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You don't take notice of your heart that much, unless you happen to see someone that makes it flutter uncontrollably!

Some Heart Facts:

The truth is your heart does some pretty important things behind the scenes.  In a day, your heart will beat about 100,000 times!  Talk about a hard worker.  There is a lot of force behind one little heartbeat.  To give you a good example, try to squeeze a tennis ball one good time.  This is about the same force that your heart uses to pump blood.  A child's heart is about the size of his or her fist.  An adult's heart is about the size of two fists.

Heart Defects:

Heart defects at birth are one of the most common birth defects there is.  Heart defects can be an abnormality of the heart, which causes it to do one of several things.  Either the heart's rhythm is affected, there is a defect which obstructs the blood flow to the heart, or the blood flows through the heart in an abnormal way.  There are, however, many different kinds of defects, and many different reasons for them.  They may be caused by a genetic predisposition, environmental factors, and other things.

Improve Your Heart:

There are many things that you can do to improve the health of your heart.  Here are some of the most important ones.
 
Exercise – Regular exercise strengthens your heart, and your cardiovascular system.  Great workouts that get the blood pumping make your heart stronger and healthier.  It improves your circulation and helps your body use oxygen better.
Foods – Eating healthy, nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables is a great way to improve heart health.  Risks for certain heart problems such as heart attack and vascular disease are greatly lowered when you consume healthy foods like these.
Lower Stress – Stress is a big heart breaker.  Stress can do all kinds of damage to our bodies, and it's something we really don't think about a lot.  Finding a great way to reduce your stress will help your heart stay healthy and strong.

Risk Factors:

Individuals with a family history of heart problems are more at risk that those with no family history.  With this risk factor, prevention is the key.  There's no way to change your genetics, but knowing your family's health history will give you an advantage in protecting your heart.  You also will have a greater risk for heart complications if you smoke or do drugs.  This is one of the most preventable risk factors there is.  Eating foods high in bad fats is another risk factor that is highly preventable.  Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is a big step in keeping your heart healthy.  Obesity takes a huge toll on the heart, as it's forced to work harder and tries to overcome obstacles that normally wouldn't be there.  Do everything you can to protect your heart and keep it healthy and strong.  It works hard for you, and frankly, you don't want to tick it off!

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