Lub Dub

Beware: This post is double boring, because it is about running and math. Fairly warned be thee, says I.

On average, the human heart can give you about 2.5 billion beats over the course of a lifetime, and then it kind of wears out. So what I always sort of wondered in the back of my mind was, why does exercise allow you to live longer if your heart is just beating more? Isn’t it just wearing out sooner?

(Disclaimer: obviously exercise gives you other health benefits that keep you alive longer.)

This question that I never really consciously considered was inadvertently answered in the doctor’s office last week. My resting heart rate was down to 40 beats per minute. According to the American Heart Association, the average is 60 to 80. So I decided to break out the old calculator. I determined that

At 60 bpm, the average person’s heart beats 31.5 million times per year. Then I added up my year at 40 bpm, then added the extra beats for the number of hours I spend running, when it would be much higher. And it was about 21.5 million, which is kind of crazy. I save 10 million beats per year? If that translated straight into extra years in your life, that would mean in just 3 years I’d add another year onto my life.

Fortunately, I love donuts, pizza and bacon enough that I still don’t have to worry about outliving my children. It’s nice when things even out.


Jen said...

ha ha. about math & running and i liked it! we learn new things about ourselves every day, i guess.

I really need to exercise. I wish i had my own tennis court and a tennis buddy. Or if there was a containment device i could keep Julian in while I played tennis.. perhaps on my person, like a jogger stroller for runners. OR, i'll just train him to be my ball boy. Ok, problem solved.

Lizzy said...

Dang! You said math and I thought it would be about Tau Day.

But I'm the other end of the spectrum on resting heart rate. Mine was 100. But did lower to 85 when I got a hole in my heart fixed.