Did You Know? Fun Facts about the Heart
The heart is part of your body’s circulatory system and is made up of the atria, ventricles, valves, and various arteries and veins. Its main function is to keep the blood, that’s full of oxygen, circulating throughout your body. Because your heart is crucial to your survival, it’s important to keep it healthy with a well-balanced diet and exercise, and avoid things that can damage it, like smoking.
While you are probably familiar with ways you can keep your heart as healthy as possible, there are some things you may not know about the heart. Here are some fun facts about the heart.
- The human heart weighs less than 1 pound. However, a man’s heart, averages two ounces heavier than a woman’s heart and a woman’s heart beats slightly faster than a man’s heart.
- A human heart will beat approximately 115,000 times each day.
- A human heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood every day.
- The first open-heart surgery occurred in 1893 performed by Daniel Hale Williams, who was one of the few black cardiologists in the United States at that time.
- The first implantable pacemaker was implanted in 1958. Arne Larsson, who received the pacemaker, lived to the age of 86 of a disease unrelated to his heart, and lived longer than the surgeon who implanted it.
- The youngest person to undergo heart surgery was only a minute old. She had a heart defect that many babies don’t survive. Her surgery was successful, but she’ll eventually need a heart transplant.
- The earliest known case of heart disease was identified in the remains of a 3,500-year-old Egyptian mummy.
- The American pygmy shrew is the smallest mammal, but it has the fastest heartbeat at 1,200 beats per minute.
- The giraffe has a lopsided heart, with their left ventricle being thicker than the right. This is because the left side has to get blood up the giraffe’s long neck to reach their brain.
- Most heart attacks happen on a Monday.
- Christmas day is the most common day of the year for heart attacks to happen.
- It’s possible to have a broken heart. It’s called broken heart syndrome and can have similar symptoms as a heart attack. The difference is that a heart attack is from heart disease and broken heart syndrome is caused by a rush of stress hormones from an emotional or physical stress event. Death due to broken heart syndrome is very rare.
- If you were to stretch out your blood vessel system, it would extend more than 60,000 miles.
- Heart cells stop dividing, which means heart cancer is extremely rare.
- Laughing is good for your heart. It reduces your stress and boosts your immune system.
Essentially your heart affects every part of your body, which means that diet, lifestyle, and your emotional well-being are important for maintaining a healthy heart.
Heart disease is no laughing matter. So, be sure to practice a good lifestyle.
- Develop healthy/nutritious eating habits
- If you smoke – Stop!
- Watch your weight
- Reduce your stress
- And Don’t forget to … LAUGH