Amazing Facts About Your Heart

Did you know that even when you’re lying in bed your heart is working harder than your legs do when you’re running at full speed? Your heart is an amazing and powerful organ and muscle, which is why you should do your best to take care of your health.

In a new video featuring Dr. Sanjay Gupta on Everydayhealth.com, the famous doc lists some impressive facts about the heart:

“Take a tennis ball, give it a good hard squeeze. That’s about how hard your heart is working every time it beats. And it beats about 100,000 times everyday. Your hand would get tired pretty fast. But your heart doesn’t get to take a break. Ever.”

No machine is as efficient as the human heart. Your heart pumps six quarts of blood through your body every 20 seconds.

By the time you’ve reached your 72nd birthday, your heart has pumped 172 million gallons of blood throughout your body. That’s enough blood to fill the Norwegian super-tanker, the Knock Nevis.

So how do you take care of such an amazing (and essential) organ and muscle?

Exercise, eating right, getting adequate sleep and laughing often can help you live a longer and more quality life.

Exercise. By exercising for as little as 30 minutes everyday you can reduce your risk of heart disease, according to the American Heart Association.

Eating. Consume lots of fruits and vegetables because 1) They’re low in fat and cholesterol and high in fiber, 2) The more veggies you eat the less room you’ll have in your stomach to eat meat and cheese, which can contribute to heart disease. Avoid trans-fats and saturated fats, and choose whole grains over white.

Sleep. Finding the perfect amount of hours to sleep is kind of a Goldilocks scenerio — you can’t have too little or too much, but a number of hours that’s just right. WebMD sites a 2011 review from European Heart Journal that looks at 15 medical studies involving nearly 475,000 people, which “found that short sleepers had a 48% increased risk of developing or dying from coronary heart disease (CHD) in a seven to 25-year follow-up period (depending on the study) and a 15% greater risk of developing or dying from stroke during this same time. Interestingly, long sleepers — those who averaged nine or more hours a night — also showed a 38% increased risk of developing or dying from CHD and a 65% increased risk of stroke.”

Laughter. A number of studies have suggested that laughter may be a powerful medicine when it comes to fighting heart disease. So spend time with friends and family, because laughter is contagious, and try to find more humor in your daily activities.

Video courtesy of Everydayhealth.com

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