Activity in the sympathetic nervous system increases our heartbeat rate, speeds up the blood flow throughout the body, ensures all areas are well supplied with oxygen and that waste products are removed. This happens in order to prime the body for action.
A fascinating feature of the “fight or flight” mechanism is that blood (which is channeled from areas where it is currently not needed by a tightening of the blood vessels) is brought to areas where it is urgently needed. For example, should there be a physical attack, blood drains from the skin, fingers, and toes so that less blood is lost, and is moved to “active areas” such as the thighs and biceps to help the body prepare for action.
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