Fascial Fitness – Part 1

It is easy to imagine the impact of exercise on muscles, bones and even joints.  But what does exercise do for your fascia?  What is fascia!

Fascia is a structure of connective tissue that surrounds our muscles, blood vessels and nerves.  When our muscles move and exert force fascia provide a sliding and gliding environment to help with muscle movement and transmit movement from muscles to bones.  Fascia also suspends organs in their proper place and supports nerves and blood vessels as they pass through and between muscles.

Think of fascia as a seamless web from head to toe that unifies the body, connecting all body parts together.

Fascia is often considered a passive structure, it is the muscles doing all the work.  Perhaps this is why we seldom hear anyone in the fitness industry talk about exercise and fascia.  But cutting edge research is changing the way we think about fascia and its importance for functional movement.

There are 5 – 10x more sensory nerve endings in your fascia than in your muscles!

Cells of the body tell the fascia about injury, mechanical forces, use patterns, gravity and certain chemicals within your body.  The fascial system therefore responds to various demands in the body.  It isn’t passive at all.

If you have a personal trainer ask what he or she is doing for your fascia.  Because if you want permanent physical changes you can’t just train your muscles.  You have to train your fascia too.

We’ll talk more about fascial fitness in next week’s blog.