Understanding Anatomy & Physiology 2e: A Visual, Auditory, Interactive Approach
Even as you read this sentence, your body is performingn amazing feats. Electrical impulses are rocketing through your brain at over 200 miles per hour. Hundreds of muscles continually tense and relax to keep you in an upright position and to allow your eyes to track across the words on this page. A specific muscle—your heart—is contracting and relaxing at regular intervals to propel blood throughout your body. In fact, your blood will make two complete trips around your body before you finish reading this preface.
Even more amazing is the fact that the vast array of cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems making up your body arose from just two simple cells—an egg and a sperm. Consider, too, that you are genetically unique: out of the over 6 billion people populating the earth, no two individuals are completely alike. That is reason to marvel.
Artists and scientists have long been captivated by the human body. For centuries, artists have studied the body’s outward form, focusing on the movement and shape of muscles and bones when rendering works of art. Scientists, on the other hand, yearned to discover the mysteries inside the body. For almost 3,000 years, scientists have explored the depths of the human body: not just how it is put together, but how and why it functions as it does. Exploration continues today, with the latest discovery being that of the human microbiome. Indeed, this one discovery has set the medical community abuzz with its implications for human health.
For you, the journey to discovery begins with reading this book. Contained on these pages is information about which ancient scientists only dreamed. This information will enlighten you about your own body; what’s more, it will arm you with knowledge that is foundational to any health- or sports-related career.
Truly, before you can understand a body in illness, you must understand how it functions in health. For example, without a thorough knowledge of fluid and electrolyte balance, how can you explain why chronic vomiting or diarrhea can cause irregular electrical activity in the heart? Without an understanding of how the cardiovascular and respiratory systems interrelate, how will you grasp why chronic lung disease can lead to heart failure? How can you appreciate the need for caution in administering antibiotics without an understanding of the human microbiome? Consequently, you must learn—really learn and not just memorize— the information contained in this book.
There is much to learn, to be sure; but don’t be overwhelmed. Understanding Anatomy & Physiology breaks the information into “bite-sized” pieces, making topics easier to understand and also to remember. As you read the text—and you must read the text—you’ll be drawn naturally to vibrant figures that will illuminate what you’re reading. Being able to see a structure while you’re reading about it will make learning easier. Also, consult the inside back cover of this book to discover your particular learning style; then take advantage of the ancillary materials most likely to help you learn.
You can learn this. By the end of this course, understanding the body’s form and function can become second nature. While tackling this class may seem like an impossible marathon, you can indeed get to the finish line. As with any marathon, the keys are to follow a plan (read the book); don’t skip workouts (review and study daily); and take it step by step (study each chapter in sequence). You will get there.
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