The heart is a muscle in the shape of a cone. It is located to the left of the breastbone and is the most important organ in the body. The organ is a complex pump in basic terms and is used to distribute blood, nutrients and oxygen to the body. The average weight of a female heart is about 255g (9oz). Male hearts are a little bigger in size and weigh around 300g (10.5 oz).
Parts of the heart
The heart consists of 3 layers. The inner layer, which is known as the endocardium, a middle layers consisting of muscle known as the myocardium and finally an outer layer fill with liquids called the pericardium. The heart has 4 chambers through which blood is flowed. These chambers are called the left and right atrium, these chambers are found in the upper section of the heart. The lower chambers are known as ventricles and also consists of a left and right. Separating the right and left part of the heart is a muscle called the septum.
Each of these chambers consist of valves, which have different names. The exit valves for the atrium on the right is called tricuspid, the same valve on the left is called mitral. The right ventricle valve is called the pulmonary valve and the same valve on the left is called the aortic valve. All these valves are there to ensure blood is flowed in one direction only, and also to ensure no blood flows in the wrong direction.
Functions of the Heart
The heart beats as we all know, but have you ever wondered why? Well there is a lot that takes place when one beat takes place. In this time the heart completes a 2 stage process to pump blood through the body. First the upper chambers known as the atrium will contract at the same time forcing blood down to the ventricle chambers. The left atrium and left ventricle will work together and the same goes for the set on the right. From here the blood is pumped to the lungs to obtain oxygen and then be distributed to the lungs. This is done via the main artery known as the atria. The heart will then relax (between beats) to fill up with blood again and repeat the process. Patients who are unfit will experience a much faster heart beat as the blood flows with more difficulty as veins and arteries are pressurized by fat.
What makes a heat beat
Different people have different heart beat rates. This all depends on fitness, lifestyle, age and many other factors that will change the heart rate. A heart rate considered normal is around 72 beats/minute. Each heart consists of a group of cells that send out electrical activity to the heart that will make it contract and start the process of pumping out blood to the body. These cells are located higher up in the heart close to the atrium. The impulse from these cells will spread over the entire heart. The SA node or sinoatrial is the biggest pacemaker (cell) of the heart and will be found within the right atrium of the heart.
How to keep this organ Healthy
It is of the up most importance that patient of all ages, fitness and lifestyles take a great amount of care of their hearts. There are different diets, exercises and precautions to consider with this organ that will be able to lower your risk of heart diseases, heart attacks and heart failure.