• American Heart Month

Listening to the beat of your heart

Your heart beats approximately 100,000 times a day and 35 million times in a year. During an average lifetime, the human heart will beat more than 2.5 billion times. It does more physical work than any other muscle, pumping 2,000 gallons of blood through your body every day.

It beats faster when we exercise, when we’re scared, and when we’re in love. Is that how the heart came to be associated with love? 

The heart and love

The ancient Greeks wrote poetry identifying the heart with love and Greek philosophers linked the heart with our strongest emotions including love but also fear, anger, and even pain. Venus, the Goddess of love, was known to set hearts on fire with the help of Cupid, her son, who aimed his darts at the human heart. The Romans even believed there was a vein extending from the fourth finger of the left hand directly to the heart. That finger is, of course, the finger upon which we wear our wedding rings. 

In fact, your heart may beat faster when you’re in love because of hormones: 

  • Adrenaline
  • Epinephrine
  • Norepinephrine

These hormones flow through the blood, causing your heart to beat faster and stronger. That wonderful feeling of being in love is reason enough to keep your heart healthy. 

Keep your heart healthy

The American Heart Association has designated February as National Heart Month.

At UCR Health, we dedicate every month to taking care of your heart, with preventive care as well as advanced treatments should you develop heart disease. Preventing heart disease starts with these five steps to dramatically reduce your risks. 

1. Maintain a healthy weight and a healthy body-mass index of under 25

2. Eat a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and chicken while avoiding added sugars and sodium

3. Exercise with a 30-minute brisk walk five days a week

4. Get better sleep by reducing screen time before bed

5. Don’t smoke

If you’re at risk for developing heart disease, you can follow the steps above as well as visit a doctor on a regular basis to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol at healthy levels. Should you be diagnosed with heart disease, your UCR Health doctor can prescribe medications to lower your numbers. 

Embrace the beat of your heart at UCR Health

Staying healthy and taking care of your heart is important 365 days a year and perhaps more so during heart awareness month. Do it for the ones you love. Do it for yourself. And listen to the beat of your heart. If you keep it healthy, it can continue playing the music you love to hear for a long time. 

To speak with a UCR Health physician, please visit https://www.ucrhealth.org/make-an-appointment/ or give us a call at 1-844-827-8000.

About UCR Health

UCR Health is comprised of a team of physicians, specialists, and healthcare professionals dedicated to improving people’s health. With five medical offices located throughout the Inland Empire and Coachella Valley, UCR Health is growing to meet the healthcare needs of the region, bringing innovative, culturally sensitive medical care to the community. Established alongside the School of Medicine at the University of California, Riverside, UCR Health’s patient-centered primary care and specialty services deliver university-based healthcare excellence and innovation to all communities.