The Autonomic Nervous System

The autonomic system controls aspects of the body that are usually not under voluntary control. The autonomic system is divided into two branches:

  1. Parasympathetic system: It helps maintain normal body functions and conserve physical resources. Once a threat is over, this system will slow the heart rate, slow the breathing, reduce blood flow to muscles, and constrict the pupils.
  2. Sympathetic system: This system prepares the body to expend energy to respond to environmental threats - the flight or fight response.
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The PNS's primary role is to connect the CNS to the organs, limbs, and skin. The peripheral nervous system is divided into two parts:

  1. The somatic nervous system. It is responsible for carrying sensory and motor information to and from the CNS.
  2. The automatic nervous system. It is responsible for regulating involuntary body functions, such as heartbeat, digestion, breathing, and blood flow.
  1. The central nervous system (CNS). It includes the brain and spinal cord.
  2. The peripheral nervous system (PNS). It includes all the nerves that branch out from the brain and spinal cord and extends to other parts of the body, including muscles and organs.

The somatic system is responsible for transmitting sensory information as well as voluntary movement. The system contains two major types of neurons:

  1. Motor neurons. They carry information from the brain and spinal cord to muscle fibers throughout the body. They allow us to take physical action.
  2. Sensory neurons. They allow us to take in sensory information and then carry the information from the nerves to the central nervous system.

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The nervous system
  • It is a complex collection of nerves and specialized cells known as neurons that transmit signals between different parts of the body. It is essentially the body's electrical wiring.
  • Structurally, the nervous system has two components: the central nervous system (the brain, spinal cord, and nerves) and the peripheral nervous system (sensory neurons, ganglia and nerves that connect to one another and to the central nervous system).
  • Functionally, the nervous system has two main subdivisions: the somatic, or voluntary, component (nerves that connect to one another and to the central nervous system and the autonomic nervous system (regulates certain body processes, such as blood pressure and the rate of breathing, that work without conscious effort).

Nervous System: Facts, Function & Diseases

Why it takes time for our muscles to strengthen

Strength training is more physiologically intricate than initially realised. When we start to lift weights, our muscles are not the first to strengthen and change. However, our nervous systems do.

When we lift weights, we might feel some initial disappointment when our muscles do not quickly take shape. But weight training soon causes us to generate more muscular force where we can push, pull, and raise more weight than before, even though our muscles still look the same.

How We Get Stronger

There is more to pain than just injury

Many people think that pain is the result of injury or damage to tissue. The reason for that is that pain warns us whenever we're experiencing tissue damage or are about to.

But there is more to pain. Our perception of pain is constructed from sensory information and context - our circumstance, needs, motivations, who we're with, and our expectations. This means that pain is more malleable and manageable than we think.

How your brain creates pain – and what we can do about it

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