• Question: does your heart grow over time

    Asked by yaboianton to Samuel, Pankaj on 18 Jun 2018.
    • Photo: Samuel Vennin

      Samuel Vennin answered on 18 Jun 2018:

      When you are born, it is roughly the size of a strawberry but as you grow up to adulthood, it reaches the size of about 2 adult closed fists joined together. After a certain point, our heart actually stretches which makes it bigger, but it also makes it less efficient at pumping blood. It will have to work harder and that is why hypertension (high blood pressure) is found more often in old people. This is why it is important to exercise, so that we maintain a good pumping ability for the heart.

      The size of the heart also depends on your fitness. Marathoners have a bigger heart as it needs to pump more blood and oxygen to muscles when they run. Fun fact is that if they totally stop training, it will take about 3 to 6 months for their heart to shrink back to its normal size for someone of their age.