Do You Know Squat?

I’ve been practicing it daily now for 3.5 years. I drop down and hold for a 30 count first thing in the morning upon greeting the morning sun.

This after peddling my legs while laying on my back 50 times. 50 leg extensions while holding my legs with my hands behind my knees and then 100 leg curls while on my belly. It’s my way to start the day and get the engines running full steam ahead.

I also do 15 squats at a time, sometimes multiple times per day, while holding on to the kitchen sink. I may do that many times a day, but at least once so that I can do a tremendous amount of squats a year. How can that not do something positive for the body?

At this point in my morning routine, I do a full-body lymphatic where I massage all of my limbs and torso towards the jugular veins in my neck. The purpose of this is to keep all of the intracellular and lymphatic fluids moving in a positive direction, back into general vascular circulation for better overall health. I’ve seen the benefits in my own life. Here is what I’ve noticed.

Overall improved skin/tissue quality which in turn improves color and appearance.

It reduces fluid retention and swelling by moving excess water and metabolic waste from the tissues back into the lymphatic channels where our immune system can do its best work.

I’ve also noticed a better texture across my skin overall along with a reduction in scar tissues. My suspicion is that this makes our body more efficient at healing its injuries and illness related to direct trauma and surgeries.

And of course, possibly the greatest benefit of all, it is incredibly relaxing.

I have a very lofty goal of making it to 120 years of age with a body that looks and feels no more than a healthy, robust 34. But wouldn’t that be fascinating if I got to see my birthday in the year 2116? I would love nothing more than to celebrate my birthday at 144 with a body that looked and felt no more than 24.

I’m simply growing a fully refurbished body. And it is gonna last. This time I’m doing it the right way.

Death was once my master. Now it has become my greatest teacher. A wicked man that I once was, obeying the dictates bearing the fruits of ignorance in my daily life. I had no idea the path I was traveling and where it was going to lead me. But I have repented and now I will not relent. I have found joy in knowing that I am no longer a victim of circumstance or just bad luck because of genetics. That life is not a roll of some celestial dice. That it is not something that is in every way out of my control. But something more comforting, knowing that there is a will in this thing called life that wants us to not only be healthy and wise but also bear much good fruit unto life itself.

We are here for a reason. Life does not waste its force where there is no return on investment. We are here for a purpose and it is my pleasure to serve that greater good even if I don’t yet fully understand the goal. And that is why I am here to serve.

And it all begins with some squats at the beginning of each and every day with the first kiss of the merciful morning sun that brings me life and the motivation to rise to the occasion.

The Integumentary System

Integumentary System

The skin is the largest organ in the body: 12-15% of body weight, with a surface area of 1-2 meters. Skin is continuous with, but structurally distinct from mucous membranes that line the mouth, anus, urethra, and vagina.

Two distinct layers occur in the skin: the dermis and epidermis. The basic cell type of the epidermis is the keratinocyte, which contain keratin, a fibrous protein. Basal cells are the innermost layer of the epidermis. Melanocytes produce the pigment melanin, and are also in the inner layer of the epidermis. The dermis is a connective tissue layer under the epidermis, and contains nerve endings, sensory receptors, capillaries, and elastic fibers. The integumentary system has multiple roles in homeostasis, including protection, temperature regulation, sensory reception, biochemical synthesis, and absorption. All body systems work in an interconnected manner to maintain the internal conditions essential to the function of the body.

Follicles and Glands

Hair follicles are lined with cells that synthesize the proteins that form hair. A sebaceous gland (that secretes the oily coating of the hair shaft), capillary bed, nerve ending, and small muscle are associated with each hair follicle. If the sebaceous glands becomes plugged and infected, it becomes a skin blemish (or pimple). The sweat glands open to the surface through the skin pores. Eccrine glands are a type of sweat gland linked to the sympathetic nervous system; they occur all over the body. Apocrine glands are the other type of sweat gland, and are larger and occur in the armpits and groin areas; these produce a solution that bacteria act upon to produce “body odor”.

Hair and Nails

Hair, scales, feathers, claws, horns, and nails are animal structures derived from skin. The hair shaft extends above the skin surface, the hair root extends from the surface to the base or hair bulb. Genetics controls several features of hair: baldness, color, texture. Nails consist of highly keratinized, modified epidermal cells. The nail arises from the nail bed, which is thickened to form a lunula (or little moon). Cells forming the nail bed are linked together to form the nail.

Skin and Homeostasis

Skin functions in homeostasis include protection, regulation of body temperature, sensory reception, water balance, synthesis of vitamins and hormones, and absorption of materials. The skin’s primary functions are to serve as a barrier, and to prevent water and extracellular fluid loss. Acidic secretions from skin glands also retard the growth of fungi.

Melanocytes form a second barrier: protection from the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation. When a microbe penetrates the skin (or when the skin is breached by a cut) the inflammatory response occurs.

Heat and cold receptors are located in the skin. When the body temperature rises, the hypothalamus sends a nerve signal to the sweat-producing skin glands, causing them to release about 1-2 liters of water per hour, cooling the body. The hypothalamus also causes dilation of the blood vessels of the skin, allowing more blood to flow into those areas, causing heat to be convected away from the skin surface. When body temperature falls, the sweat glands constrict and sweat production decreases. If the body temperature continues to fall, the body will engage in thermogenesis, or heat generation, by raising the body’s metabolic rate and by shivering.

Water loss occurs in the skin by two routes. Evaporation & Sweating.

In hot weather up to 4 liters per hour can be lost by these mechanisms. Skin damaged by burns is less effective at preventing fluid loss, often resulting in a possibly life threatening problem if not treated.

Skin and Sensory Reception

Sensory receptors in the skin include those for pain, pressure (touch), and temperature. Deeper within the skin are Meissner’s corpuscles, which are especially common in the tips of the fingers and lips, and are very sensitive to touch. Pacinian corpuscles respond to pressure.

Temperature receptors: There are more cold ones than hot ones.

Skin and Synthesis

Skin cells synthesize melanin and carotenes, which give the skin its color. The skin also assists in the synthesis of vitamin D. Children lacking sufficient vitamin D develop bone abnormalities known as rickets.

Skin Is Selectively Permeable

The skin is selectively soluble to fat-soluble substances such as vitamins A, D, E, and K, as well as steroid hormones such as estrogen. These substances enter the bloodstream through the capillary networks in the skin. Patches have been used to deliver a number of therapeutic drugs in this manner. These include estrogen, scopolamine (motion sickness), nitroglycerin (heart problems), and nicotine (for those trying to quit smoking).

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