Let’s get physical

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As busy university students, our bodies undergo harsh treatment. Between partying, cramming for exams and managing our schedules, we experience a great deal of physical stress. But finding time to take care of our health is not often a priority. Jackie Marchildon reveals some of the lesser known facts about our bodies

1) Young people can develop middle-age related conditions like hypertension, diabetes, obesity and memory loss from chronic sleep loss.

2) On average, young adults produce between one and three pints of saliva each day. Without saliva in the mix, your taste buds cannot detect taste. Don’t be embarrassed if you accidently spit on someone during conversation, your body’s just ensuring you can enjoy some tasty treats awaiting you at home.

3) Because of the way your breasts fall when you sleep, all women have one breast that is larger than the other, so if you’re feeling out of proportion, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

4) Chances of a women getting breast cancer are increased by excessive use of alcohol.

5) Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), is a sexually transmitted infection, that can lead to cervical cancer. The HPV vaccine is recommended by some doctors for females between the ages of 14 to 26-years-old. The vaccine can protect you against pap abnormalities, genital warts and cervical cancer, all of which are associated with certain strains of HPV infections. Males are carriers of HPV cells, though they remain dormant and cannot be detected.

6) Your vagina can secrete 1/4 of a teaspoon of discharge in 8 hours. So if you think you are running like a hose down there, don’t worry, that’s probably normal. Also remember that you discharge more depending on where you are in your cycle. If you are ovulating, you will discharge more.

7) If you smoke, the Pill is not a recommended form of birth control. The chance of developing a blood clot is much higher for habitual smokers.

8) In Canada, women are twice as likely to develop depression than men.

9) The risk of cardiovascular disease is twice as high in women that snore compared to women who do not snore.

10) Our tongue is the strongest muscle, compared to its size, and it is the fastest healing muscle in our body. So while you technically don’t need to worry about the repercussions of healing a pierced tongue, you should try to keep sharp objects out of your mouth.

11) A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, finds that women using the birth control pill showed markedly decreased levels of sexual desire than those women who do not use the birth control pill.

12) You may not like being hairy down there, but pubic hair produces pheromones, which are known to play a vital role in seduction and attraction. In waxing and shaving, you do away with powerful signals that are programmed to seduce.

13) Your femur bone is stronger than concrete.

14) If your red blood cell count is less than normal, you may end up with the medical condition known as anemia, a disease common among young people. Often students assume they are just tired because they are busy and stressed when in fact they are anemic. Anemia primarily causes you to get tired very easily, can cause heart palpitations and increase the paleness of your skin.

15) Binge drinking as a young adult can lead to long-term memory loss. Alcohol consumption affects the hippocampus, the part of your brain responsible for learning and memory. Binge drinking limits activity in the hippocampus, which hinders our ability to retain new information. If we can’t remember information in a short-term setting, our brain cannot remember information in the long-term.

16) Human eyeballs weigh approximately 28 grams and can distinguish 500 shades of grey. Since many students are avid computer users, they are more susceptible to developing eye problems and irritation.

17) Your stomach needs to produce a new layer of mucus every 2 weeks in order to avoid digesting itself.

18) Smoking cigarettes can shorten your penis by up to a centimeter. According to Men’s Health Magazine, smoking calcifies blood vessels, which limits circulation. Circulation is key to good blood flow and erections only happen when blood gets flowing. So before you light up, make sure you know what you could be giving up.

19) Smoking just two to three joints a week can cause erectile challenges in young men.

20) Your feet contain 25 per cent of the bones in your body. Each foot contains 26 bones.

21) Our brains are most active at night. Staying up late cramming for midterms may not be a bad thing.

22) The right side of the brain is responsible for male arousal. The part dedicated to sex is two and a half times bigger than in women.

23) Yes, we’re busybodies who rely on our Blackberries to keep us in check. But people who use cellphones frequently are 2.5 times more likely to develop cancer in areas of the brain adjacent to the ear they use to talk on. Limiting our usage can save us money and promote good health.

24) We all know not getting enough sleep is bad for our health, but what many do not know, is that young people who do not get enough sleep regularly can become less sensitive to insulin. This means that your body is more at risk for diabetes and high blood pressure.

25) About one out of every eight Canadian men is expected to develop prostate cancer at some point in his life, making it the most common cancer seen in Canadian men. Testicular cancer, though not as common, tends to be a disease seen mostly in young men. An undesceneded testis has a much greater risk of developing cancer.

26) Chronic masturbating can overproduce sex hormones and neurotransmitters, which causes negative effects ranging from fatigue, pelvic and testicular pain and even vision change. There’s also the added fact that it can make it challenging to orgasm with a partner because you put your body is on sexual auto-pilot. At an age where sex is often on the mind, you might want to be careful how often you act on your urge. Not saying masturbating is bad, just that even too much of a good thing can be bad.

Photos: Chelsea Pottage

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