Our understanding of our bodies begins after birth as soon as we are able to perceive things around us. We learn about the human body and anatomy in school and those that go on to pursue medicine learn a great deal more. Our bodies communicate with us and if you are tuned into the various signals sent out by your body from time to time, you can benefit a lot. You can pre-empt illnesses, maintain good health, keep off foods that are not good for you, and do much more to stay healthy.

Knowing more about our bodies helps us to communicate better with physicians, should the need arise. When setting out to learn, it helps if we know what is it that we are looking for. Our

Here we take a look at 10 useful ways to learn more about our bodies.

1. Stop and listen to what your body has to say. Are you getting out of breath more easily than you used to before. Is your lack of exercise beginning to tell on your fitness and waist size? Do your legs hurt after a slightly long walk? The simplest and easiest way to learn more about your body is to listen to the signals. Brittle nails, a lump somewhere, loss of appetite are signals that the body needs some form of repair.

2. Try and notice things that make you happy. Mental and emotional well-being goes hand-in-hand with physical fitness. Our bodies react positively to tranquility and moderation and send out distress signals when stressed or faced with excesses. Find out what your stress thresholds are. Do you need a minimum eight hours of sleep?

3. Exercise. One of the best ways to learn about our body’s capacities and limitations is to put it to test. Begin working out and you will soon discover new things – like aches in muscles you did not even know existed. A session with your physician will help you develop an exercise plan to target body parts that need attention.

4. A refresher course on the different body parts, their functions, and illnesses that can afflict them is a good way to start learning about the body. It serves as foundation information to build on.

5. Food is a great indicator and can be of immense value in gaining more awareness of our bodies. If we focus on how our bodies react to food, we will learn that there are certain food items that do not agree with our bodies and some foodstuffs that are outright bad for us. Food and its effect on our body is an important aspect of almost all alternative healthcare systems that follow a holistic path to total body well-being.

6. As we age, our susceptibilities to conditions increases. Post menopause, women can suffer from nervous tension, depression, and fatigue amongst other things. A diagnostic test will throw up results that can be associated with menopause-related conditions. For example, osteoporosis and low calcium count are directly related to menopause.

7. Learn about self-tests that you can carry out on your bodies. Women should know how to check for lumps, particularly in the breasts. You can also carry out tests to check for nerve interference, which is a cause of illnesses, fatigue, and an imbalance in the body chemistry. Self tests exist for mood disorders and psychological conditions.

8. Read. Subscribe to good health and nutrition magazines. Look up quality online portals that inform and educate on health, human body, medicine, prevention and cure of ailments, etc. You can sign up for newsletters. Regular reading will add to your existing level of information regarding your own body.

9. Get periodic tests done. Schedule tests to cover the entire body at least once a year. Oral health, eyes, heart, full-body checkup and other tests should be done. The type and frequency of tests will depend on your age and any pre-existing conditions.

10. Discuss. You will save time and learn more by sharing your thoughts and discussing doubts in relevant forums. You can join one online or chat about body issues with friends in your circle.