LEAP
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Healthy Lifestyle

Body Knowledge

 

 

     

 

¤ Look Tired!

¤ Shivering!

¤ Can't Sleep?

¤ Race Walking

¤ Avoid Cold Showers After Sport

 

 


Looking Tired!

 

It is easy to recognize someone who is very tired or that they did not get enough sleep the night before because they will have dark circles around their eyes.  Hong Kong people’s lifestyle is very busy and fast- paced.  Many people sacrifice their time to sleep for work from school or their workplace.  That might be why seeing people with dark circles under their eyes are quite common in this city.  However, how does having dark circles around someone’s eyes relate to not having enough sleep?

 

When someone does not have enough sleep, their eyes will get tired.  The skin around the eyes will feel stressed and tighten.  When this happens, the blood vessels under the eyes will also tighten, causing blood circulation around the area to be affected.  When the blood flow is affected, the oxygen level in the blood around that area will decrease.  The colour of the blood will then turn from bright red to dark red.  The dark colour of the blood can be seen through the thin layer of skin under the eyes – this is what makes the dark circles around the eyes!

 

To get rid of the dark circles, people can gently massage the area around the eyes to improve the blood flow, but of course, the best way is to get enough rest and sleep every day!

 

 

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Shivering!

 

When we feel cold, sometimes our body begins to shiver all over.  Why does that happen?

 

Shivering is a way for the body to control the body temperature.  When it gets cold, receptors to different senses on the skin can feel it.  The receptors then send a message along the nerves to the brain.  When the brain receives these messages, it will send messages back to different body parts to react accordingly to regulate the body temperature.  One of the messages tells the muscles around the body to contract and relax, which causes the shivering.  When we shiver, the body will create heat energy to keep the body at the normal body temperature.

 

Therefore, when we feel cold, our body shivers to stay warm.  However, even though this can help us regulate our body temperature, we should also remember to dress properly on cold days so we won’t catch a cold!

 

 

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Can't Sleep?

 

There’s nothing better than a good night’s rest because getting enough sleep every night is very important for people to stay healthy.  If you have trouble falling asleep, here are some useful tips to try!

 

We should go to bed around the same time every night.  This can help the body set its circadian time rhythm, which is like a natural clock in your body.  When we set our circadian time rhythm, we will feel sleepy around the same time every night so it will be easier to fall asleep.

 

We should also avoid doing homework, reading, or other activities in bed.  Otherwise, our body would be used to staying awake to do different things in bed other than going to sleep. 

 

Drinking a glass of warm milk can also help people fall asleep.  However, we need to make sure that we don’t drink or eat too much at least 3 hours before bedtime.  If we eat or drink too much before we sleep, it will be very difficult for the stomach to digest the food.  Getting enough sleep every night is very important to staying healthy! When we have enough rest we will have enough energy to run, play and learn the next day!

 

 

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Race Walking

 

Race walking is an easy yet effective form of exercise.  Each step would be slightly bigger than regular walking, and the heel of the foot needs to touch the ground with every step. The body posture is also very important.  The person needs to walk tall, tighten the stomach and buttock muscles, and have exaggerated arm movements similar to when people are running.

 

Studies showed that people should walk about 10,000 steps each day to stay healthy. Paced walking can increase cardiovascular fitness and bone density, lower blood pressure and body fat, and reduce stress.  It is very easy to include this exercise in one’s daily life.  For example, people usually walk about 1000 steps every 10 minutes, so instead of taking the escalator, people could choose to take the stairs.  Another way is if people need to travel short distances, they could walk instead of taking the bus.  Race walking is a very good form of exercise, especially for people who do not have time to exercise on a regular schedule.

 

Even though race walking is an easy form of exercise, people should take some safety precautions.  If the weather is bad or if the person is feeling ill, it is best to choose to do an indoor exercise or get some rest.  Race walking is a sport, so it is important for people to dress appropriately and choose comfortable athletic shoes!  

 

 

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Avoid Cold Showers After Sport

 

Doing sport keeps us healthy, develops muscles and co-ordinates our body.  It also helps to build team spirit and friendship.

 

Besides drinking water, many people think that having a cold shower after doing sport would cool the body down. While this may get rid of all the sweat on the body and can help us stay clean, a cold shower can also be harmful to the body.

 

When doing sport, the body uses a lot of energy to get the muscles moving and so our body’s temperature will rise according to the amount of energy used to do the activity.  To avoid our body from over-heating, blood vessels under the skin’s surface will expand and amount of sweat will increase at the same time so that it helps our body to cool down.  After finishing doing exercise, our body will continue to sweat until our body’s temperature returns to normal.  If we took a cold shower right away, our body would think that it is now in a cold place even if it is not.  As such, our body would stop sweating and the blood vessels under the skin would get smaller.  This would increase the blood flow circulating around the body causing an increase in blood pressure, which makes the heart work harder. 

 

It is best to take a rest before having a shower after doing sport to let the body cool down naturally.  If you can’t do that, take a warm shower to avoid affecting the body’s natural cooling system.

 

 

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