Compiled by: Sumayyah
Welcome to our little science corner! We'll be starting our journey to know how our body works and why Allah has made it work that way. Stay tuned every week to learn the complex factories Allah has designed in our bodies and how they keep functioning without us even noticing.
(1) Why does our heart beat faster when we run?
Have you ever noticed your heart beating really fast when you've just played some outdoor game? Or exercised or run a long race? Here's why it happens. Your heart beats faster to supply blood to all your body parts specially your muscles because they need lots and lots of fresh blood, full of Oxygen for you to keep jogging or playing. So what your heart does is that it contracts (pushes blood) very hard so that the blood reaches every organ and that too, very quickly. You might be wondering how oxygen helps you to keep going with your physical activity. That's a good question! Oxygen helps the food you've eaten to release energy. If you eat lots and lots of sugars and other foods but you don't have enough Oxygen to breathe in, you'll feel like you haven't eaten anything at all! Interesting, right? Oxygen breaks down your food into energy and this process has a fancy name known as Aerobic Respiration. The word 'Aerobic' means using 'air' and so you must've understood why we need air to feel energetic after eating. Wanna know a little more? This respiration takes place in small pouches known as Mitochondria in your cells. Yes, those small cells which make up the whole of your body. Just imagine, what a great role these tiny cells play in our body. Take a minute, and thank Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) for this wonderful creation.
(2) Why do we sweat when we jog or exercise?
When we jog or exercise, a lot of sugars are broken down into energy and heat to keep us going. After some time, a lot of heat starts to build up inside our body and we need to get rid of it or else we'll fall sick. Why would a high temperature make you ill? That's because our body and its chemicals are used to working on our normal body temperature which is 37 degrees Celsius. A very high temperature disturbs all the factories in our body, just like you can't eat over cooked food. So yes, our body now has to bring the temperature down, and for this our sweat glands beneath our skin secrete sweat. The sweat drops have water in them and as they lie on our skin, they evaporate (dry up). You might be thinking how does their drying up help bring our temperature down. Here's your answer: The sweat drops just don't turn into vapor and fly away, instead they take heat energy with them. So yeah, that's how sweat drops take away all the extra heat from our body helping us cool down.
(3) How does the heart work?
The heart is one of the most important organs of your body. It's like the provider to all the other organs, ’cause they can't work without the heart working for them! Moving on to where your heart sits… it's in your chest, slightly on the left, protected by your rib cage. It's the size of your fist and is nothing but a complex muscle. The study of the heart is known as Cardiology, so yes, you're studying Cardiology today! Let's begin now, cardiologists! Your heart is basically divided into 4 chambers, think of them as maybe your kitchen cabinets. These cabinets have got names. Firstly, remember the upper cabinets (chambers) are called the atriums and the lower ones are ventricles. There are two of each type; the right and the left. Your heart is like a pump or more correctly, two pumps in one. The right side of your heart receives blood from the body and pumps it to your lungs so that the blood can load its Oxygen. The left side does the opposite of this. It gets oxygen-rich blood from the lungs and pumps it to the rest of the body parts.
(4) Arteries and veins, are you the same?
If you've ever seen a road map, you must've seen many roads going here and there. Similarly, your body has a highway system of its own that brings blood to the heart and then to the rest of your body. This highway system is called the Circulatory System. And the roads and bridges are arteries and veins. Arteries are kind of pipes which take the blood away from the heart. You can remember the 'A' of the Arteries and the 'A' of the Away to help you remember this. Now you know the arteries carry blood away from the heart to the body, what do you think is the color of the arteries? Yes you're right. They're bright red ’cause they've got fresh, oxygenated blood. They carry this fresh blood to your body from your kidneys to your fingertips. The other roads are called Veins. These are kind of blue ’cause they carry the dirty blood. It needs some Oxygen-drink refreshment! So the veins bring all the 'dirty' blood from the body and take it to the heart. The heart now pushes this blood to the lungs which then 'purify' the blood by giving it lots of Oxygen molecules. This blood is then carried to the heart which in turn pumps the now-fresh blood to your body. This process goes on and on. Amazing, right? The heart doesn't stop even for a millisecond until Allah orders and every time the heart beats, it reminds us that we've got life and we need to make the most of it.