Home Biology The Human Heart Explained So That Even A 5 Year Old Can Understand
Biology By Joe Burgett -

The Human Heart Explained So That Even A 5 Year Old Can Understand
[Image via Photographee.eu/Shutterstock.com]

Interesting and Surprising Heart Facts

One thing we always like to do when explaining an organ, especially one such as the heart, is to mention some compelling information you may not know. For example, did you know that the human heart pumps 2,000 gallons of blood per day on average? You may also not know that a woman’s heart beats faster than a man’s on average.

Men and women are both capable of having heart trouble yet men are more likely to have heart attacks than women. Yet women are more than 40% of all heart attack deaths annually, meaning heart attacks affect them far worse. Women are also older than men are when they get heart attacks, which could also be a key reason for the higher fatality rate.

The Human Heart Explained So That Even A 5 Year Old Can Understand
[Image via George Rudy/Shutterstock.com]

Heart Differences In Men and Women Part 1

A woman’s heart tends to be smaller than a man’s. The walls that divide some of the chambers of the heart are thinner for women versus men too. While a woman’s heart pumps faster than a man’s, it also ejects around 10% less blood with each squeeze of the heart. This can, sometimes, affect a woman’s cardio versus a man’s. However, as mentioned previously, a woman who exercises her heart can make it larger.

Theoretically, this can even her up with a regular man’s heart size. You already know that men might be more likely to get a heart attack while women die more from them. However, did you know the way in which each sex has a heart attack differs? Men often will have chest pain as well as pain radiating down the left arm. Meanwhile, women might get shortness of breath but could also have pain in the back, neck, or jaw accompanied by major fatigue or tiredness.

The Human Heart Explained So That Even A 5 Year Old Can Understand
[Image via ShotPrime Studio/Shutterstock.com]

Heart Differences In Men and Women Part 2

Why are men more likely to have a heart attack or high blood pressure? This could be due to how stress impacts men differently. When a woman is stressed, her pulse rate will rise while her heart pumps more blood. Yet when a man gets stressed, the arteries of the man’s heart constrict, raising his blood pressure.

Due to societal pressures as well as those men put on themselves, stress is an issue among men worldwide. Therefore, high blood pressure is also higher among men too. This makes sense in theory. Of course, untreated long-term high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks. More and more women are also seeing heart problems directly related to stress. Yet due to most women being able to handle stress in a slightly healthier way heart-wise, heart attacks from stress are not as common.

The Human Heart Explained So That Even A 5 Year Old Can Understand
[Image via Marjan Apostolovic/Shutterstock.com]

How The Heart Became Associated With Love Part 1

For a, seemingly, endless period of time, we have connected the heart with love. However, there is no reason for this as we proved centuries ago that consciousness and emotions were all brain-driven. Ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Romans all believed the heart and love had some connection.

In fact, the Romans believed that a vein of the heart extended to the fourth finger on a person’s left hand. This is, of course, not actually the case. However, that is why when a person gets engaged or married, it is now a tradition to put the ring on a person’s left hand, on the fourth finger.

The Human Heart Explained So That Even A 5 Year Old Can Understand
[Image via New Africa/Shutterstock.com]

How The Heart Became Associated With Love Part 2

Some believe love became connected to the heart due to how we react to someone we find attractive. When this happens, our brain releases hormones. This sends a message to our blood and heart that can cause hormones to be released from the autonomic nervous system. That is why men, for example, might get an erect penis.

At the same time, both men and women might experience faster heartbeats due to the noradrenaline released. It’s easy to see how, knowing this, ancient people believe there was a connection. While people did eventually realize the differences between the heart and brain, we continue to associate our hearts with the emotion of love. Sometimes, old habits die hard, or they don’t die at all.

The Human Heart Explained So That Even A 5 Year Old Can Understand
[Image via Pressmaster/Shutterstock.com]

You Really Can Have A Broken Heart and Die From It

While some believe that there is no such thing as a broken heart, the facts say otherwise. You can actually have a broken heart, but it’s technically not the cartoonish break. There aren’t any arrows in it either, cupid fans. We have already established in the past that there are connections between the brain and the heart.

However, this is a pretty big deal because it means that things like depression can affect your heart too. Doctors refer to this as “Broken Heart Syndrome.” Yet it’s also called Stress-Induced Cardiomyopathy. It can affect anyone, even those with a completely or relatively healthy heart, as well as those young and old.

The Human Heart Explained So That Even A 5 Year Old Can Understand
[Image via Dean Drobot/Shutterstock.com]

How Broken Heart Syndrome Affects Us

As one of the names suggests, it is typically triggered by stress. This is due to a sudden increase in stress hormones that put a lot of harmful pressure on the heart. Women are more likely than men to experience Broken Heart Syndrome but men CAN still experience it. The Syndrome typically causes horrific chest pain and often gets mistaken for a heart attack.

This is due to symptoms being incredibly similar, of course. However, there are thankfully no blocked arteries with Broken Heart Syndrome. That means most people tend to survive this and recover in a few weeks. In others, it can be deadly as it can cause sudden and severe heart muscle failure. Therefore, when your friend says they have a broken heart, take it seriously.

The Human Heart Explained So That Even A 5 Year Old Can Understand
[Image via Fizkes/Shutterstock.com]

Ways You Can Protect Your Heart Part 1

If you want to properly protect your heart so that you can live for many years to come, there are a few ways that can be accomplished. First, you should be sure to get proper sleep. In fact, prolonged lack of sleep has been known to cause irregular jumps in a person’s heartbeats. This is known as Premature Ventricular Contraction and it can be a big problem.

When they say laughter is the best medicine, it’s technically not a lie. It’s also a great preventative too. Laughter has been known to reduce stress and even boost your immune system. Therefore, when you feel down, avoid sad music. Instead, watch a comedy movie or stand-up special. Your heart will thank you later.

The Human Heart Explained So That Even A 5 Year Old Can Understand
[Image via Images.etc/Shutterstock.com]

Ways To Protect Your Heart Part 2

Be sure to eat as healthy as you can and go each year to proper check-ups from your doctor to make sure everything is working as it should. Do your best to stay away from hardcore drugs as well as recreational drugs, even those such as cannabis. When you use marijuana, it puts stress on your heart.

It can cause some issues with the heart such as increased blood pressure, arrhythmias, and even put you at greater risk of heart attack and stroke. Clearly, hardcore drugs like cocaine, meth, and more are obviously bad for you too. While cannabis is nowhere near as bad as those, it still can be bad for your heart. Therefore, it’s best to avoid it if you have any heart condition. Also, things like exercise can be incredibly helpful for your heart long-term!