Did you know that your spinal column's spongy intervertebral discs (IVDs) comprise 25% of this segmented structure's entire length? Did you know that an adult's spinal column is approximately 24-28 inches in length? A little quick math shows that the total height of your spinal discs is approximately between 6 and 7 inches. But most of us don't get to enjoy the maximum height, springiness, or shock-absorbing capabilities of our spinal IVDs.
Why is that? Another fact known to anatomy students is that IVDs begin losing their total water content at the early age of 2. If you're a young adult, that water-losing process has been going on for 20 years. If you're older, tack on a couple of decades. But this is a natural process. Whether we like it or not, our body parts are not built to last forever. They are designed to keep us healthy and fit for about 150 years (another little known fact). What's not natural is the sedentary lifestyle associated with living in an economy driven largely by the service sector.
Most of us like to think of ourselves as young: young in heart at least, if not actually young in years. But is it possible to stay "forever young" in terms of health and wellness? Of course, probably no one would want to remain forever young in terms of life experience. Our experiences give us character and contribute to our growth and development as persons.
As with the rest of our physical selves, we don't think about our bones until something goes wrong. Bones are just there, under the surface and unseen, normally never taking up space in our conscious thought processes. Trauma, of course, can injure a bone. But in most circumstances a bone bruise or a fracture heals on its own in due course. You might need a brace, sling, or cast to protect the bone while it's rebuilding, but within four to six weeks everything is back to normal.
Humans appear to be hard-wired for modest levels of anxiety as a fear-arousal warning mechanism. Anxiety may be characterized as uneasiness, fear, worry, and apprehension. Anxiety is a common psychological state in which the basic message is "get away from this situation". The state is usually accompanied by numerous physiologic components including surges of the hormone adrenaline, increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure, and increased blood flow to the major muscle groups as the body prepares for "fight or flight".
It's well-known that one-third of American adults are overweight and an additional one-third are obese.1 In addition, 17% of U.S. children and adolescents are obese.2 Worldwide statistics are similar. These facts are strongly associated with ongoing epidemics in diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Diabetes may cause loss of vision, kidney problems, and loss of circulation in the legs and feet. Cardiovascular disease includes high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attacks. Being overweight or obese may cause diseases which require lifelong treatment. Personal action is needed to begin to restore good health, but it's important to understand the specific nature of the actions to take.