Putting Out Fires Hurts Firefighters’ Hearts

As the temperature outside rises, our bodies make adjustments to keep our internal temperature constant to prevent us from overheating through a process called thermoregulation. This includes bodily functions such as sweating and widening of the blood vessels (vasodilation). When we sweat, perspiration evaporates from our skin to cool us down. When the blood vessels under … Continue reading Putting Out Fires Hurts Firefighters’ Hearts

What Happens during Heat Stroke and How to Prevent It

Temperatures in July and August 2016 were the hottest ever recorded on the planet and much of the U.S. is still struggling with a heat wave. Hundreds of heat-related deaths occur in the U.S. each year, and these rates are on the rise. Awareness of when the body is losing the ability to deal with … Continue reading What Happens during Heat Stroke and How to Prevent It

How Long Can You Hold Your Breath? The Dangers of Freediving

The appeal of freediving may lie in its freedom. Freedivers, without cumbersome scuba gear and noisy regulators, easily glide through tranquil waters toward coral or rocky reefs with scenes unobstructed by bubble trails. With dives often exceeding five minutes, they get to see up close and personal the colorful marine life that typically flees from … Continue reading How Long Can You Hold Your Breath? The Dangers of Freediving

No More Motion Sickness! Tips for Finding Your Steady State

Summer vacation season brings distress to a number of people who suffer from motion sickness. Motion sickness causes a variety of symptoms, including queasiness, sweating and pale skin color. Some people also experience fatigue and, occasionally, vomiting. We still don’t know why people get motion sickness, but the circumstances that produce the condition are well … Continue reading No More Motion Sickness! Tips for Finding Your Steady State

Stop Scratching! Why Mosquito Bites Swell and Itch

It starts with a buzz and then a nip. If you’re quick enough, the culprit mosquito becomes a squashed smear on your hand. More often, it flies off unscathed. Either way, you’re left with a red, itchy welt. What physiological processes are set off to leave us swollen and uncomfortable when mosquitos bite? It’s actually … Continue reading Stop Scratching! Why Mosquito Bites Swell and Itch

Does Exercising in Warm Weather Make You Fitter for Cooler Temperature?

Those who are active year-round know that summer workouts are more tiring than those done in cooler weather. The good news is that it’s not a sign that you’re suddenly out of shape. Exercising in warm temperatures is not the same as exercising in cooler temperatures and the body’s physiology has to adjust. How does … Continue reading Does Exercising in Warm Weather Make You Fitter for Cooler Temperature?

Soak Up the Rays without Soaking Them In: Be Sun Safe and Prevent Skin Damage

Tan lines and sunburns are our souvenirs of summer. Unfortunately, they’re also reminders that we’ve had too much sun and the sun has damaged our skin. How does sun exposure harm skin, and what are the physiological processes that make us tan and burn? The sun gives off a kind of radiation called ultraviolet (UV) … Continue reading Soak Up the Rays without Soaking Them In: Be Sun Safe and Prevent Skin Damage

Reduce Your Risk of a ‘Lung Sunburn’: Stay Inside on Poor Air Quality Days

June 21 officially marked the first day of summer, bringing in long hot days of fun in the sun. Summer is also the time when air quality alerts start popping up, warning us to avoid breathing in bad air and limit activities outside. These alerts can put a damper on our outdoor plans, but why … Continue reading Reduce Your Risk of a ‘Lung Sunburn’: Stay Inside on Poor Air Quality Days