February 14

Your Heart Matters

By Rick Banas of Gardant Management Solutions

February is National Heart Month. Your heart is the hardest working muscle in your body and a universal symbol of love.

Did you know that . . .

The average size of the human heart is about the size of an adult’s fist. A man’s heart, on average, weighs two ounces more than a woman’s heart while a woman’s heart beats slightly faster than a man’s heart.

An electrical system controls your heartbeat.

If you were to stretch out your blood vessel system, it would extend more than 60,000 miles, which is nearly 2.5 times the circumference of planet earth.

The first open heart surgery reportedly occurred in 1893. Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, who was one of the few black cardiologists in the United States at that time, performed the surgery. The patient lived for another 50 years.

The frequency of heart attacks is highest on Mondays.

Excessive amounts of sitting can increase your risk of a heart attack.

Controlling your weight, cholesterol and blood pressure; quitting smoking and avoiding second-hand smoke; eating healthy; staying active; exercising on a regular basis; and drinking alcohol in moderation, if you drink, are among the things you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Also, if you want a healthy heart, laugh more, says the Cleveland Clinic. The benefits of laughter appear to be similar to aerobic exercise or the use of cholesterol-lowering medications.

In addition, laughter helps you reduce stress and strengthen your immune system.

As for how the heart became a symbol of love and affection, nobody knows for certain, but some theories date back many centuries.

For Gardant, love has a special place in our approach to serving residents. Our focus is on providing residents with the Love, Compassion and Dignity residents deserve as well as the help and assistance they need.

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