Wear and Tear

Wear and Tear

What is Thermodynamics?

Thermodynamics is a branch of physics concerned with heat and temperature and their relation to energy and work. In other words it holds the rules that apply to wear and tear. These rules can be applied to our bodies.

In our first Lesson, we spoke about the effects of Gravity on our bodies. Imagine if you will that Gravity is a constant downward force, and if you were to apply heat, energy and work…you would have friction. This friction results in cells being destroyed.

This is needed to a certain extent, because that’s how we replace our weak and dying cells. Our bodies naturally have triggers in our DNA which respond in kind by replacing the dead old cells with new vibrant and health cells. That is how a small child grows into an adult. However, even as adults, our cells continue to die and regenerate. More on that in another module.

Heat and Energy

Temperature has significant affects on our body. As we move, we build up heat, resulting in more energy production and consumption. If your continue to produce heat beyond an optimal range, cells get damaged at a quicker rate than they can be replaced. This results in injuries like strains, tendinitis, cartilage damage and stress fractures. But there is an optimal level of heat production that is useful to the human body, as it promotes the cell death and regeneration. Finding a state of equilibrium here is key.


As your joints move along a plane, they are subject to the effects of heat energy and work. This causes friction, resulting in death and regeneration of these surfaces. Often too much or too little activity can result in problems with these joints. Overusing joints can lead to too many dead cartilaginous cells and not enough being replaced. Underutilizing joints can lead to poor regeneration of joints and a stasis effect of the current cells. This means your weak and dying cells accumulate and aren’t being replaced adequately by your body. Friction also needs to find an equilibrium point for maximal effect.

Velocity and Acceleration

As we move, we accelerate and pick up speed. Once we stop accelerating, we either stat at that speed, or slow down. Depending on the abruptness of this acceleration and deceleration, we will have wear and tear. Think of a hammer driving a nail into a piece of wood. The hammer head and nail won’t have much effect during the acceleration of the hammer. But upon contact of the hammer head to the nail (deceleration of the hammer head and acceleration of the nail), both structure will deform and become damaged. The nail head will most likely be the victim of more damage than the hammer, per design and calibration.

The same can be said of the human body. Think of when your heel strikes the ground every time you walk, jog or run. During walking, the heel will come down with some force, resulting in wear and tear of all weight-bearing joints of the body (ankles, knees, hips, spine). Increase the acceleration and you will see more damage. To be fair, as you accelerate to higher speeds, many running coaches will instruct you to run on your forefoot, and avoid letting the heels come in contact with the floor…lest they significantly shorten your running career.

A car accident is another example of how velocity and acceleration can significantly increase wear on your body. The jarring effects aren’t immediately realized by the person, but they will be in due time.


Human movement and preservation start by understanding the physical forces that act on our bodies. We are all subject to these laws of physics, and ignoring them will come at a price. However, there are huge rewards that can be gained by learning and applying these concepts to give you all the advantages you can to make movement better, easier and more efficient. Your health depends on it.

Here is an interesting video of how many of these principles were discovered. Thankfully, many of these people made the sacrifices so we didn’t have to.

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