We all know that the heart is responsible for pumping oxygenated blood around the body and just how important this is. A healthy heart allows you to move more freely, have more energy and find exercise easier. Although it may only be the size of two hands clasped together, the heart is a muscle that keeps you alive. Beating on an average of 100,000 times a day, it is one of our most vital organs and can pump around one million barrels of blood during an average lifetime!
They play such a huge part in keeping us alive and healthy and, you probably think you know a lot about the heart but, in reality what do we really know? To learn more about how your circulatory system works, we have gathered some interesting facts about the heart that we think you will find insightful.
- 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. On the other hand, veins carry away unwanted carbon dioxide and waste products to the right side of the heart which in turn pumps the blood to the lungs where it is then re-oxygenated.
- The only part of the body that does not receive a blood supply are the corneas. A huge 75 trillion cells across the rest of the body receive blood from the heart.
- The heart can pump 2,000 gallons of blood around 60,000 miles of blood vessels every day thanks to three layers of tissue that it is made up of. The pericardium is a thin outer lining that protects and surrounds your heart, the myocardium is a thick muscular middle layer that contracts and squeezes blood out of your heart and, the endocardium is a thin inner lining that separates the four chambers of the heart.
- Your heart has the potential to grow and shrink in size. Due to this, regular exercise is an important factor when it comes to keeping your heart healthy. 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, your pulse can demonstrate if your heart is unhealthy as a high heart rate can relate to health conditions including heart disease or high blood pressure. Your heartbeat can also change depending on what music you are listening to.
- There are other lifestyle choices aside from exercise which can help keep the heart healthy and reduce the risk of of coronary related illnesses. For example, vegetarians are 32% less likely to be admitted to hospital or die from heart disease and eating dark chocolate can reduce the risk of heart disease. Other factors can cause more damage to the heart such as prolonged lack of sleep which can cause irregular jumping heartbeats. Drug use, particularly cocaine can also affect the hearts electrical activity. As the heart produces enough energy everyday to drive a truck for 20 miles, keeping it as healthy as possible is important.
- To ensure that your heart stays as healthy as possible there are choices that you can make. Obvious changes such as; not smoking, eating unprocessed high-quality foods, animal-based omega-3 fats and exercising all help to maintain a healthy heart. Other methods include managing stress and mental well-being and receiving an optimum level of vitamin D.
- The heart is located behind and slightly left of the chest bone. To make room for the heart, your left lung is a little bit narrower than your right.
- The average woman’s heart beats around 8 times more per minute than a males. So, as you can see, the heart plays a vital role in our everyday lives without us really realising the impressive features that it has.