Thursday, 2 May 2013

Day 2: Fascinating facts

Today is all about teaching somebody else about something you know stuff about or are good at. I'm a bit sick of talking about myself and well I love learning, so I'm teaching you something. Here it is.

The human body

If you’ve never fallen in love before I suggest you study the human body. It is fascinating, the more you learn the more you want to know and still you get surprised. Even its most ‘ugly’ features are beautifully designed and intricately placed within our bodies for their own specific purposes. Granted people won’t understand them all because I actually don’t think we are meant to know it all, but personally I think that mystery is what makes you seek to love it more.

We’ve all learnt the mantra of moderation eating and regular exercise but there’s so much out there what do you pay attention to? Being a regular reader of health magazines I always gain the opportunity to add to the plethora of knowledge I gained from studying biomedical science courses at University. Tough subjects yes, but all the wealth of knowledge I gained. I could really talk about the human body for ages, I have been known to get off topic and introduce random fun facts in classes that leave my very young students baffled and confused all because of the passion for this amazing gift we’ve been given. So instead of writing and lending off on a tangent I’m supplying you with the fun facts.

Human Body 101

1.       The heart has several ways to restart itself. In order to understand this you must understand that the heart beats through a series of electrochemical responses that move from the Sinoatrial node to the Atrioventricular node, the Bundle of His and the Purkinje fibres. Whoa, what a mouth full huh? Essentially typically when someone has a heart attack the sinoatrial node may not be starting the heart’s beating process. So the heart has backups…the atrioventricular node, Bundle of His and the Purkinje fibres all can create a ‘kickstart’ for the heart if the Sinoatrial node isn’t working; though they tire more quickly they are still effective. Essentially it means it’s harder to have a heart attack than you think. Pretty cool huh?

2.       Your brain controls your breathing. You probably have heard this before, but anxiety over anything can be maintained by thinking about your breaths which will in turn slow your breath. Hence meditation is bliss.

3.       Most scientific names for the body are built on latin roots- understand their prefixes and suffixes and you’ll at least get the location of the muscle. Eg: tibialis anterior (otherwise affected by what we call shin splits) is the muscle located at the front of the lower leg nearest the shin bone (tibia). Study made easy now right?

4.       A man working on a railway a couple of centuries ago was using a pick and it went through his head, he remained alive to teach us that the frontal lobe (front part of the brain) is responsible for our personality. Perhaps a brain transplant isn’t what someone needs? A pick is pretty cheap these days. Ps: I’m not encourage violence, I’m just using poor humour.

5.       The body’s muscles contain fast and slow twitch fibres. Their name indicates their ability to perform. Fast twitch fibres are fast reacting muscle fibres (myofibrils), slow twitch are slow reacting muscle fibres. Each person has a genetic makeup of fast and slow twitch fibres, the more dominant fibre they contain the enhanced ability they have to be sprinters or long distance runners. This explains the child/person you know who throws in a lot of effort for running but gets nowhere (slow one- literally). It also explains how one can ‘detrain’ themselves after a few weeks on the couch. 10% of these fibres have the ability to morph into their opposite fibre.

6.       The body has the ability to work automatically if a ‘motor program’ is made automatic. A motor program can include running, hopping skills or could be the volleyball serve action. Hence ease is created through training.

7.       Red blood cells live for 7 days. They are created in the bone marrow and are recycled by the body after their death. Removal of red blood cells (eg donating blood) is beneficial to create fresh new stocks of blood and it can increase energy levels. So get donating!

8.       It takes fewer muscles to frown than it does to talk- perhaps that’s why some people are good at being grumpy.

9.       Old people pass out on toilets when doing number 2’s because it is your body’s reaction to hold its breath whilst ‘dropping the kids off at the pool’.

10.   Nerves can regenerate themselves if damaged but only at 1mm per year.

Now don’t ever say you didn’t learn something new. Unless of course you knew all of this- perhaps then yes. Hahaha.

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