Well I don't agree. I believe the human body is designed perfectly. I believe we are all born athletes and totally capable of whatever we want to do in life. The problem is most of us don't use our bodies the way they were designed and since form follows function and we are a stimulus response organism, our bodies lose the ability to do what we'd like them to do, and it's a self fulfilling prophecy. But it can be turned around and rather easily, but first let's introduce you to 10 Design Perfections in the Human Body.
- 8 Load Joints - We are designed with 8 major load joints - 2 ankles, 2 knees, 2 hips, 2 shoulders - that are aligned vertically and horizontally to form perfect right angles. This perfect design gives us balance (essential for walking, running, jumping, and moving around the Earth) which without a symmetrical musculoskeletal system would make it awkward if not impossible to navigate the world. 8 is great!
- Perfectly Curved Spinal Column - yes there is a fight between whether our spines are designed to be S or J curves and whether some people have spines in a different shape than others, but the arguments miss the main point. The curve of our spines allows us flexibility and mobility while also providing stability. The curve of our spines allows us to absorb the shock created by running and jumping - something a straight spine never would. Let's stop cursing our curves and embrace them instead!
- Multi-Purpose Pelvis - Our pelvis is amazing in its ability to to multitask between providing locomotion (walking, running, skipping, etc) and its role as being a stable foundation for our upper body motions (throwing, grabbing, pushing, pulling, etc) and even doing both at the same time as seen in sports like basketball, tennis, and lacrosse. If you happen to be a woman, your pelvis is even capable of perfectly supporting a growing fetus for 9 months of gestation and shape-shifting to allow a 7 or 8 pound infant with it's enormous head to twist and turn it's way into your arms. Perfect pelvis, love it.
- Strong and Stable Knees - Our knees are perfectly designed to work like a sports cars transmission - turn massive engine (hip) horsepower and torque into usable power at the tires (ankles/feet). When high speed and power are needed from the hips the knees provide the perfect amount to the ankles and feet to produce things like Usain Bolt's 9.58 second 100 meter world record run. The knees do their work without allowing wasted energy or movement while at the same time not allowing the hips to overpower the ankles and burn out the tires. 2-4-6-8-who-do-we-appriciate? Knees!
- Super Digestive and Energy Systems - Have you looked at what people eat around the world in different countries and cultures? Giant Pandas have to eat bamboo or they die. Humans can eat the largest variety of food of any animal on earth and not just survive but thrive! Along with the ability to digest a huge variety of foods, humans also possess the amazing ability to utilize whatever we eat for energy - humans can live, survive, and even thrive on high fat, high protein, or high carbohydrate diets. Try feeding a race horse a high protein diet or a polar bear a high carbohydrate diet and see what happens - not good! Enjoy your favorite food and thank your body for it's ability to use it!
- Strong and Sensitive Feet - The human foot (and ankle) with 26 bones and 33 joints is both complicated and simple - complicated design and function, but with a simple purpose. The foot is the human body's primary connection to the earth - not a job to be taken lightly because one small error in its job and the human body could perish (fall off a cliff and die for example). Think about the job the foot has: it has to sense the surface beneath it and gather as much information as possible and decide how to instantly adjust for that information. Is the surface hot? cold? slippery? soft? hard? jagged? sloped? stable? unstable? wet? dry? moving? still? Not an easy job. For human survival throughout time we've relied on our feet to do their job without our active attention. When we are running after prey or away from danger we can't be thinking about each step we take and consciously decide what the surface conditions are and how we should change our movement to accommodate these changes - no our feet have to decide and react instantly if we are to catch our dinner or escape being someone else's. Our feet are strong enough to support hundreds of pounds over any surface at many speeds and keep us balanced and reach our destination on time. Pretty awesome. Go feet!
- Perfect Adaptation and Repair - The human body is a stimulus response organism meaning we are constantly responding and adapting to our environment and all stimulus including physical forces and stresses; thoughts, feelings, and emotions; what we eat and drink; and everything we do and interact with. Our muscles respond to work and become more capable of work. Our bones respond to forces and become stronger and denser. Our cardiovascular system responds to exercise and becomes more efficient. Use it or lose it - if we move and put a demand on our body it will respond and get stronger, more efficient, and function better and when demand goes away our body loses strength, efficiency, and function. Humans replace somewhere in the range of 300-500 billion cells a day and we are in a constant die-repair-rebuild cycle. The human body is perfectly designed to respond and adapt to our environment.
- Amazing Hands - The human hand can deliver amazing amounts of power and force quickly while also being able to produce delicate, intricate, and exact minute movements. A donkey can certainly deliver a powerful kick but they do not possess the ability to produce small subtle movements like the human hand. The human hand can produce almost 3,000 pounds of force in a punch and is also capable of the intricate movements needed to do brain surgery or play the violin to perfection. Put your hands together for your amazing hands!
- Ability to Compensate - When a certain muscle or muscle group is under-stimulated it atrophies and becomes unable to perform the task it is designed for. When the body needs to perform that task another muscle or muscle group, one that was not originally designed to do the job, must take over in order for the body to complete the task. This substitution is called muscle compensation and is a survival mechanism thousands of years old and allowed the human species to survive and thrive in emergency situations. Yes, long term compensation is the number one cause of musculoskeletal pain, but without it your ancestors would not have survived to create you. Thank your ancestors for their compensation!
- You are a born athlete - Even if you've never played a sport, ran a race, or had a body that looked like an Olympian - you are a born athlete. Every human, because we all share the same design, has the physiological ability to be an athlete - someone capable of running long distances, jumping, balancing, climbing, swinging, throwing, and performing amazing physical feats. You might have never tapped into that potential, but it is there waiting to be used, and when you do start to use your inner athlete your overall health will drastically improve. Celebrate your inner athlete!
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