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  • This episode of DNews is brought to you by the BuyPower Card from Capital One.

  • Every purchase brings you closer to a new GM vehicle.

  • Climbing mountains, exploring high places and playing music all have something in common, and your body does it naturally.

  • Howdy folks, Trace here for DNews.

  • The human body is amazingly adaptable.

  • We heal after massive injury, we overcome emotional trauma, and with a bit of training, our bodies can adapt to whatever we throw at them.

  • Mountain climbing is one of the most challenging outdoor activities I've ever attempted.

  • And doing some research on it, I've found that it's pretty tough on our bodies too.

  • Firstly, there are no muscles in your fingers or toes. I know!

  • Without them, we can't climb anything, and there are NO muscles in there.

  • Your phalanges, or the bones of your fingers and toes, are attached to tendons which pull from muscles in your forearm.

  • Spread your fingers out like this, see those taught cables stretching through your hand?

  • Those are tendons connected to muscles down here!

  • When you rock climb, the muscles build up as expected, and according to a 2006 Journal of Anatomy study, climbers' bones are thicker too!

  • Even those who didn't begin climbing until after skeletal maturity at age 25 had thicker metacarpals and phalanges.

  • Of course, those thicker bones won't make any difference if the fingers aren't callused.

  • Calluses are a form of skin protection, perhaps you've shaken hands with a construction worker, a climber, or a guitar player

  • Remember those rough spots on their hands?

  • Those calluses are a result of repeated friction of the skin, and are a natural formation to protect the body.

  • The outermost layer of your skin, the stratum corneum, is a layer 25 cells thick of dead skin.

  • It serves as a first barrier to UV light, infection and friction.

  • When a violinist plays a lot, or an auto worker finger-tightens bumper bolts every day;

  • The skin on their fingertips will respond by thickening the stratum corneum to over 100 cells!

  • So let's say your muscles are built, your fingers get callused, and you get to the top of the mountain you're trying to climb.

  • Once you're there your brain starts freaking out, and not just a little bit.

  • A study in the American Journal of Medicine of 35 climbers who didn't take supplementary oxygen with them, found brain damage in nearly all of the adventurers.

  • The cause? Hypoxia, or lack of oxygen to the brain, which make sense at altitudes in the study of over 14,000 feet.

  • A lack of oxygen on a mountain can cause insomnia, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and headaches.

  • It's called "acute mountain sickness."

  • And though most climbers know this already, what they don't know is this brain damage ain't temporary.

  • At high altitudes, both professional and amateur climbers know to get acclimated, and some no longer experience acute mountain sickness.

  • But MRI's of climbers brains still showed brain damage.

  • And over time, the damage worsens and though the body is resilient the brain doesn't recover so well.

  • After years of high-altitude climbing with no supplementary oxygen, the brain damage can screw with VR-spaces in the brain.

  • Or the parts that communicate with the lymph system and drain brain fluid.

  • Of course, this can all be avoided, again, by bringing oxygen with you, sojust do that.

  • Of course, there is one thing that might help you avoid some of these high-altitude brain issues:

  • A fear of heights!

  • According to Evolutionary Psychologists, fear of heights is what kept our ancestors from getting too close to the edge of a cliff and risking death.

  • Of course, if it's enough to keep you off a mountain, then it might have blown into something worse than the evolutionary inborn instinct.

  • Many primates are comfortable in trees, so why do we get a phobia of heights?

  • Probably something taught by parents or experiences, said scientists.

  • How do you feel about climbing?

  • Have you ever wanted to challenge your body by climbing a mountain?

  • Get on belay down in the comments!

  • The BuyPower Card from Capital One wants to help you get to your next adventure, whatever that may be.

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B1 INT US brain climbing mountain brain damage damage skin

The Science Of Mountain Climbing!

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    鄭毅賢   posted on 2019/05/04
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