Educating CHS about cardiovascular health

Learning the ways of the heart


Mykala and Layla finding the valves in the deer hearts

Caylin Bell, Staff Writer

Did you know that a normal heart pumps approximately four tablespoons of blood with each beat? Crazy right?  Well, did you also know that there are ways to improve your heart health? This February is American Heart Month, and there are some actions that improve heart health we should all be familiar with. 

Eating healthy is an important part of having a healthy heart. Mrs.Sigman, our Health and Physical Education teacher, advises that to have a healthy heart would be to eat foods with lots of protein, nutrients, and minerals. Having a lean and green diet is good for the heart as well, along with adding in some carbohydrates. Although, limiting but not eliminating fats and sugars would be beneficial as well. Exercising is also good for the heart. Mrs.Sigman recommends any activity that is going to increase our heart rates such as cardiovascular exercises like cardio endurance or running. Power walking or even walking the dog are effective ways to get our heart rate going.

Stress can have some negative effects on the heart such as high blood pressure. Some ways to help keep stress to a minimum are Meditation, coloring, reading, yoga, writing in a journal, or best of all laughter! Laughing gets rid of the negative side effects related to stress. So laugh more, stress less. Mrs.Sigman adds:  “The main thing is heart health is not just diet or just exercise… making sure that you’re eating right, exercising, and staying active all go into making sure that you have a healthy heart.”

Along with February being American Heart Month, we also celebrate Valentine’s Day. Every year, Mrs.Fiero does a Bloody Valentine for her Anatomy and Physiology class. Mrs.Fiero uses the deer hearts that are donated during hunting season for this class dissection.  Although the deer’s heart is not as close to a human heart as a pig’s heart is, the deer’s heart is more easily accessible. Mrs.Fiero thinks that it’s really cool to show off an anatomical heart for Valentine’s Day.  She explains that “the heart is a very, very dense muscular tissue organ that works continually. The muscle is so important in the heart because it literally keeps your entire body alive. It has to pump blood to every different part of the body, so maintaining good heart health is incredibly important to do.  Being able to understand what it actually looks like will help be able to see some of those connections.”  

Mrs.Fiero loves doing the heart dissection since it opens up the ability to actually see where everything is going–a piece of paper can only do so much.

Layla Hellard, a senior student in one of the Anatomy and Physiology classes says,  “I thoroughly enjoyed dissecting hearts on Valentine’s Day. It made me feel better because I’m single!!” 

One of the junior students, Zoe Schultz, follows what Hellard said with: “I really enjoyed this lab. It was very fun, and I enjoyed learning more about the heart because mine’s broken.” 

While we can’t fix broken hearts or single status for these students, an understanding of heart health could help them live longer and make better choices.