The Human Engine

Our bodies are just like cars. If you know your way around under the bonnet of a car, here is a simple way of understanding how the human body works.

Athletes and coaches often have difficulty in understanding the physiology of the human body, that is, understanding how all our insides work. This simile of the car engine and the human body will help many people better understand the processes going on within the body, using your knowledge of how a car works.

The human body and a car are similar in many ways.

Both the human body and a car need a continuous supply of fuels (petrol or food) and the supply of oxygen for combustion.

In the car, the starter motor kicks over the engine before the oxygen using fuels can take over, just like the anaerobic energy processes in the body. Both processes also require the stored energy to be replaced (car battery and in the body ATP and CP stores).

Anatomical Human Body

Both the car and human body convert chemical energy (in the petrol and food) to kinetic energy (movement) and heat.

In the car, the energy released by the combustion of fuel causes the pistons to move, which then cause the motion of the vehicle. In the human body, the energy from the food is used in making the muscle fibers contract, resulting in motion of the body.

The heat produced by the combustion of fuels needs to be removed. The motor is cooled by water flow around the engine, the body cooled via blood circulating to the skin.

Both the car and the human body need to expel waste products, the car via the exhaust, the body via the bloodstream, respiration and other processes.

Next time you are taking your car in for its regular tune up, think about how long it has been since you had your own tune up. Probably not as regularly as your car.

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Disclaimer

The above information is presented as a general guide. The author and publisher take no responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, action or application of medication based on this information. See more: Disclaimer.