How the Human Body Runs: An In-Depth Analysis | Impact PT in IL

How the Human Body Runs: An In-Depth Analysis


The human body is truly a natural marvel. The fascinating capabilities within the body are often overlooked, simply because the actions it performs everyday become so commonplace. The remarkably complex body structures allow for the successful execution of various movements and motion on a daily basis. These daily activities could simply be labeled with the timeless saying, “going through the motions,” but have you ever wondered exactly how these motions are achieved? Below you will see how the human body is able to perform the intricate actions of movement and running.

Moving with the Whole Body

Our bodies cannot fully accomplish the strenuous activity of movement or running without collective cooperation from multiple bodily systems. Without the central nervous and musculoskeletal system working together as a single unit, these types of motion cannot be performed. To create one fluid motion, all areas must be fully functioning, healthy, responsive and communicative. The bodily systems listed below will describe their monumental importance to efficiently carrying out the action of running.

Central Nervous System

Running requires a lot more coordination than just the use of the legs and feet. Without the central nervous system, these bodily appendages wouldn’t be able to move at all. The two major components of the central nervous system include the brain and spinal cord – and it’s these crucial items that influence movement through thorough information integration to the entire body. Running begins with the brain telling how the musculoskeletal system should react and respond to sensory information. This high level of coordination conducted by the brain gives the body the responsiveness needed to effortlessly react to a command. Since the central nervous system creates the awareness and sensation in nerve endings, the body is able to recognize what needs to be done to begin and carry out the motion. This, in turn, leads the bones, muscles and joints to commit to the reflexes that allow running to take place.

The Musculoskeletal System

The second bodily system that is essential to the motion of running is the musculoskeletal system. This complex assemblage of bones, muscles, joints, cartilage and other connective tissues allow the physical body to complete the action. Without this assortment of structures in the body, we simply would not be able to move. No support means the extremities are rendered useless – even with the authoritative figure of the central nervous system present. These parts absorb and implement the brain’s instruction to move the body in a manner that allows running to occur. The musculoskeletal system supports and stabilizes the body for any desired movement. When it works in unrestricted conjunction with the central nervous system, running just seems to come to us naturally without any second-thought.

The Motions of Running

Now with the two major systems explained, let’s put it all together. Running is not a single motion. It’s a collection of individual motions that in unison create a single larger motion. This means that the entire body moves together instinctively, mentally, and physically to allow us to run. When we want to start running, we first think and acknowledge the action with the brain, then begin to move the physical body with our musculoskeletal makeup. As we breathe correctly, pump our arms and let the legs carry us forward as the feet impact the ground, this means we’re successfully running. Thank your body for this great natural gift the next time you’re in the mood to jog or run onto the playing field.

IMPACT Your Health in the Chicago Area

Running is a physical action that requires an exertion of energy and collaboration from numerous parts of the body. If you would like to learn more about the human body, or need assistance restoring your physical health, please contact IMPACT Physical Therapy. We’ll be happy to answer any of your questions and concerns so we can improve your quality of life. To learn more about IMPACT, feel free to meet our staff and look at the patient services we offer. IMPACT your health in the Chicago-land area today!