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Many people consider gravity to be the enemy as they get older. This might be because areas of their bodies-- once firm or toned-- are starting to soften or sag. In more extreme cases, a fall may result in a fracture or some type of significant injury. Regardless, gravity is seen as the enemy.
But gravity is actually critical to our health. In his recently revised and updated version of The 90 Day Knee Arthritis Remedy, my colleague Doug Kelsey explains how to use gravity to maintain and improve physical fitness.
There’s something you must have to stay alive beyond food, air, and water.
All biologic systems of the body – lungs, heart, bones, muscles, joints for example – need some form of applied external force or stress to maintain or improve their health. This stress comes from gravity.
This is especially true for astronauts. One of the main problems with prolonged space flight is the detrimental effects to the body from the loss of gravity.
When astronauts spend a long time in space, they battle loss of bone density, muscle strength, disturbance in balance, and problems with the cardiovascular system among other issues.
I divide gravity into three environments: Sub-Gravity, Gravity, and Super-Gravity.
A Sub-Gravity environment contains a range of forces that are less than the weight of the body. A Gravity environment’s forces will be equal to the weight of the body while a Super-Gravity environment will have loads that are greater than the weight of the body.
People exercise in a Super-Gravity environment when they hike while wearing a heavy backpack, when they squat holding dumbbells, or when they use a weighted vest during push-ups.
Others exercise in a Gravity environment. They walk outside or on a treadmill. They perform push-ups or squats.
Unless you’re an astronaut, exercising in a Sub-Gravity environment often involves some type of equipment. Examples of this type of exercise include walking with hiking poles; walking in a pool; squatting on a variable incline plane; or performing wall push-ups.
Super-Gravity, Gravity, and Sub-Gravity environments can all be used to increase a person’s strength. To learn more about which environment is best for you to get stronger, read this.
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