The human heart can be found underneath the rib cage, just to the left of the breastplate, otherwise known as the sternum. It also happens to reside between the lungs. That’s an awful lot of important organs all grouped together! The heart, of course, is an amazing part of the body that is right up there with the brain in overall importance. It is only the size of a small curled up fist, and yet it is responsible for pumping as much as five or six full quarts of blood every single minute to help keep your body going.
On the outside, the heart is made of a powerful muscular structure. The muscles are very strong indeed, as they contract in and out to pump the blood throughout the arteries. There are also four chambers, the upper two of which make up the atria. The two on the bottom comprise the ventricles. These work together to take blood from the veins and ultimately help pump it back out. While the overall functionality is essentially simple in its premise, the actual practice is a dazzling array of precision tuned engineering that is truly a remarkable example of biology at work.
In between the atria and ventricles lie the tricuspid and the mitral valves. There are two other valves known as the pulmonic and aortic valves, both of which are between the ventricles and some of the primary blood vessels that lead out from the heart itself. These valves work much like a one-way valve that you’d find in a plumbing store. They make sure that blood only flows in the proper direction, never back the opposite way. Each one also has cusps or leaflets, which are essentially flaps. You can find out more about these important valves by reading this article.
All valves have three of these flaps except for the mitral, which is limited to a set of two. Each leaflet is supported and attached to an incredibly sturdy fibrous tissue with a ring-like shape. This equally important part of the heart’s anatomy is known as the annulus. The annulus’ job is to make sure that the valves retain the right shape needed to function as intended.
So as you can see, the human heart has several parts that all work in tandem with one another. Each one has an incredibly important task to keep up with, and their jobs are exhaustive, to say the least. Given the high volume of blood needed to pump throughout the body at literally every minute of your life, it is incredibly important to make sure that your heart remains healthy.
If you want to make sure that your heart can do its task with a limited amount of stress and strain, please try to take proper care of yourself. Keep a steady diet if you can, with less of an emphasis on the cheap, bad-for-you options that so many tend to stick to given their convenience. Try to introduce at least some degree or regular cardio exercise into your daily routine as well. By doing so, you’ll be able to keep your heart healthy for a long time to come. It does an awful lot for you, so it’s only fair that you return the favour!