Your heart is arguably the most important muscle in your body. It toils away tirelessly without any complaints to keep you going, and that is why it deserves some tender loving care. This World Heart Day, let’s go through a few facts about the heart.
1. The heart doesn’t tire –
While you may find yourself angry and exasperated when you have to do more work than usual, your heart is doing a lot of grunt work without any protest. This small organ, which is the size of your closed fist, beats at least 100,000 times a day! That amounts to 60-100 beats per minute. Imagine the amount of stress your heart has to endure to pump blood to all corners of your body 24/7!
2. Your heart rate changes all your life –
You might think your heart beats the same number of times all your life, but actually, your heart rate is not constant. As you age, your heart rate dwindles.
Here’s a chart detailing the average heart rate of various age groups –
- Newborn (0 to 11 months): 70 to 160 bpm (beats per minute)
- One to four years: 80 to 120 bpm
- Five to nine years: 75 to 110 bpm
- Children 10 years and up and adults (non-athletes): 60 to 100 bpm
- Adults (athletes): 40 to 60 bpm
When you perform strenuous physical activity, or when your body releases an excess of adrenaline, your heart rate escalates. Similarly, your resting heart rate will be lower than when you are active. This is because when you sleep, your metabolism slows down. That slows down your parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for regulating your heart rate.
Your resting heart rate can predict your longevity, the health of your heart and even indicate if there is a possibility of you contracting heart ailments.
3. No distinction –
While the world has still not embraced equality between the genders, heart ailments do not discriminate between man and woman. One of the most important human heart facts is that both men and women are equally prone to a heart attack or cardiac arrest.
4. Different symptoms, same problem –
What many people do not know is that the symptoms of heart attack are different for men and women.
Common heart attack symptoms in women are-
- Dizziness or disorientation
- Pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen
Men on the other hand experience-
- Unbearable pain in the chest
5. But not everyone is equally prone to heart attacks –
Your physical activity level determines your risk factor. There are plenty of studies that have proved that an active lifestyle and regular exercise halve the possibility of heart-related ailments. Similarly, sitting for long stretches of time can also significantly up your possibility of heart attacks.
Your heart is precious beyond measure. There are a number of things you can do to safeguard it. Eat healthily and steer clear of smoking and alcohol. Squeeze in 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 times a week. Preventive heart check-ups are also imperative.
If you opt for regular blood pressure monitoring and cholesterol tests, your doctor will know how healthy your heart is and if any sign of a distressed heart shows up, you could begin treatment right away.
So, this world heart day, take a pledge to keep your heart happy and healthy.