You might not be able to exercise your way out of bad diet, but you can definitely greatly accelerate your journey to physical fitness if you work with – or, more correctly, against – gravity. G-force is something few personal trainers or fitness professionals talk about, but the science is all there, and it can act like a silent health and fitness partner. It’s a best kept secret in the wellbeing space, but our relationship to gravity is pivotal to our health and longevity.

Astronauts suffering gravity deprivation syndrome suffer symptoms just like we see in ageing or chronic disease. What’s more, they start showing symptoms after only 3 days in space. It also doesn’t matter how old they are. Young astronauts develop the same symptoms as older astronauts - but they also both recover with a lot of help from gravity.

None of us in the ANH office have gym memberships and we try to avoid using the word, exercise. Even the word sounds like hard work and something no one wants to do! Yet, we’re all really active, we love the outdoors and ever since our ‘gravity epiphany’ some years back, we leverage G-force for time.

How does G-force make us healthy?

Well, NASA’s Skylab Missions found that astronauts grow older faster in space - even the young ones. They also found that the lack of gravity wreaks havoc on their bodies with a list of symptoms that looks very similar to the symptoms associated with chronic disease. Research in the 90’s led them to look at the effect of gravity on the bodies of returning astronauts and they discovered that G-force really is our friend.

NASA discovered that astronauts begin to decline physically because their bodies have no need to resist anything when in weightlessness. Living in a state of suspended animation in fact causes their bodies to become completely immobile. The brain begins to decline in this state and bone density is lost at a rate of approximately 1.6 % per month and in some cases, per week. This opposed to a loss of bone density, which amounts to around 1% per year (after the age of 20) for those of us within the pull of gravity.

Without the Earth’s gravitational pull on our bodies, we’d just atrophy. Gravity has an effect on our lives every moment of every day. This can be very positive where it impacts our vitality, stamina and health or it can be negative where it weighs us down and tires us out when we don’t make the most of it.

Being sedentary, particularly if you sit for long periods, makes you a bit like a weightless astronaut in space. Gravity works against us, but it’s so easy to turn it to our advantage where it can greatly enhance our health and longevity and to live pain free lives with healthy bones and muscles.

Making the most of our stone age genes

Our bodies are designed to be in constant motion and our muscles understand how to be lean and strong when they exert effort against gravity. Muscles can only grow and rebuild themselves if there is gravity, and when leg muscles, bones, the brain and the spine are no longer needed for holding us up and making movements, they start to deteriorate. This in turn causes problems in organs and tissues that rely on muscular contraction for function.

Our ancestors relied on gravity to live and survive in a challenging world. They moved their physical bodies constantly, to find food and shelter, migrating to follow seasons and herds, and to avoid danger or to defend themselves. Our bodies, and our genes, evolved long ago to be in a state of perpetual motion. We thrive on activity and movement and we age rapidly and get sick from being sedentary.

Our latest Health Hack video gives you a flavour of what you can do to make sure you enhance your relationship to gravity in your daily life. We also share a bit about our own personal favourite G-force activities!

May the G-force be with you…

 

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