Facts About The Human Heart You Didn't Already Know

Facts About The Human Heart You Didn't Already Know

The heart is an incredible muscle that powers our bodies daily. We share some facts about the human heart that may come as a surprise to you.
Your heart does a lot for your body, so why not treat it right and get to know it a little better? We often take our hearts for granted, but there's quite a bit of information the average person doesn't know about how the heart works. Here are some facts about the human heart that you probably don't know.

How much blood does the heart pump?

According to Healthline, your heart pumps about two thousand gallons of blood on a daily basis. As your heart does this, it beats about 100,000 times every single day. It's a small organ; while hearts can vary in size, they're typically only about the size of your fists clasped together. Despite this, your heart plays a major role in helping your body function properly. It works harder than any other muscle.

If there's any damage to your heart, it becomes much more difficult for your body to receive the blood it needs. Make sure you're taking care of your heart by exercising and eating a heart-healthy diet.

A simple remedy

You probably don't realize how easy it is to include a few changes in your everyday life that will positively affect your heart. As the old saying goes, laughter is the best medicine. Laughing not only reduces your stress, but it can also boost good cholesterol. When you have optimal HDL levels, you have a better chance of avoiding heart attacks. Laughing will even improve blood flow; about 20% more blood will travel throughout your body. Go ahead, watch that funny sitcom or host a get-together with friends. Your body will thank you for the mini cardio workout!

It's okay to sneeze

A common myth says that your heart stops when you sneeze, but people often exaggerate this. It may seem that your heart is pausing as you sneeze, but you're actually experiencing alterations in blood flow. Your blood flow decreases, but your heart compensates for this change by adjusting its beat. The electrical activity in your heart functions as normal. The heart still has potential to stop, but according to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, it's unlikely.

Your heart rate isn't always the same

From person-to-person, there is no "normal" heart rate. It varies during the day; for example, when you're sleeping, your metabolism slows and your body conserves energy by slowing your heart rate and relaxing muscles.

Not only does it change throughout the day, but your heart rate also changes depending on your fitness level. To compensate for intense physical activity, your heart needs to pump more blood. Your heart rate can even respond to the tempo of your music.

Keeping track of your heart rate with wearable tech can give you peace of mind. Today, many activity trackers can accurately and continuously measure this data. It's good to be mindful of your heart rate, but don't stress over it too much. The average resting heart rate ranges from 60 to 100 bpm. During exercise, your maximum heart rate should be your age subtracted by 220.

Blood from the heart travels everywhere except…

The heart works hard to pump blood through your body's blood vessels. In fact, your heart pumps about five or six quarts of blood throughout your body each minute. There's one area that doesn't receive any blood, making it the exception. Your corneas don't receive blood from the heart. There are two reasons for this. First, the cornea lacks blood vessels, which is evident due to their transparency. Second, your corneas receive oxygen from the air as well as nourishment from tear fluid.

Be careful if you have sleep apnea

When an individual has sleep apnea, they aren't receiving restful sleep and proper air flow. Their breath stops during the night, so there's less oxygen traveling throughout their body. This heightens their blood pressure, which can in turn lead to disease. OSA, or Obtrusive Sleep Apnea, is the leading type of sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea can also increase your risk of heart failure, coronary heart disease, and more. It's linked to heart disease, the number one killer of men and women. Symptoms of sleep apnea include loud or frequent snoring, daytime sleepiness or fatigue, not feeling refreshed in the morning, insomnia, and morning headaches.

If you think that you might have sleep apnea, talk with your doctor to schedule a sleep study. This is especially important to do if you live alone, as this may be the only way to find out. Implementing healthy habits into your everyday life, such as a nutrient-rich diet and plenty of exercise, can keep you from developing sleep apnea.

Arteries are incredibly small

People underestimate the impact that greasy fast food can have on their arteries. According to Hopkins Medicine, an artery is only four millimeters in diameter. Arteries can quickly become blocked and shut down important areas of the heart. That's why doctors call blockages in those arteries "small vessel disease." Keep in mind that small vessel disease is more common in women.

Because of these quick blockages, you need to take care of a heart attack the moment it happens.

Cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular disease, also known as heart disease, causes one death every 40 seconds in the United States. Risk factors include smoking, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, and many others, so be careful as these risks only increase your chances of developing the disease.

Coronary artery disease is the most common type of cardiovascular disease, and it may lead to a heart attack because your arteries gradually clog up with plaque. Know the signs of a heart attack, such as shortness of breath and tightness in the chest, and be sure to seek help right away.

There you have it: some amazing facts about the human heart. It's incredible that the heart does so much for us, yet we sometimes take it for granted.

After becoming more familiar with your heart and how it functions, it's time to put your health first. Life Line Screening provides easy, convenient, preventive health screenings that non-invasively examine your risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Many symptoms of disease don't present themselves in an obvious way, so it's important to learn your risks and make an action plan with your doctor before symptoms develop.

Learn your risk for serious conditions early, so you can take preemptive measures now and avoid disease progression. Become one of the eight million people who've taken charge of their health with Life Line Screening—schedule a preventive health screening in your area today.

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