The Body’s Feedback Loops

Don’t you love feedback? Admittedly, some of us, not so much. But, if we think about it. Feedback is a necessary part of life. We get feedback whenever we do anything. If you try to shoot a basketball into the hoop, and you miss, you’re given instant feedback to change your form or improve your aim.

Moreover, even the simple, mundane, tasks we do every day are providing us constant subconscious feedback helping us determine how to make those tasks easier the next time around. So, essentially, we’re moving through the world by means of feedback loops.

Technically, feedback loops are processes where the new inputs are largely dictated by the previous outputs. What you learned from the output of missing the shot goes into the input of shooting the ball again.

A positive feedback loop is when part of the output leads to more inputs which then leads to more outputs. For example, if we start taking care of our health, our productivity increases allowing us to make more money, which in turn allows us to take care of our health even more and so on and so forth.

A negative feedback loop, on the other hand, is when part of the output regulates or binds the input in some way. Our bodies are filled with negative feedback loops to keep our bodies from going off the rails. When we sweat, we are experiencing a negative feedback loop in action. Our body increases in temperature when we’re active and the sweat–the output– is the mechanism that cools it back down. Cool, right?

Econ 101: Donuts

In economics, we often say markets are self-regulating because they are equipped with their own feedback loops–prices.

Try and follow me here:

Let’s go back to the good ole supply and demand graph. Say the demand for donuts increases. As a result, the price of donuts increases because sellers have a hard time keeping up with the pace at which people are buying more donuts. As the price increases, being a donut seller is now pretty darn profitable. Now, you have a bunch of donut entrepreneurs getting into the donut biz to make some money. As more donut sellers get into the biz, the price of donuts come down because the supply of donuts has now increased to meet the demand.

And just like that, the negative feedback loops allows us to come back down to the original price, but in a world with way more donuts!

Donuts Equal Muscles

Similar to the market for donuts (or market for anything), our body’s negative feedback loops help us gain more capabilities–more muscles, energy, endurance. Say we want a frame with bigger and stronger muscles. To do that, we have to increase the demand for muscles. How do we do that?

Well, you can try a Thrivsource Quick Start plan. When you actively put your body through a workout, you’re increasing the demand for muscles! When the demand increases, you activate your body’s negative feedback loop.

In our example, we pay for donuts with dollars. In our bodies, we pay for muscles with energy. Kind of like how the price of donuts increased when the demand grew, we increase the amount of energy needed when we demand more from our muscles.

So, what happens? Our muscles send signals to our brain to start hypertrophy–which is basically the enlarging of our muscle fibers. We’re not going to get into the physiological process, but mostly, this is equivalent to when donut sellers come into the donut market when the price increases, subsequently increasing the supply of donuts in the market.

The Outcome

Your body is able to handle the increased demand because it has bigger and stronger muscles.

If you want to increase the supply, try actively growing the demand. Your body’s feedback loops will do the rest!

Also posted at ThrivSource.com

 

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