It’s an American rock band with four decades of history.
It’s a cute expression — a substitute for the word “love.”
It’s the dominant, or innermost part of something.
Most important, it’s what keeps you alive — your body’s command center, pumping life-sustaining blood through vessels, which will carry nutrients and oxygen to every cell of your body. Your heart beats 100,000 times a day and about 40 million times a year, totaling close to three billion beats over an average lifetime.
So, take care of it. Here’s what you need to know.
10 Interesting Miscellaneous Heart Facts:
1. The higher your education, the lower your risk of heart disease.
2. A normal heart valve equals the size of about a half dollar.
3. The earliest heart pacemakers received their power source from wall sockets.
4. A developing fetus’ first heart cell beats at just four weeks.
5. The largest heart belongs to the blue whale — weighing in at more than 1,500 pounds.
6. If you clasp your hands together, that is about the size of your heart.
7. Your heart pumps 1.5 gallons of blood every minute.
8. You never hear about heart cancer because it’s very rare: Heart cells stop dividing early in life.
9. The average heartbeat of a woman outpaces a man’s by almost eight beats a minute. Not only that, women’s hearts weigh less: about eight ounces, as opposed to about 10 for men.
10. A heart has its own electrical supply — it will even continue beating when it’s out of the body.
10 Important Heart Health Facts:
1. Heart attack symptoms vary by sex: Women are more likely to experience shortness of breath, back pain, jaw pain and nausea, than what’s thought of as the typical symptom: chest pain.
2. Fewer women than men survive their first heart attack.
3. Heart disease is the number one killer of women, affecting about one woman each minute. Yet only one in five women think it’s their biggest health threat.
4. More than four million women in the U.S. have cardiovascular disease.
5. 90 percent of women have at least one risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
6. Hispanic women are likely to develop heart disease 10 years earlier than Caucasian women.
7. Choosing a healthy lifestyle goes far in preventing deaths – up to 330 fewer each day.
8. Since 1984, more women than men have lost their lives to heart disease.
9. Heart disease is responsible for one in four female deaths in the U.S. each year.
10. If you have diabetes, your risk of heart disease or stroke is two to four times greater than someone without diabetes.
10 Ways to Protect Your Heart:
1. Don’t smoke — and if you already do, quit! It has immediate affects in as little as 20 minutes after your last cigarette.
2. Exercise. Aim for at least 2-1/2 hours of moderate physical activity each week.
3. Control your cholesterol. Having high levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. The “good” kind (HDL) helps clear your arteries of LDL. Lower your LDL with exercise, low-fat dairy, limiting saturated fat, trans fats, and red meats.
4. Manage your weight. Being overweight or obese greatly increases your risk of cardiovascular disease. Maintaining a weight loss of as little as three to five percent of your body weight can lead to meaningful results.
5. Reduce your blood sugar. That’s because diabetes is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
6. Eat healthfully. Fruits, veggies, whole grains and other healthy choices helps decrease your risk of risk factors for heart disease, like diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol and more.
7. Keep blood pressure within reasonable limits. It’s called the “silent killer” because it has no symptoms. High blood pressure, if uncontrolled, can damage your arteries and hurt your heart (among other things like your kidneys and brain.
8. Keep your teeth and gums healthy. Floss your teeth and brush your teeth: Some studies show that bacteria in your mouth can travel to your bloodstream, raising the level of C-reactive protein, which may increase your risk of heart disease or stroke.
9. Get enough sleep. People who slept less than six hours a night were almost twice at risk for stroke or heart attack that those who logged more than that. Adequate and restful sleep is essential for a healthy heart.
10. Avoid too much sitting. It can increase your risk of a blood clot, and can also put you at greater risk for cardiovascular events, according to research.