If you didn’t already know, February is Heart Month as marked by the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Right now in Canada, heart disease and stroke take one life every 7 minutes and 90% of Canadians have at least one risk factor. Started in 1958, Heart Month is an opportunity to raise awareness of the risks of heart disease and stroke.
I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about heart month on my blog, raise awareness for the cause, and also discuss the relation between iron deficiency anemia and your heart. Throughout February, you’ll see this theme reflected in my posts!
To kick off Heart Month, I want to share with you some interesting facts about your heart! Let’s get started, shall we?
Fun Facts about Your Heart ♥
- Did you know that your heart beats an average of 100,000 times per day?1 This means that throughout your lifetime your heart will beat somewhere in the neighbourhood of 3 BILLION times!
- Did you know that your heart pumps almost 5 litres of blood each minute?2 That translates into about 7,200 litres pumped every day.
- Did you know that combined, your arteries, veins and capillaries are over 96,000 km long?2 That’s enough to travel around the whole planet, then go back around it again and still have some leftover!
Size & Weight
- It would be logical to think that the heart is the same size for both a man and a woman, right? Well, a man’s heart actually weighs 10 ounces and a woman’s weighs 8 ounces.1 Keep this in mind the next time you’re feeling “lighthearted” or have a “heavy heart”
- Hold out one hand and make a fist – this is the size of a baby’s heart2
- Hold out both hands and clasp them together – this is the size of an adult’s heart2
- Grab a tennis ball and squeeze it tightly with your hands – this is about the same force that your heart uses to pump blood throughout your body3
- While most people think their heart is located on the left side of their chest, it is actually found in the centre of the chest between the lungs. Because the bottom of the heart is titled to the left and presses against the chest, we tend to feel it more on the left side.2
- I’m sure that you’ve heard the saying, laughter is the best medicine. Well, it is noted that the heart can send 20% more blood flowing throughout your body; laughter causes the blood vessel walls to relax and expand2
- The largest artery in the body, the aorta, is almost the diameter of a garden hose whereas the diameter of a capillary is less than that of a strand of hair3
I hope you’ve enjoyed these heart facts and the kick-off to Heart Month! Upcoming articles will include the connection between iron deficiency and heart failure, heart palpitation, anemia and heart health, and more!
- Amazing Facts About Heart Health and Heart Disease. WebMD. Accessed on Feb 3, 2015 from: http://www.webmd.com/heart/features/amazing-facts-about-heart-health-and-heart-disease_?page=2
- Heart Facts. Cleveland Clinic. Access on Feb 3, 2015 from: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/heart/heart-blood-vessels/heart-facts
- Heart Facts. PBS. Accessed on Feb 3, 2015 from: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/heart/heartfacts.html
This month’s articles are dedicated in loving memory of my parents, Leo Dove (who suffered a catastrophic stroke in 1993 and passed in 1996) and Alice Dove (who suffered her first and fatal heart attack in 2001). The woman I am today, I am because of you. The best treatment for heart and stroke is prevention.
Content and advice provided on The Iron Maiden is for information purposes only and should not serve as a substitute for a licensed health care provider, who is knowledgeable about an individual’s unique health care needs