Tag: heart and the cardiovascular system

Under Pressure – How Underwater Environments Affect SCUBA Divers

SCUBA diving allows for the exploration of new environments, but with these environmental changes comes a danger. With over 2 million recreational divers and 3,000 commercial divers in the United states, it is important to understand these dangers and improve diver safety. As depth and pressure increase, the force exerted on the body increases at a rate of 1 atmosphere per 33 feet. The body itself is fairly good at withstanding this pressure. The danger comes from its effect on gasses inside the body. Compressed air takes up less volume for the same amount of matter, meaning that it takes more air to fill the lungs at depth, causing divers to go through air faster than they would at the surface.

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Live fast die young: Rate of Living Theory

The rate of living theory proposed by Max Rubner (1908) suggests that animals have a finite number of heartbeats till they die. The initial observation was that the large animals which have slower RHR (resting heart rate) live more than small animals which have faster RHR. Taylor (1980) explained this phenomenon with the “cost of generating force” hypothesis which suggests the amount of oxygen consumed by running animals is proportional to their weight. It was stated that producing one newton of force on the ground is more costly for smaller animals than for bigger ones because smaller animals must take shorter steps using faster, less economical muscle fibers than bigger animals do. Additionally, their larger area and volume ratio causes them to lose more heat. Therefore, small animals require more oxygen (per kg of body mass) to be delivered to the tissues in the body. However, the total number of heartbeats of most animals -large or small- tends to be approximately the same, around a billion, and humankind is stated as the exception with 2.24 billion heartbeats. Anyhow, if we consider it in terms of broad orders of magnitude, there does appear to be a tragic connection between living quickly and passing away soon for all species, large and small.

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An Exploration Into The Growth Of The Heart As A Result Of Certain Exercise

Have you ever wondered what happens to your heart when you begin to consistently exercise? How does the heart change and why? Well, the answer may not be very complicated.

During intense exercise, our heart is put under stress as it has to rapidly pump blood throughout the body. The heart often responds to this by increasing its size, but it does not do this like our other muscles. The heart has to add mass to its existing cells instead of adding new cells as we only have a limited amount of cardiac muscles; the amount we are born with is all we have. The health of our hearts is important. In the US, heart disease and injury are the number 1 cause of death. So, it is in our best interests to learn more about our health so as to minimize our risks of heart-related ailments.

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Work Smarter Not Harder!

We have all likely heard the saying, “Work smarter not harder.” While this is generally referenced in an academic setting, it is also very applicable in athletics! One of the benefits to being a runner is that it’s a sport people can participate in at any age and nearly anywhere. Unfortunately, however, anywhere from 65-80% of runners get injured in a given year. A large portion of these injuries are related to overuse.

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Not Everyone Breathes While they Sleep: The Dangers of Sleep Apnea

You might think that breathing in our sleep should come naturally – if breathing and sleeping are both physiologically necessary, then we must be able to do them simultaneously right? Unfortunately, almost a quarter of middle-aged American men and nearly 10% of women suffer from sleep apnea, a chronic condition characterized by repeatedly stopping breathing while sleeping. The clinical symptoms seem rather benign – snoring, sleepiness, fatigue during the day or other issues sleeping. However, by far the most dangerous aspect of this disease is that it puts patients at increased risk of high blood pressure, stroke, coronary heart disease, as well as occupational and/or automobile accidents. Over the last several decades, a variety of therapy options have been studied to treat this condition, ranging from drugs to masks to surgery.

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Scleroderma and Raynaud’s Phenomenon: Cold Weather’s Influence on Skin

Anyone who is familiar with winters that are mainly at temperatures in single digit range knows how crucial gloves are to surviving the tough, frigid weather. If one was to go outside without them, their hands become extremely pale (or sometimes almost blue) and, once back inside, take a bit of time to get back to normal. It’s a tough life, I know, but people with a scleroderma have an even harder time surviving the winter. What is scleroderma, you ask? Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease that causes skin and internal organs to thicken, and if that wasn’t tough enough, a good chunk of people with it also experience secondary Raynaud’s phenomenon, which is an exaggerated vasoconstriction of arterioles in response to cold weather and causes a drop in blood flow. The main, visible outcome from this disease is how the skin whitens and swells. Problems must ensue from the combination of thick skin and lack of blood flow to the extremities, right?

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Walk [Under] Water: The Benefits of Underwater Running

Just because you can’t walk on water doesn’t mean you shouldn’t run under it!

Aqua-jogging. Hydro-running. Water-treadmills. Have you ever heard some combination of these terms and wondered what the hype is?

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