The heart is one of your bodies hardest working muscles. Learn more about why taking care of this muscle is so important to your overall health and well-being. 

American Heart Month takes place every February and is the perfect time to start educating yourself and creating healthy habits to protect your heart. Established in 1963, American Heart Month is a national holiday celebrated to raise awareness and spread information about heart disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) heart disease is the leading cause of death for Americans. Keeping your heart healthy is critical to your well-being. The heart is the hardest working muscle in your body. Check out these seven interesting facts about the heart to learn more about why your heart is working so hard! 

  • Heart disease has been found in 3,000-year-old mummies. Researchers have found evidence of atherosclerosis in a number of ancient mummies from around the world. Atherosclerosis is the hardening of arteries that lead to the heart caused by a buildup of plaque.
  • Every minute your heart pumps 1.5 gallons of blood. During an average lifetime, your heart pumps about 1 million barrels of blood or enough to fill more than three supertankers.  
  • The heart has its own electrical supply and will continue to beat even when separated from the body as long as it has an adequate supply of oxygen.
  • Your heart beats about 100,000 times per day. In an average lifetime, the human heart will beat more than 2.5 billion times.
  • The heart pumps blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels.
  • A woman’s average heartbeat is faster than a man’s by almost 8 beats a minute. The average heartbeat for a man is approximately 70 times per minute while a woman’s beats 78 times per minute.
  • Every cell in the body gets blood from the heart, except for the corneas. That equates to 75 trillion cells.

Your heart affects every part of your body, which is why taking care of it is so important. Maintaining a healthy diet, lifestyle, and emotional well-being can affect your heart health. By living a healthy lifestyle, you can help keep your blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar normal which lowers your risk for heart disease and heart attacks. You are never too young or old to start making changes. According to the CDC, a healthy lifestyle includes: eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, getting enough physical activity, not smoking or using other forms of tobacco, and limiting alcohol use. Most importantly talk with your healthcare provider about your personal risks, and what you can do to reduce them. Health Initiatives, Stamps Health Services, and the Campus Recreation Complex are all here to help you reach your goals and maintain a healthy heart all year long!