When someone dies in the intensive care unit, the first thing the nurse does is turn off the EKG monitor. That’s because the heart can go on depolarizing — writing its electrical signature on the screen, if not actually pumping blood — for many minutes after everything else stops. It’s creepy, but touching, too. The heart is the soldier who can’t bear to surrender until long after the battle is lost.
Because the heart is the last organ to die, it’s no surprise that medicine has expended much effort to get it to live longer. What’s surprising is that the best strategy is to work it harder, not go easy on it. The ceaselessly pumping organ is happiest if you test its limits in a controlled fashion on a regular basis.
In other words, if you exercise.
Read the full story in the Washington Post.
Posted: Feb. 22, 2016