Follow your heart

At this time of year, many of us have Valentine’s Day gifts and celebrations on our minds. However, along with a time for flowers and candy, February is American Heart Month. The month-long national recognition was established in 1963 to raise awareness and spread information about heart disease.

According to Georgia Tech’s Stamps Health Services, here are some interesting facts about the body’s hardest working muscle:

  • 3,000-year-old-mummies have been found to have heart disease.
  • The heart pumps 1.5 gallons of blood every minute, or about 1 million barrels during an average lifetime.
  • There are 60,000 miles of blood vessels through which the heart pumps blood.
  • Hearts beat about 100,000 times a day, or more than 2.5 million times in an average lifetime.
  • 75 trillion cells in the body get blood from the heart.

To take care of the heart – and reduce the risk of heart failure – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, getting enough physical activity, limiting alcohol use and not smoking or using tobacco.

To learn more about heart failure and the latest treatments for it, check out “Healing Failing Hearts” in this month’s Georgia Trend.

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