It’s American Heart Month!
Which makes it a perfect opportunity for us to engage in an essential 3 part heart-to- heart. After a bit of digging I uncovered some myocardium facts that are fun, frank, and will inspire you to fight for heart health.
Your heart is an up-at-all-hours, synchronized, pumping machine. The right side steadily pumps blood into your lungs, while at the same time, the left side pushes it back into your body. Take a look at just how hard your heart is at work:
- Your heart beats 100,000 times every day — that’s 35 million times every year.
- Your heart pumps 3,000 gallons of blood every day through 60,000 miles of blood vessels.
- The heart is the strongest muscle in the body — it’s so strong that it could lift over 3,000 pounds.
- The heart continues to beat even when disconnected from the body — kind of creepy, but cool!
Heart disease is the #1 cause of death for both men and women in the United States. The hard truth is:
- About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year — that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.
- Even though it’s the leading cause of death for both men and women, in 2009 more than half of these deaths were in men.
- Coronary heart disease(CHD), the most common type of heart disease, has killed over 370,000 people
- Every year about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack. 525,000 are first time heart attacks and 210,000 are a second time.
Prevention is the greatest defense against Heart disease. With high risks, like those stated above, making healthy choices, to lower those risks, is a no-brainer. Here’s what you need to do:
- Watch your weight.
- Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
- Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
- Get active and eat healthy.
Lastly, you know the phrase “laughter is good medicine”. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center it’s true — good heart medicine! Laughing maintains the healthy tissues that create the layers of cells lining the blood vessels and the heart. As a result, the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke are reduced. Laughter increases the blood flow and the blood pressure rises; but when you stop laughing, blood pressure drops back to its baseline. This relaxing effect helps bring down blood pressure. This generates deeper breathing, which in turn sends more oxygen rich blood through the body.