Appropriately enough, February is American Heart Month. Below are five fascinating facts about this vital organ:
- Your heart beats about 100,000 times a day. That means that in an average lifetime, a human heart beats close to 2.5 billion times! There's a powerful incentive to keep your ticker in good shape.
- When you're in exercise mode, it takes about 10 seconds for your blood to make the circuit from your heart to your big toe and back again.
- Your heart is always on the job! Even when you are at rest, your heart is working twice as hard as the leg muscles of a person who is sprinting.
- Your heart pumps the blood, which is then circulated by means of arteries, veins and capillaries to the rest of the body. Sizewise, your largest artery (the aorta) is nearly the diameter of a garden hose. Contrast that with the tiniest of your capillaries; it would take ten of them to equal the thickness of one hair on your head.
- How hard is your heart working? Think of it this way: All that pumping equals about 1 million barrels of blood for an average person - enough to fill 3 super tankers!
Article by Kim Washetas, contributing writer and enthusiastic whole health advocate. Sources: National Geographic, PBS