, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 29 – If you put your hand on your chest you will undoubtedly feel your heart thumping away.
The heart begins beating four weeks after conception and doesn’t stop beating until you die. It beats 100,000 times a day, and almost one million times a week. What is remarkable is that although your heart can weaken for other reasons it never tires out.
- Like any other muscle in the body, the heart needs exercise because when we train, the heart grows bigger and it gets stronger.
- A conditioned heart beats much less at rest, only 40 to 50 beats per minute or even less as opposed to the average 72 beats.
- With each beat, there is a bigger burst of blood and fewer heartbeats are needed.
This perfect pump bears a most important responsibility – ensuring the circulation of the blood in your body. In other words, it maintains life in the 100 trillion cells in your body enabling them to absorb oxygen and release carbon dioxide. The miraculous fluid known as blood, pumped by your heart muscle, has been carrying life-giving substances to every cell in your body from the moment it started to flow.
Blood reaches every point in the body, from the eyes to the fingers, through a perfect circulatory network that interpenetrates the entire body. It cleans your body of waste and impurities. Most important of all, it undertakes the responsibility for carrying oxygen to every cell in your body, thus keeping you alive.
Like any other muscle in the body, the heart needs exercise because when we train the heart grows bigger and it gets stronger. A conditioned heart beats much less at rest, only 40 to 50 beats per minute or even less – as opposed to the average 72 beats or more, which means that with each beat there is a bigger burst of blood and fewer heartbeats are needed.
Doctors at Nairobi Hospital say internal blockages from bad diets comprising of too many saturated and trans fats, sugars, alcohol and smoke and little exercise can over the years, lead to a sluggish heart. Your heart powers your whole body. It lets you love, laugh and live your life to the full. Just a few simple steps such as eating more healthily, cutting down on alcohol and stopping smoking can improve your heart health and your overall wellbeing.
So this World Heart Day, marked annually on the 29th September, let’s make sure we all take action to keep our hearts – and those of the people we care about. If we don’t, we’re putting ourselves at risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes heart disease and stroke. CVD is the world’s number one killer. Each year, it’s responsible for about 17.5 million deaths, and by 2030 this is expected to rise to 23 million.
But the good news is that much CVD can be prevented by making just a few simple daily changes, like eating and drinking more healthily, getting more exercise and stopping smoking. World Heart Day plays a crucial role in changing all of this; it’s a global platform to raise awareness and encourage individuals, families, communities and governments to take action.
Together we have the power to reduce the burden of, and premature deaths from, CVD, helping people everywhere to live longer, better, healthier lives.
So take a moment to listen to your heart, it is indeed a lifelong friend, driving your body. It does not ask for as much love and attention as it gives you but a little TLC would go a long way.