What is Internal Mobility?
The iheart device and family of apps offer a holistic approach to wellness – one that centers around the idea of internal mobility.
We know for most this is a completely new, never-before-heard-of term. So it’s no surprise you probably have some questions, namely: What is internal mobility? And how is it the key to my overall health?
Without further ado, let’s unpack internal mobility and how it works as an integrated approach to whole body health.
In this article, you’ll find:
- A definition for internal mobility
- The benefits of internal mobility
- The consequences of poor internal mobility
- Internal mobility & the iheart family of apps
- How iheart helps you live longer
Let’s get started.
Defining Internal Mobility
Internal mobility is what it sounds like – the flexibility and ease of movement in internal areas like the spine, ribcage, diaphragm, and other internal structures and tissues.
In other words, internal mobility is your key to powering your body with each breath you take. Eastern cultures and practices (e.g. yoga and tai chi) have long known that a flexible spine and deep breathing play an important role in longevity. Now in recent years, Western medical understandings have started to catch up.
Here’s how: With each breath, nutrient-rich blood is pumped out of your heart to all the areas of your body as your diaphragm – the major muscle located below the lungs that facilitates respiration – descends.
This action applies gentle pressure on many of your vital organs (e.g. your spleen, liver, kidneys, pancreas), squeezing them in a way that promotes microcirculation: the healthy exchange of blood flow and other nutrients through the tiny blood vessels in your organs.
Additionally, each breath drives the exchange of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to and from the brain, a process that provides nutrients to your control center and gets rid of wastes that inevitably build up.
The Benefits of Internal Mobility
Good internal mobility comes with countless benefits. By keeping the internal pathways of your body open and limber, you allow this exchange of nutrients to happen with ease.
A smooth, fluid process means your life-sustaining organs, your brain, and all the other cells in your body receive the nutrients they need to power you through your days and nights. Your cardiovascular system stays tuned up, your organs and muscles are nourished, and your brain is protected from the cell death that occurs when “missed connections” happen as a product of this exchange.
Put simply, internal mobility promotes longevity by protecting you from cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, and cellular death.
The good thing is that the vast majority of us start out life with great internal mobility. However, with aging, stress, sickness, and poor lifestyle habits, your internal mobility suffers.
Let’s take a look at just what happens when your internal mobility deteriorates…
The Consequences of Poor Internal Mobility
The opposite of internal mobility is aortic stiffness.
Why? Because as your spine and those internal structures stiffen, so too does your aorta.
A quick biology refresher: The aorta is the largest artery in your body, located right in front of the spine. It’s the structure that carries the nutrient-rich, oxygenated blood from the heart to the rest of your body parts and organs with each breath.
So when this region stiffens, the vital exchange of nutrients that occurs with each breath falters. Pressure builds up in the heart as blood travels and fills the heart too quickly, decreasing blood flow to the coronary arteries and starving your heart in the process – a surefire recipe for congestive heart failure1.
Not only does your circulation suffer, but your brain does too. The high pressure ensuing from a stiff aorta disrupts the subtle timing exchange of cerebrospinal fluid, creating areas of brain cell death that lead to cognitive decline overtime2 (in medical terms, this is called microangiopathic change).
The bottom line? Countless studies have confirmed that aortic stiffness is a proven risk factor for not just cardiovascular disease3 (i.e. strokes4, heart failure5) and dementia6, but ALL biological causes of death7.
As your internal mobility decreases with aging, your aorta naturally stiffens. But it’s not all bad news! Adopting a healthier lifestyle and engaging in activities that encourage you to move mindfully with each breath will protect your health and improve your internal mobility. You can use the iheart device family of apps to monitor and motivate your progress.
Internal Mobility & the iheart family of apps
The iheart Internal Age, iheart Brain, and iheart HRV apps allow you to quantify and track your internal mobility. Lifestyle changes and their gradual effect on your internal mobility can be measured and tracked with unparalleled accuracy when using the iheart device.
The iheart internal age app uses the fingertip pulse oximeter to determine your aortic Pulse Wave Velocity (aPWV), a value that acts as a surrogate measure of your internal mobility and aortic stiffness8. Since internal mobility decreases naturally as we age, it correlates this information with scientific data on the average aortic pulse wave velocities across different age groups. This allows you to use the app to see and track how old you really are on the inside.
Internal Age’s measure of Aortic Pulse Wave Velocity was tested against the gold standard Syphgmocor Excel system’s measurement of Aortic Pulse Wave Velocity with a strong, positive correlation. The standard medical test costs upwards of $25,000 and requires a team of experts, which means this information has not been accessible for most…until now!
The iheart brain app quantifies how internal mobility affects your brain’s cognitive health by measuring your orthostatic response – or how fast your autonomic nervous system (unconscious brain) kicks in when blood pressure changes occur as you move from a sitting to a standing position. With good internal mobility, the drop in pressure will return to baseline in less than 30 seconds, as your body has a clear and open pathway for blood to move through and your autonomic nervous system responds.
The iheart HRV app illustrates how a flexible spine and internal mobility affects your ability to respond to stress. with each breath, blood and air flow through the body and trigger associated swings in heart rate on a beat-by-beat basis. That means with healthy Internal mobility, your iheart device and HRV will show a high heart rate variability score, as your body is able to balance your “fight or flight” and “rest and digest” nervous system responses with ease.
Live longer with iheart
Each of these apps approach the concept of internal mobility in different ways, but with a common goal in mind. The iheart device and family of apps give you the power to know where your internal health stands, and see, in real-time, how positive lifestyle choices (e.g. increased movement9 and stretching10, stress management11, and a nourishing diet12) improve your scores. Thus, your ability to live a long, healthy life.
Use iheart to inform your decisions and motivate progress by gaining access to real-time feedback on your internal mobility – your body will thank you for years to come.
- The Role of Arterial Stiffness and Central Hemodynamics in Heart Failure
- Arterial stiffness as a cause of cognitive decline and dementia: a systematic review and meta-analysis
- Aortic pulse wave velocity: an independent marker of cardiovascular risk
- Arterial stiffness and stroke: de-stiffening strategy, a therapeutic target for stroke
- Researchers Find Link Between Arterial Stiffness and Dementia
- Prediction of cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality with central haemodynamics: a systematic review and meta-analysis
- Prognostic Value of Aortic Pulse Wave Velocity as Index of Arterial Stiffness in the General Population
- The Acute Effect of Exercise on Arterial Stiffness in Healthy Subjects: A Meta-AnalysisThe Acute Effect of Exercise on Arterial Stiffness in Healthy Subjects: A Meta-Analysis
- The Efficacy of Stretching Exercises on Arterial Stiffness in Middle-Aged and Older Adults: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized and Non-Randomized Controlled Trials
- Acute mental stress has a prolonged unfavorable effect on arterial stiffness and wave reflections
- The effects of dietary and nutrient interventions on arterial stiffness: a systematic review