Take Care of Your Heart

The Heart…… a vital organ of the body, one we cannot live without, yet we often take it for granted.  Below are some fun facts about the heart to learn just how amazing it is, along with some statistics on the rise of heart disease in this nation.

According to some heart facts posted by Dr. Christopher Magovern on ABC News, the heart pumps 1-7 gallons of blood per minute and as much as 2,000 gallons per day. It is approximately the size of a fist and beats 60-80 bpm in adults and 70-190bpm in newborns.  The heart pumps 6 quarts of blood throughout the body suppling tissues with oxygen and nutrients and removing carbon dioxide and other wastes.  The American Heart Association states that there are 1 in 3 deaths that are caused by cardiovascular disease in the US which accumulates to approximately 801,000 deaths in the US.  Approximately 2,200 Americans die each day from cardiovascular disease, an average of 1 death every 40 seconds.  Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the US.

Heart Disease can be preventable by changing our lifestyle and decreasing risk factors that contribute to heart disease.  Listed below are some tips to maintain healthy heart function.

  • Exercise 3-5x per week for about 20-60 minutes of continuous exercise such as walking, hiking, biking, running, rowing, swimming, ect.
  • Exercise within your Target Heart Rate Range (THRR).  To calculate your THRR, begin by subtracting your age from 220 to get your maximum heart rate (MHR).  Then calculate what your resting heart rate(RHR) is.  You can do this by taking your pulse at rest for 15 seconds and multiply by 4.  Once you establish your RHR, subtract that from your MHR to obtain your heart rate reserve (HRR).  Multiply your HRR times 65% (0.65) and add your RHR.  This is the beginning of your THRR.  Second, multiply your HRR by 85% (0.85) and add RHR. This is the upper end of your THRR.  Your THRR should be between these 2 numbers.  For example, a 44 year old with a RHR of 60bpm would have a THRR of 135bpm-158bpm.  If you are a beginner with exercise, start with a THRR on the lower end of the range.  If you are advanced then you want to be in the upper range of the THRR.
  • Eat a heart healthy diet that includes a diet rich in vegetables, lean meats, and low in carbohydrates, saturated fats and sugar.
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking.
  • Meditate to help manage stress and anxiety.
  • See a counselor for emotions that become unmanageable.
  • Get regular check-ups with your physician.
  • Get Acupuncture as part of your heart health plan to assist with decreasing stress, decreasing blood pressure, and improving circulation throughout the body.