Understanding Your Heart

We often take the most important muscle in our body completely for granted.  There’s only one muscle in our body that never stops to rest.  Your heart is an amazing pump that circulates blood throughout your body nonstop.

 Your heart is made of special muscle called cardiac muscle.  This amazing muscle will astound you!  It not only has the ability to work overtime, it also has its own beat.  If you separate one muscle cell from your heart and observe it under a microscope, you can see that it beats on its own without any external stimulation.

 You might think that if every cell has its own beat, the heart would not be able to keep a steady rhythm.  And that might be true except that your heart has a special section in it called a pacemaker.  This sends an electrical charge that helps to keep all the cells beating at the same time.  Think of the pacemaker as the conductor of an orchestra.  It keeps everything together.

Your heart actually pumps blood to two separate areas of the body.  First, it takes in blood from the body that has used up all of its oxygen.  That blood is circulated through the heart to the lungs, where it picks up more oxygen, and then back to the heart.  This blood that now has oxygen is then pumped back out into the body to supply your cells with all the oxygen and nutrients they need.

Without a properly functioning heart, your body wouldn’t be supplied with everything it needed to work correctly.  You wouldn’t have the energy you need to keep going.  Sadly, many people have heart problems – and most of them can be prevented or even reduced by making changes in your health habits.

It’s critical that you take care of the heart that you have.  It’s one of the most important organs in the body – next to the brain, of course.  It has an important job to do and it requires a lot of energy.

There are many ways that you can help your heart to be healthier.  The most important things are diet and exercise.  But even beyond that you need to make sure that you keep your stress levels low, get plenty of sleep, and keep harmful substances such as tobacco and illicit drugs away from your body.

Your heart is a very complicated organ, but taking care of it can be very simple.  You’ll need to learn about the best ways to care for your heart.  You’ll also need to make a commitment to practicing healthy habits.