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The Columbia Press

Columnists & Other Opinions

Senior Moments: The incredible heart and brain

Emma Edwards
Thursday, November 22, 2018

I’m determined to learn something interesting almost every day.

Today was about the brain.

Did you know the average adult brain weighs about 3 pounds, or 2 percent of total body weight? No matter what we read, it seems our “little” 3-pound brain is at the control center of our action.

A portion of the brain stem is just above the spinal cord and regulates vital functions, such as heartbeat and breathing.

The thalamus, located in the central part of the brain, processes and coordinates sensory messages, such as touch, received from the body.

Another study showed that the average adult heart is about the size of a clenched fist and weighs about 11 ounces. Bet you just clenched your fist!

The heart is a hollow, muscular organ in charge of pumping blood throughout the body and to other organs.

“If you use an average of 80 beats per minute, your heart beats about 4,800 times per hour. That’s a whopping 115,200 times per day. Over the course of a year, your heart would beat about 42,048,000 times.”

So, if you’re 80 years old, your heart already has beaten 3.36 billion times.

“Heart,” a new book by Sandeep Jauhar, notes that “Each heartbeat generates enough force to circulate blood through approximately 100,000 miles of vessels.”

One study by Dr. Joseph Mercola shows that the brain is not the sole source of emotions. Our hearts and brains work together to produce emotions.

“When your heart receives signals from the brain via the sympathetic nerves, it pumps faster. And when it receives signals through the parasympathetic nerves, it slows down,” Mercola writes.

I have to study that a bit more before my next internet shopping spree!

Seriously, I have already learned that if I order something after 10 p.m. it either won’t fit or I don’t really need it.

We need to remember one of Dr. Cherie Carter-Scott’s “Rules for Being Human” is No. 6, “ ‘There’ is no better than ‘here.’ When your ‘there’ has become a ‘here,’ you will simply obtain another ‘there’ that will, again, look better.”

Closing thoughts: I have to walk early in the morning, before my brain figures out what I’m doing. Also, I like long walks, especially when people who annoy me take them.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving, realizing that we have so very much to be thankful for in this country and maybe we can start by giving thanks to God for our brains and our hearts.


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