In the spirit of Valentine's Day, and preventing heart attacks....
Post by Liz Sims, PT, DPT - Redpoint Physical Therapy, Plymouth, MA
This week, hearts are on everyone’s mind. And, what could be more romantic than thinking about your own heart as it pulses steadily in your chest. Alright… I’ll admit, I’m not a huge fan of this holiday and this is my attempt to amuse myself. Nonetheless, here are some facts and tips about hearts.
Facts about hearts…
10. Your heart weighs between 8-12 ounces.
9. Your heart will beat 100,000 times every day, resulting in 2,000 gallons of blood coursing through your arteries and veins (gross!).
8. It’s kind of cool that a muscle the size of your fist is responsible for pumping so much blood through 60,000 miles of branching blood vessels throughout your body. Well, cool if you’re a nerd….
7. The term “broken heart” is not that far-fetched… high levels of stress can actually increase your risk for a heart attack! (http://www.livescience.com/11351-top-10-amazing-facts-heart.html)
6. Considering the previous factoid, it’s not surprising that you are more likely to have a heart attack on Monday morning than any other time of the week! (http://www.webmd.com/heart/features/amazing-facts-about-heart-health-and-heart-disease_?page=1)
5. Signs of heart attack vary between men and women. Men tend to experience the expected chest pain, while women tend to experience nausea, shoulder pain, and jaw pain. The milder symptoms in women could be because they have a physically smaller heart, but it could also be that women complain less (let’s talk about “Man-flu” in another blog post). ;)
4. Studies have shown that consumption of wine (7-14 glasses over a week period) actually reduces your risk for heart attack. Both red and white wine have benefits. Drink Responsibly!
3. Laughter is the best medicine. Well, at least the most fun medicine. Studies have shown that a good laugh can increase blood flow throughout your body by 20%. (http://www.webmd.com/heart/features/amazing-facts-about-heart-health-and-heart-disease_?page=1) The effect can last for 45 minutes! (http://www.livescience.com/11351-top-10-amazing-facts-heart.html)
2. If you’re told you have a big heart by a friend or a loved one, that’s great news. If you’re told you have a big heart by your doctor, you may have underlying heart disease. -_-
And my number 1 Valentine’s Day Heart Fact:
Fooling around with your significant other is good for you! Climaxing at least 3 times a week can cut the risk of death from heart disease IN HALF for men (it’s not quite as dramatic for women… speculate if you will….). And, if you don’t have time for the gym, because, whatever… (you clearly have time if you're doing this!) vigorous… err… relations (keep it clean, this is a family website) have the same benefit as a brisk 15 minute run. That’s pretty good!
Do you have any random fun facts about the heart? The one that entertains me the most gets a free Redpoint PT baseball cap.