As the most important muscle in our bodies, our hearts work non-stop each and every day to continuously pump around eight pints of blood to our vital organs. With around 72 beats per minute, 4500 beats per hour and 100,000 beats per day, a hearts purpose is to deliver oxygenated and nutritious blood around our bodies, so that they can function correctly.
But, with our hearts playing such a large part in keeping us alive and healthy, how much do we actually know about them? To help you understand more about how your circulatory system we have gathered some facts about the hear that you should know.
1. The circulatory system is made up of the heart, veins and arteries. It is the heart's job to pump oxygenated blood from its left side into your arteries and around your body, whereas veins carry away unwanted carbon dioxide and waste products to the right side of the heart to be reoxygenated.
2. The heart is made up of three layers of tissue, first of all, there is the pericardium, which is a thin outer lining that protects and surrounds your heart. Then you have the myocardium, a thick muscular middle layer that contracts and squeezes blood out of your heart. Lastly, there is the endocardium, a thin inner lining that separates the four chambers of the heart. This allows a healthy heart to pump 2,000 gallons of blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels each day
3. Although on average our hearts are the size of our own fists, as a muscle our heart has the potential to grow or shrink in size. The more physically fit a person is, the more likely that they have a larger heart that is able to pump blood around the body in fewer beats per minute. Similarly, our pulse can demonstrate if or heart is unhealthy as a high heart rate can relate to health conditions such as heart disease or high blood pressure.
4. With such an important part to play within our bodies, damage to our hears or its rhythm can be devastating. Although as we learnt before, our pulse can be our bodies tell-tale sign that there is something wrong, problems with the heart can strike when they are least expected. Advancements in technology, such as AEDs, have helped reduce such fatalities and restore the heart to a normal beat.
5. To ensure that your heart stays as healthy as possible there are choices that you can make. There are obvious changes such as, not smoking, eating unprocessed high-quality foods, animal-based omega-3 fats and exercising that will help maintain a healthy heart. Other methods include managing stress and mental well-being and receiving an optimum level of vitamin D.