remain in this position the better the body can resist the forces that cause injury.
Once an injury occurs, athletes develop compensations to reduce the load on the affected structure. This unconscious response can be more serious than the injury itself. This is similar to arthritis where the cellular response to inflammation is more damaging than the actual attack.
Health is best maintained by a daily series of functional, strengthening and aerobic exercises.
There is need for plenty of water and a complete library of micronutients. These come with the fuel in colorful foods.
Aerobic exercise increases the oxygen carrying and delivery capacity of the blood. It improves its lipid profile, while strengthening immunity. Aerobic exercise improves mood.
It is the only solution to prevent diseases as we age. The end of exercise marks the beginning of decline.
Functional exercises on the other hand, enables the skeleton to maintain posture and better resist the force of gravity by strengthening core muscles.
These exercises also improves flexibility by engaging the limbs through a full range of movements. Hindered movement is caused by arthritis, compensations and inactivity.
Both aerobic and functional exercises are highly recommended.
A good biomuscular program is designed to correct imbalances and eliminate compensations. When it becomes incorporated into a daily routine, it is a great preventive strategy to prevent dysfunction.
Pillars of health
1. Intense, daily exercise is the engine of health.
The two or three times a week that busy schedules affords, is not enough. Nor is the thirty minutes of moderate exercise that doctors recommend.
2. Physical activity includes work day experience as well as resistance training and aerobic exercise. Functional exercises, like those designed by Chek, Egoscue, Verstegen, Santana and Pilates are recommended.
3 Colorful foods for fuel and botanical supplements to minimize inflammation. This best prepares the body for the metabolic consequences of exercise.
4. A High complex carbohydrate diet, hydration and rest is all the nutritional replenishment that muscles need. Providing it is the key to a speedy recovery.