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The Most Important Muscle

February 14, 2012 0 Comments

download (2)It wasn’t long after the holiday decorations were being put away at the stores that a certain holiday in red took precedence. Now almost halfway through the month of February and only a few more weeks left in winter, hearts are warming up and chocolate lovers are getting their fill. It’s Valentine’s Day, and while not a big chocolate lover or needing a special day to tell my sweetie that I love her, it’s hard to ignore the universal symbol of love (and dollars for the card and flower people) that has become synonymous with every February 14th – the heart.  So whether your heart goes “pitter-pat” to enjoy the day with someone special or because it’s another day closer to when pitchers and catchers report to spring training, here are ten interesting facts about the heart, the most important muscle of the body.

  • The average adult heart beats 72 times a minute; 100,000 times a day; 3,600,000 times a year; and 2.5 billion times during a lifetime.
  • Though weighing only 10 – 11 ounces on average, a healthy heart pumps 2,000 gallons of blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels each day.
  • The heart pumps blood to almost all of the body’s 75 trillion cells. Only the corneas receive no blood supply.
  • During an average lifetime, the heart will pump nearly 1.5 million gallons of blood—enough to fill 200 train tank cars.
  • The “thump-thump” of a heartbeat is the sound made by the four valves of the heart closing.
  • Prolonged lack of sleep can cause irregular jumping heartbeats called premature ventricular contractions (PVCs).
  • A woman’s heart typically beats faster than a man’s. The heart of an average man beats approximately 70 times a minute, whereas the average woman has a heart rate of 78 per minute
  • Grab a tennis ball and squeeze it tightly: that’s how hard the beating heart works to pump blood.
  • The volume of blood pumped by the heart can vary over a wide range, from five to 30 liters per minute.
  • Every day, the heart creates enough energy to drive a truck 20 miles. In a lifetime, that is equivalent to driving to the moon and back.

Take care of that heart; you only get just one.

My 2012 Fitness Challenge personal update – 4,400 push ups done as of publishing time.

Til next time, train smart, eat well, and be better.



About the Author:

Jeff Harrison is a fitness coach based in Pottstown, PA. He received a BS in Exercise and Sport Science from Penn State University and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), NSCA Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) and ACE Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist (ACE-AHFS). Jeff's articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals as well as consumer oriented websites and magazines.

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