Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I Love My Heart

I've learned a lot today about my heart rate. The stronger your heart is, the more blood it pumps with every beat. So if you are in really good shape, your heart will have to beat less to pump the amount of blood that your body needs. It works more efficiently the stronger it gets.

I remember back in school when they would teach you how to take your pulse. My resting heart rate was always in the 100 bpm (beats per minute) range. And everyone just always told me "that's ok. Girls hearts beat faster than guys hearts. You're fine." I was fine, I mean.... for the most part. Even as I got a little older, I always remember my resting heart rate being in the 90s at least. Today I learned that the average woman's heart rate should be around 75 bpm. The normal range is from 60-100, but they say that if your resting heart rate is consistently over 100 bpm, then you should see a doctor. Now, when I was a freshman in college, I know mine was always hovering around that 100-110 range... and that's not ok.

It's true that women's heart rates are usually slightly higher than men's. I would assume that's because stereotypically our bodies are smaller, so our hearts would be slightly smaller, so they would have to work a little harder. (but that's just a guess).

Anyway, today I decided to take my resting heart rate. The first time I did it, I got 67 bpm. I thought "that can't be right." So I took it again, and this time it was 76 bpm. (probably because I got myself all worked up thinking that 67 had to be wrong.) I'm totally impressed with my little hard working heart. Somehow, it's managed to get stronger. Which, I guess I kinda had some hints it was doing that, with how much easier things have gotten lately. Not that exercising is easy for me, but it is getting easier than I ever thought it would be, especially running. It makes me happy to know that not only am I doing this to lose weight (which will make me feel and look better) but that internally I am actually getting healthier and stronger. It makes me feel more in control of my health... which after I found out about 2 months ago that I have a Fibroid tumor, I wasn't feeling very optimistic about my health at all.

And here's a random fact that really amazed me: Lance Armstrong's heart is in such good shape that his resting heart rate is only 32 beats per minute!!! Wow!

So, how is your heart shaping up? :-)