Heart's guide to the heart

Here's some amazing facts about the most important organ in your body.

  • Your heart beats around 100,000 times every day and about 35 million times in a year. That means that during an average lifetime, your heart will beat an amazing 2.5 billion times!
  • During your lifetime, your heart will pump about a million barrels of blood around your body. That’s enough to fill a massive oil tanker.
  • In one day, your blood travels about 12,000 miles – that’s the distance from England to New Zealand!
  • Make a fist with your hand. A child’s heart is about the same size as their fist, while an adult’s heart is the size of two fists.
  • You can calculate your maximum heart rate by using the following calculation: 220 – your age. Your lower target heart rate is 60% of that and your upper target 85% of that. You should try to keep your heart beating at a rate between those figures while exercising.
  • A giraffe has almost 40 litres of blood – ten times more than the average human. To pump that blood up its neck to it’s brain, the heart is far bigger, weighing more than 40 times more than a human’s heart.

And here’s seven simple ways to be good to your heart:

  • Exercise more
  • Eat less fatty foods
  • Lower your cholesterol
  • Reduce the salt in your diet
  • If you smoke, stop
  • If you drink, do so in moderation
  • Take time out to relax