How to age well
In captivity, over time, Orca whales suffer from something called ‘Floppy Fin Syndrome.’ That is, their dorsal fin starts to fall over. Why this happens, scientists don’t really know, but in captivity these whales tend to only swim in a circle in one direction. Over time, the force profile on the creature is repetitive and about 90% of Orca whales in captivity end up with a floppy dorsal fin.
In comparison, about 90% of Orca whales in the wild have an upright fin. In the ocean, Orca whales swim up and down in different water pressures and spend time in deeper, higher-pressure water. In the wild, these whales have forces applied to their body in the water, from all different angles. In captivity, they have a force profile on their body from only one direction, meaning the fin gets force from one side.
As far fetched as this may sound, what if you apply the same principle to the human body and what happens to it over time, with repetitive movement!
We are the sum of our habits. Tiny physical actions that you repeat every day lead you to the condition you are in. Are you reading this blog article with one leg crossed over the other? How many thousands of times in your life do you think you have done that? Over time, your body will have adapted to help you to feel comfortable in that position.
People say it is just old age. Is it? Or, is it repetitive movements that you are putting through your body, such as sitting at your desk? Humans are one of the most adaptable creatures on earth. In fact, we are infinitely adaptable.
If you have painful or stuck bits in your body, you can perform new movements to make changes to your body. You can feed new information into your body to create new adaptations.
You have the ability to actually improve as you age!! Your body will keep adapting to everything that you dish out to it. So, keep giving your body a variety of movement, everyday with some intensity and complexity mixed in as well.
‘We are not just what we eat, but how we move.’
Ref: Move Your DNA. Katy Bowman.