Our heart is a muscle which works nonstop every second till we are alive. But most of us know very less about this single most vital part of our body which starts beating much before the baby forms inside the womb!
Our heart beats one lakh times per day (heart rate: 72 times per minute) normally. If calculated for a year the number comes upto 37 million in one year and to 3 billion in one’s lifetime!!
The heart has its own way of behaving to situations. At times when we feel happy, excited, nervous or afraid, our heart rate becomes faster and what we experience is palpitation. However a little palpitation is not a sign of a heart attack. Here are a few facts that any layman should know about the heart and heart rate.
An erratic heartbeat (arrhythmia) at times is normal. However if one feels that the heart rate is getting erratic frequently, it is the time to see a doctor. In some cases this erratic heart rate can be risky and can put a person higher up in the risk category for heart attacks.
At times if you happen to feel your pulse and find it racing then what would you do? Blame it on stress? Before doing that check your habits. Smoking, loads of tea and coffee may also send your pulse racing. In fact when you have fever, dehydration, anemia or thyroid issues you would experience such racing pulse. This condition is called ‘tachycardia’.
Heart rate between 60 to 100 times per minute (at rest) is usually considered ‘normal’. Heart rate beyond lower and upper limits can be a sign of some underlying health problem.
Research in this field has data to share stating that for every 10 beats rise in heart rate the risk of heart attacks increase by 18% for women and 10% for men.
On the other hand, a slow heart beat can be a signal of heart failure. Sometimes slower heart rate can indicate a good fitness level too! The reason is exercise… The heart is after all a muscle. The way with strength training the muscles gain more strength the same way when the heart becomes strong and needs less pumping as one pump is strong enough to throw up enough blood to skip the next two. As such people with strong physical schedules or athletes have a low heart rate at resting.
Our heart is an amazing piece of nature’s engineering — so complex yet so simple —-As long as it works we live and the day it stops we stop being.