by Ginger McMurchie, Elder Care Management owner and Care Manager
February is the month that we celebrate all things heart-related. The American Heart Association has designated February “Heart Awareness” month and their website is full of information about how to be heart healthy. Since heart health is such a popular topic, we thought we would talk about more obscure things related to the heart, and perhaps weave in how you can not only take care of your heart but the hearts of those you love.
For fans of anatomy and trivia here are some interesting facts:
*Every day your heart beats about 100,000 times, about 2.5 billion times in the average lifetime.
*Your heart sends 2,000 gallons of blood per day pulsing through your body flowing through 60,000 miles of blood vessels that feed your organs and tissues. Compare this to a kitchen faucet that would need to be on all the way for 45 years to equal what your heart puts out in your lifetime.
*There are two sides of the heart. The right side pumps blood to the lungs to get oxygen. The left side of your heart is larger and has the job of sending blood circulating to the rest of your body.
*20% of the blood from the heart goes to the brain. Lowering the blood supply to the brain can cause many issues including certain types of dementia.
*Your heart is electric and has its own electric conduction system.
*While whales have the largest hearts of any animal (weighing up to 1200 pounds), fairyflies, a type of wasp, have the smallest.
*Most heart attacks occur on Mondays. The largest number of heart attacks occur on Christmas Day- so much for another glass of eggnog!
*There is such a thing as a “broken heart.” Symptoms that mimic a heart attack can be caused by stress hormones related to an emotional event.
So, what do we take from this information? Our hearts and brains are the hubs of life. They control and regulate almost every aspect of our daily activities. One does not work without the other. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, consider what you do to take care of your own heart and think of ways to encourage your loved ones to care for theirs. Eating a healthy diet, exercising daily and finding balance in work and play honors the marvelous instruments we all possess.
Happy Heart Month and Happy Valentine’s Day!