Pain or illness can sometimes make us feel that our bodies are starting to "creak" and even "betray" us, but in many cases, these feelings are totally unjustified. This is because there are many processes that our body constantly carries out, some of them with precision that make them a real art form and others like small factories, however, they all take place without our noticing. Some of these processes affect us over time, but all of them are repeated over the course of the day. The following sections will help you understand what your body has actually been up to these past 24 hours, and even if you thought you knew your body, you’ll undoubtedly start appreciating it once more.
Although the complex breathing process is essential to our functioning, we perform it throughout the day in parallel to many other actions without even stopping to think about it. Every day, we take an average of 20,000 breaths, about 16 breaths per minute during the day. At night, however, when our breathing becomes heavier, the frequency slightly decreases. Adult lungs, made up of 300 million tiny bags, can hold about 6 liters of air.
The glands in our oral cavity are excellent workers producing an amazing amount of 1.5 liters of saliva daily. If they didn’t function properly, our mouth would dry up and fill with bacteria, which would make us lose the ability to digest food.
Many processes designed to prevent the development of cancer cells in the body constantly take place in our bodies. Cancer processes develop when cells organize themselves in a way that reprograms their DNA when it is estimated that tens of thousands of cells suffer from cancerous lesions with malignant potential every day. However, the body constantly sends out special enzymes whose function is to detect failures and repair them before they become tumors, succeeding for the most part.
We blink about 28,000 times a day, each blink lasting less than a tenth of a second. This is a reflex that the body performs to keep the eyes clean and moist, which is necessary considering that 90% of the information we absorb every day is visual information which we, by the way, process within 0.01 seconds.
Most of our bodies’ energy is released through heat. The heat produced daily by the body is equivalent to the heat produced by 25 electric bulbs turned on for the same amount of time.
The cooperation between our brain and our mouth allows us to speak about 5,000 words a day. In some studies, a difference between men and women was found, with some women reaching the specified amount, while men settled for only two thousand words. How many of these words are important? This is actually the same for both sexes: only between 500 and 700 of our words hold real value, such as useful information or an accurate answer to questions we’re asked.
If you thought your body only begins the digestion process when you take that first bite, you’re wrong. In fact, the body begins the digestion process way before that. The moment we smell food, the glands in our mouth begin to produce excess amounts of saliva to wake and prepare our digestive system for action. The whole digestive process takes between 6 and 8 hours, without counting the extra two days required to remove excess body fluids.
It turns out that even as adults we grow an average of 8 millimeters every night during sleep, but "shrink" back to our regular height the next day. If we didn’t shrink back, we’d probably have to spend quite a bit of money on new clothes and raise our door frame every two years!
Our liver is busy for most of the day that it's almost impossible to summarize all the actions it carries out. It produces cholesterol, vitamin D and plasma cells in the blood, identifies the nutrients our body needs and stores some of them for future use. In addition, it filters 1.43 liters of blood every minute and produces 0.94 liters of bile every day to help us break down our food. In fact, this is a whole factory that we run completely unaware
In each of our kidneys, there are about a million small filters that work together to filter out about 1.3 liters of blood every minute, or about 1,872 liters of blood every day. This is despite the fact that each kidney is about the size of a single fist.
Even when we think we are resting or spacing out, our brain does not stop working. We think on average between 50 and 60 thousand different thoughts, or between 35 and 50 thoughts a minute.
Our heart pumps an average of about 7,570 liters of blood along the 95,500 miles that make up our blood vessels every day. In order to reach this incredible supply, the heart beats more than 100,000 times a day!
The skin is our largest organ, and even if we aren’t conscious about protecting it during the summer, it keeps working to protect us. In addition to regulating the temperature of our bodies, preventing dehydration of the body tissues and protection of the tissue under it, our skin cells are constantly regenerating. The process of regeneration leads to the shedding of an astonishing one million skin cells every day, a rapid process which prevents us from being exposed to infections.
Our cells work every day to renew themselves, without us having to do anything. This means that we get a new set of taste glands every 10 days, completely new nails every 6-10 months, new bones every 10 years and even new heart cells every 20 years!
So, the next time you think your body is squeaking or on you, think again. Many of the most amazing processes that occur in the body every day and contribute to its functioning more than anything are performed effectively without our having to actively take part! Our body is a certainly a wondrous machine.