It’s fundamentally bound into our DNA that the human body – above everything else – does two jobs:
These two jobs are hard-wired into our brains and it’s only IF our requests for movement or action satisfy these two criteria that we’re able to complete any given task.
These two criteria are the reasons why we vomit if we eat food that’s bad. They’re the reasons we move at all (if we didn’t eat we’d die) and they’re the reasons that we faint if oxygen isn’t getting to our brains (laying on the floor makes it easier for the heart to pump blood to the brain).
And these two criteria are the reason that there’s ONE golden rule of mobility training – especially if you’re over 40.
And that rule?
Mobilise the spine.
Most specifically, everything between your shoulders and your pubic bone.
Why focus on this area?
Because the spine is the communication network of your body. It’s what connects your brain (the command centre) with your joints and muscles (the parts that carry out the commands).
And because it’s so important to the function of every single part of your existence, from breathing to digesting and running away from danger, it’s THIS area that has the most powerful protection reflex.
If the muscles around your spine are too tight, it triggers an agitation through the body that prevents you from relaxing and keeps you in the “fight or flight” mode – constantly needing to do something and pumping excessive amounts of stress hormones into the body.
These stress hormones increase the tension in every single muscle in your body – and keep it that way.
But that’s not actually the MAIN reason why people over 40 should focus on the spine.
It’s to prevent serious, life-altering conditions like strokes and dementia.
Now obviously, there are lots of factors at play with conditions like these, but one FUNDAMENTAL part, is blood flow.
When blood cannot get to the brain, there are catastrophic consequences.
Whether it cannot get through at all, or there’s too much furring of the arteries to allow it to pass properly, there’s one thing for sure – squashing the arteries that deliver the blood to the brain really won’t help!
And that’s where mobility comes in.
Muscle fibres have a natural twist in them. The tighter the muscle gets, the tighter the spiral gets (think wringing out a wet cloth). Since the channels for blood to flow through are intertwined with muscle tissue, when the muscle fibres get twisted, so do the arteries and veins, making it more difficult for blood to get through.
If we add to that any furring of the arteries, we’ve got a recipe for problems.
So, again, why the spine?
Well, everything from your shoulders to your pubic bone influences your neck. If we have tightness through the trunk that’s causing a rounded shoulder posture, or a rounded back, then the brain will give the instruction to lift the chin (because it’s not helpful to walk around looking at the floor – you can’t see any danger coming, which goes back to the protect instinct). And it’s this lifting of the chin that makes the muscles in the back of the neck go tight and short, squashing the arteries and veins, which limits the blood flow to the brain.
Simply by keeping the spine and trunk mobile, we can keep the blood flowing well to the brain, reducing the chances of strokes and dementia in the future, but also immediately helping with blurred vision, dry eyes, migraines, brain fog, balance, coordination and lack of concentration – not to mention neck and shoulder pain!
So, if you haven’t made mobilising your spine part of your daily routine yet, you seriously need to!
You see, this mobility stuff isn’t just about your immediate training performance and injury issues, it’s also about your long-term health.
THREE hugely important birds with ONE stone!
Talk about bang for your buck!
If you’d like to get started mobilising your spine with a quick and simple set of videos you can follow every morning when you get up and before you go to bed at night (spinal tension creates poor sleep too!), then go and grab my FREE Spine Revitaliser Video Playlist and simply follow along with me!
Go do it NOW! These few minutes each day could be the difference between serious health problems in later life, or not.