Your heart isn’t only your most critical muscle – it’s what keeps you alive, after all – but also one of the hardest working. It ticks 24-7 and except for the times when you’re relaxing or sleeping, it rarely gets a break. Check these fascinating facts about your heart that might inspire you to give it a little more TLC every day.
- Your adult heart beats about 100,000 times each day.
If you do the math, that’s at least one beat every second, or 60-100 times a minute, according to the American Heart Association. For people whose heart rate is closer to 60 beats per minute, that’s about 86,000 times a day. And it’s 144,000 times a day if your heart rate is in the upper range.
- Age and fitness level affect your heart rate.
Generally, as we become more in shape, our heart rate gets slower. See how it changes throughout the decades with this chart from the National Institutes of Health:
Newborn (0-11 months): 70-160 bpm
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
- Heart disease isn’t the number one killer of men only, it’s also the top killer for women.
Did you know that more women die of heart disease than from most cancers combined? According to the American Heart Association, more than one in three women is living with heart disease. Every minute in this country, a woman dies from heart disease, stroke or another form of cardiovascular disease.
- Heart attack symptoms are different in men and women.
Although heart disease is an equal opportunity killer, symptoms of heart attack show up differently in men versus women. Whereas men often report crushing chest pain, sweating and nausea, women might instead experience shortness of breath, dizziness and lightheadedness or fainting, pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen and upper back pressure.
- Your activity level is the greatest potential risk factor for heart disease.
People with lower levels of fitness have double the risk of heart disease compared to their more active counterparts. The AHA recommends logging at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity, or a combination of the two every week.
- Depression increases your risk for heart attack, especially if you’re a woman.
If you’re a woman under 55 with moderate or severe depression, listen up. Those in this group of women are more than twice as likely to suffer a heart attack, die of heart disease or require an artery-opening procedure.
- Excessive amounts of sitting have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
You may have heard that sitting is the new smoking. Numerous studies show that spending most of the day on your duff has been linked to chronic health conditions, including heart disease. You should aim to stand up and move around at least every hour for a few minutes.
- Your heart is one giant pump.
Every minute, your heart pumps about five quarts of blood through a system of blood vessels that’s over 60,000 miles long, according to the Cleveland Clinic. That translates to about 2,000 gallons of blood every day.
February is Heart Month, and we’re kicking it off on February 2nd with our annual Heart Luncheon at St. Bernards Auditorium (505 E. Washington). We hope you’ll join us!
Doors open at 11am. We’ll have booths, give-a-ways and more. Admission is FREE, and lunch is provided.
Q&A with St. Bernards Heart & Vascular Doctors beings at noon.
RSVP by January 26th at: 870.207.7300
For more information on the Heart Luncheon, visit: http://www.stbmd.com/news/item/join-us-for-a-healthy-heart-luncheon-feb.-2nd