When it comes to the workings of our bodies, we know the basics. We breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide; our hearts pump blood full of nutrients to our various organs and tissues; our bodies are 75% water; so on and so forth. Discovering and understanding such facts about ourselves is not only highly interesting, but also important in teaching us how to take care of both our physical and mental health. However, with scientists constantly researching the internal and external processes of the human body over time, there are some crucial facts and figures that might have flown over your head. So bring your knowledge back up to scratch by browsing through the following fascinating tidbits on the human mind and body. Bonus points if you can use any of them to help you improve your own health and wellbeing!
Your brain is smart. Super smart.
Ever tried to tickle yourself? Even if you’re a naturally ticklish person, chances are that tickling yourself had absolutely no effect. This is because the cerebellum (the part of your brain that plays a central role in your motor control) sends a signal to the rest of your brain notifying it of your intentions, resulting in the tickling sensation being ignored. In this way, the brain can distinguish between your own touch and someone else’s – which is why it’s so disconcerting when your arm or leg goes dead, and your touch feels suddenly foreign!
It’s not like you really need another reason to laugh, but here’s one anyway! Health experts have discovered that a really good, deep belly laugh can send as much as 20% more blood flowing through your entire body. When you laugh, the lining of your blood vessel walls relax and expand, helping you to feel more content and less stressed. So be sure to bust out those dad jokes by the dozen at your next party – the overwhelming corny factor always guarantees a few good chuckles.
Get those zzz’s!
Snoring is the absolute worst – for everyone except the culprit of course, who’s too busy being conked out to be driven insane from their own heavy breathing. But did you know that snoring is not just, well, irritating, but also potentially dangerous for your health? Snoring every so often is normal enough, but loud snoring on most nights is actually a popular symptom of certain sleeping disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnoea. If your partner’s snoring away every night beside you, don’t just whack them with a pillow, tempting at that may be. Urge them to get it checked out at the doctor’s, which may end up solving both your problems!
Drink up, up, up
A person can last without food for roughly a month. Not that anyone would ever want to starve themselves for that long, of course, but it’s a good fact to know just in case. However, deprive a person of water for just a week, and that’s it – game over. Finally, it all makes sense – this is why mothers the world over are always insisting on their offspring drinking 8 glasses of water a day. Few people truly realise how dehydration can drastically affect their health. In minor cases, you’ll feel tired and irritable, experience dizziness and headaches, and have a persistently dry mouth; in more extreme cases, you’ll suffer insomnia, heavy fatigue, and intense mood swings. Frightening stuff! So make sure you chug that H2O down, because your body will definitely thank you for it.
Lefties of the world, unite!
If you think about it, being left-handed is a bit of a hindrance. After all, the modern world is mostly tailored to right-handed needs. Think of all the trials that lefties go through on a daily basis, with right-handed scissors, spiral-bound notebooks (those little rings seriously hurt!), and the unforgiving handles of kettles and jugs all posing a challenge. Not to mention, constantly smudging your writing and getting ink all over the side of your hand! The good news is that there’s one area is which lefties can apparently prevail: sports. Many studies have shown that left-handed people have a distinct, and even evolutionary, advantage when it comes to face-to-face sports, such as boxing, tennis or fencing. So lefties, what are you are waiting for? Pick up a racquet and get your head in the game!
Biology, anatomy, and everything in between
The human body has always been, and always will be, a truly compelling subject. Chances are, we’ll never find out absolutely everything there is to know about how our minds and bodies truly work. But it sure is fun to try! If you’re keen to check out how you can improve your mental and physical workings even further, be sure to browse through Comparethemarket.com.au’s fantastic range of health guides.