Everyone knows how important the heart is when it comes to our health. Keeping us alive by pumping oxygenated blood around the body all day everyday, the heart may only be the size of your two hands clasped together but, what it does is no mean feat. Beating on an average of 100,000 times a day, the heart is one of our most vital organs and can impressively pump around one million barrels of blood during an average lifetime!
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 interesting facts about the heart that we are sure 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, whereas 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 to be reoxygenated.
- A huge 75 trillion cells receive blood from the heart with only the corneas not receiving a blood supply. 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 lastly, the endocardium is a thin inner lining that separates the four chambers of the heart.
- Regular exercise is an important factor when it comes to keeping your heart healthy. As your 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 your heart is unhealthy as a high heart rate can relate to health conditions such as heart disease or high blood pressure. Interestingly, your heartbeat can also change depending on what music you are listening to.
- As well as keeping healthy by exercising often, the are also a few other things that helps to keep the heart healthier and reduce the risk 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 and drug use (particularly cocaine) can affect the hearts electrical activity. As the heart produces enough energy everyday to drive a truck for 20 miles, clearly 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 and 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.