The Marvel

The human body is a marvel in adaptation

The more I learn about and explore human function the more this statement rings true. What the body does on a yearly, seasonal, monthly, daily, hourly and moment to moment basis is utterly amazing. It is almost impossible to comprehend the amount of things that happen in your body every second of every day. Everything we feel from or in our body is happening for a reason. The body is constantly adapting to the environment and the situations we put it into. It just doesn’t adapt in the way we think, want or expect.

Everything happens for a reason. There is no chance, there are no paradoxes, the body does what it needs to do to survive. Whether it is ideal for our ego or not, the body follows its best guess at the adaptations and changes needed to keep us alive and procreating. Every time we do something, good, bad or indifferent, it adjusts.

Lift some weights one day? The body’s tissues break down and it increases the local inflammatory response to heal those muscles. Lift weights on a regular basis? The body shuttles resources to your muscles, bones, tendons, brain, nerves and vessels to make them stronger.

Eat a bunch of sugar? The body will kick up metabolism to burn off some extra energy and release hormones to shuttle that toxin out of your blood and into your muscles, liver or fat to keep its tissues safe. Keep eating a lot of sugar? The body will make you diabetic to protect itself.

Don’t eat enough of a nutrient? The body will crave foods to get it. Still don’t eat it? The body will pull it from your own tissues and use that or change how it regulates mineral usage to down-regulate hormone, enzyme or neurotransmitter production.

Don’t eat meat for a day or two? The body will recycle some proteins and repair some tissues. Don’t eat meat for a long time? The body will lower its production of stomach acid, making it harder to digest proteins and cleave some vitamins and minerals.

Exercise a lot and restrict your calories for a few days? The body will kick in some reserves to get you by. Keep doing it? The body will lower its metabolism by dropping muscle, dropping body temperature, cellular oxygen usage and become more efficient at storing fat, making it easier for your to survive the famine and stress it perceives you are under.

Don’t sleep enough for a night or two? The body will be tired but up-regulates hormones and neurotransmitters to keep resources available for you to function. Don’t sleep enough chronically? The body starts making long term changes to keep you alive despite the stress and lack of recovery. It does this at the expense of other things, like keeping your sex drive high or your waist lean.

The list of body adaptations is limitless. At this moment, thousands of things are happening in your body as it adapts to your experience. I write this to remind you to not take your body for granted. It is working around the clock to save your life. Respect how much work that is. Remember how many things we still don’t know about the body. Even when it frustrates you, remember it is only doing what it considers best given the circumstances and experiences you put it through.

Everything happens for a reason. The body is absolutely a marvel at adaptation.

Thanks for reading, have a well marvelously adapted day!

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