We see and hear about hearts everywhere. A long time ago, people even thought that their emotions came from their hearts, maybe because the heart beats faster when a person is scared or excited. Now we know that emotions come from the brain, and in this case, the brain tells the heart to speed up. So what’s the heart up to, then? How does it keep busy? What does it look like? Let’s find out.
Your heart is really a muscle. It’s located a little to the left of the middle of your chest, and it’s about the size of your fist. This amazing muscle never gets tired, even though it opens and closes about 100,000 times a day, every day, throughout your life.
Your heart is a pump that pushes blood around your whole body. Each time your heart beats, it squirts out a small cupful of blood and refills for the next beat. Run and your heart beats
faster. This gets more oxygen to your muscles.
Most kids are born with a healthy heart and it’s important to keep yours in good shape. Here are some things that you can do to keep your heart happy:
- If you want it to be strong, you need to exercise it. How do you do that? By being active in a way that gets you huffing and puffing, like jumping rope, dancing, or playing basketball. Try to be active every day for at least 30 minutes! An hour would be even better for your heart!
- Eat a variety of healthy foods and avoid foods high in unhealthy fats, such as saturated fats and trans fats
- Try to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
- Avoid sugary soft drinks and fruit drinks.
- Don’t smoke. It can damage the heart and blood vessels.
So now you know that your heart doesn’t look like a valentine, but it sure deserves to be loved for all the work it does. It started pumping blood before you were born and will continue pumping throughout your whole life.