RPS Voices: The Rutgers Prep Blog
In February, Junior Kindergarten learned about keeping your heart healthy for American Heart Month. The Junior Kindergarten class is lucky to have a parent who shared his expertise on the subject. Dr. Partho Sengupta, MD, FACC, Chief of the Division of Cardiology at RWJMS, Chief of Cardiology at RWJUH, and most importantly, father of RPS student Oliver, joined us via Zoom to discuss how and why the heart is a vital organ.
JK students learned that the heart pumps blood carrying oxygen throughout our bodies, allowing us to be fit and active. Our hearts are muscles that work all the time—all day and all night–and NEVER rest! Our pulse rate measures how many times our heartbeats each minute. The more active we are, the more oxygen we need, and the faster our hearts beat.
Students also learned that the blood flows into the heart through our veins and is pumped out through our arteries. The younger we are, the faster our heartbeats; as we get older, our pulse slows down. If we make good choices about the foods we eat and exercise regularly, our hearts work better longer.
We used heart-shaped stress balls that Dr. Sengupta gave us to understand better how hard our hearts work. After just 30 seconds of squeezing the stress balls, our hands were tired! It’s a good thing our heart muscle is stronger than our hand muscles!
Next, we used our stethoscopes (paper towel rolls) to see what happens to our pulse rate when we exercise. We listened to our partner’s resting heartbeat before running in place for one minute. When we listened again, it was much faster! We could even feel it beating by placing our hands over our hearts. Maybe the JK students will become cardiologists one day and help everyone have healthy hearts!