Everyone knows that a fitness program provides many benefits, including making your cardiorespiratory system stronger and more efficient, increasing your strength and endurance, making you look and feel better, preventing injuries, and more. But, most people don’t really understand exactly how small improvements can add up to really big benefits over time.
Let’s say that your resting heart rate is 80 beats per minute, and in time, through a consistent fitness program, you lower that resting heart rate to 75 beats per minute (BPM). Not only has your heart gotten stronger and is able to pump more blood with each beat, but your muscles have become more efficient at extracting the oxygen and nutrients from the blood delivered by your heart. Great news!
Now, you are probably thinking that a 5 BPM drop is not that big of a deal, right? Well, here is why it is a VERY big deal. A decrease of 5 BPM means your heart now has to beat 300 (5 BPM x 60 minutes) fewer times every hour. Now, it suddenly sounds like a bigger deal, doesn’t it? But wait, 300 fewer beats per hour over a 24 hour day means 7,200 fewer heart beats per day! That is certainly a lot less work that your heart has to do on a daily basis.
But why stop there? How about 7,200 fewer beats per day times 7 days per week? That’s over 50,000 fewer times every week that your heart needs to beat! And it gets even better, because over the course of a year, your happy, healthier heart will need to beat 2,620,800 fewer times than it did last year. Now that is some crazy math.
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So, what do you think of that 5 BPM drop in resting heart rate now?