February is American Heart Month. The heart is part of the circulatory system which also includes veins, arteries. The heart is a little powerhouse, about the size of a closed fist and weighs only about 10.5 ounces, yet it is the strongest muscle in the body. It powers the circulatory system by moving 5000 to 6000 quarts of blood through the body each day. It transports oxygen, nutrients, hormones, and cellular waste products throughout the body. At rest the heart easily pumps over 5 liters of blood throughout the body every minute (that is approximately the total volume of blood in the body).
Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen rich blood away from the heart. The arteries are in such close proximity to the heart that they do not need valves to keep the blood from back flowing. The veins are blood vessels that carry the oxygen depleted blood back to the heart. Because the arteries use most of the energy from the heart’s contractions, the veins have lower pressure and the walls are thinner, and relay on gravity and movements or contractions of skeletal muscles to push the blood back to the heart. Some veins have valves which keep the blood from “back flowing”. When these valves become damaged, swelling will occur usually in a lower extremity. Apply a compression stocking or compression sock will help the damaged valve to close enabling the blood to continue the journey back to the heart. This takes some of the load off the heart and helps your heart stay healthy. Who would have thought a compression sock or stocking would help your heart stay healthy!
To keep my heart healthy I love to take walks and Sigvaris Sock and Sleeves or any of the Jobst Socks and Stockings (15-20mmHg or greater) will help increase my circulation and help keep my heart healthy. (You do not have to be an athlete to love some of these socks.)
Here’s to a heart healthy journey for all of us,