At Home with Chris Jessen 2018 - 71
H E A RT H E A LT H ▲
DID YOU KNOW?
WHILE YOU PROBABLY KNOW THAT THE HEART AND BLOOD VESSELS MAKE
UP ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT SYSTEMS OF THE BODY, THERE ARE SOME
AMAZING FACTS ABOUT THE CIRCULATORY SYSTEM YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW
In an average human, about
2,000 gallons of blood travels
through the blood vessels
daily. Blood vessels deliver
oxygen, essential nutrients
and hormones to every cell in
the body, and remove waste
products made by the cells.
The cardiovascular system
is vital for fighting disease
and controlling the body's
Red blood cells travel in
single file as they are the
same size as the capillaries
they travel through - a
microscopic 8 microns,
which is 1/3,000 of an inch.
An adult's average resting heart
rate is about 75 beats per minute.
Similarly to animals, heart rate is
linked to body size - the bigger
the body, the slower the resting
heart rate. A blue whale's heart,
which is the size of a small car,
only beats five times a minute.
WORDS: ROSIE ORGLES, IMAGES: SHUTTERSTOCK
Laid end to end, an adult's arteries, capillaries
and veins would measure about 60,000 miles
- that's enough to wrap around the earth
nearly two and a half times.
Astronauts suffer from
stuffy noses, puffy faces
and headaches because there
is no gravity so blood pools
in the chest and head. On
earth, gravity means blood
pools in our legs, which is
why our leg veins have
valves to help the blood
flow back up to the heart.
There is a condition called
stress cardiomyopathy, or
'broken heart' syndrome.
It is when the muscle of
the heart (the myocardium)
suffers from a sudden
Symptoms are similar
to a heart attack and
can be brought on by an
emotionally stressful event,
such as the death of,
or physical separation
from, a loved one.
Red blood cells have no nuclei, unlike
white blood cells and most other cells
in the body. On the one hand, this
means they have a greater capacity
for carrying oxygen around the body,
but on the other hand, it means the
cells cannot divide or synthesize
new components. Red blood cells
die after about 120 days, but
replacement ones are continuously
being made in the bone marrow.
www.athomemagazine.co.uk FEBRUARY 2018 | 071