5 Fascinating Facts About Your Heart

A broken heart. She followed her heart. My heart bleeds for him.

5 Fascinating Facts About Your Heart

We all know that the heart is associated with so many of our human emotions and life situations. But until our physical hearts actually give us any trouble, we tend to ignore them and take them for granted. Do you know how many times your heart beats in a minute? Do you know how big it is? Do you even know exactly where it’s located in your body?

September is Heart Awareness Month, so this is a great time to learn more about this vital organ, which keeps the blood flowing around your body, but most importantly keeps you alive! Here are five fascinating facts about your heart:

  1. To make up for having slightly smaller hearts than men, a woman’s heart generally beats faster than a man’s, by about eight beats a minute.
  2. Heart disease is an affliction that has plagued humans for generations, with the first evidence of it even being found in Egyptian mummies.
  3. Heart cells stop dividing early on in life, so heart cancer is extremely rare.
  4. Another gender difference is that heart attack symptoms differ from men to women: men are more likely to feel pain in their arms, nausea and chest pain, while women feel shortness of breath, dizziness, pain in their upper abdomen and upper back pressure.
  5. Do you know which day of the week you’re most likely to experience a heart attack? Apparently, it’s a Monday. A recent Swedish study also revealed that Christmas Eve is the most common time of year to experience a heart attack, so go easy on those mince pies.

It’s in everyone’s interests that you take care of your heart health by eating well, exercising and reducing stress, as far as possible. Limiting alcohol intake and stopping smoking are other ways to get a healthier heart.

Heart issues can lead to common lifestyle diseases like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and Type-2 Diabetes, so it’s important that we pay attention to our hearts. This is not only for personal reasons, but also because as prevalence of these diseases increases, so too do medical aid contributions (and in tough economic times, we all want to keep our living expenses as low as possible).

But how can you know that the measures you’re taking are working? When it comes to heart health awareness, many medical aid schemes like Fedhealth cover various screenings, like the test for cholesterol. Fedhealth pays for a full lipogram every five years (not just a finger prick test) for all members aged 20 and older on all of their flexiFED and maxiFED options.

We hope that learning more about this essential organ in your body will give you added incentives to maintain a healthy heart, so that you can live a long, full and happy life.