That’s approximately how many muscles we each have in our bodies. (How many exactly depends on your genes.)

A few, like Occipitalis Minor and Plantaris, are evolutionarily unnecessary in present times and so much of the population lives happily without them.

And while I wouldn’t suggest that life would be a dream (sha-boom sha-boom), if we were to start giving away muscles, there are instances where people learn to live with damaged ones, frozen ones, and ones affected by disease, like scleroderma or vasculitis.

This muscle isn’t exactly like the rest. We can damage it, but only to a point. And if it were to freeze, well, that would be the end of us.

I’m talking about the heart.

And in case you’ve ever wondered why the heart is a muscle and not an organ? It doesn’t show off rectus abdominus in 6-pack abs, and it functions quietly out of site, like the liver or kidneys.

I found this helpful answer on Socratic.org: Organs are a collection of tissues that are specialized for their purpose. Muscle is a type of tissue.

The heart is made up of a collection of different tissues such as nervous tissue, connective tissue, cardiac muscle (muscle specialized for the heart) and blood (which is classified as a tissue as it is a collection of cells!)

However, people may refer to the heart as a muscle, as it is mainly muscle.

One way the heart IS like other muscles is that it responds to us, to our habits and lifestyle choices. Us, as in if and how much we exercise, get movement, enjoy sex, experience stress, eat food both good for us and less so.

Knowing this tells me, as you’ll see in the video (compliments of the way back machine), that we can’t afford to ignore the stuff we know about lifestyle habits. You know, the ones we hear so often we no longer hear them…(while we’re on the couch snacking on pretzels or brownie bites). Guilty as charged dear reader, you are not alone in the “I don’t feel like it” club.

This whole email is a call to action at a time when the days have gotten shorter here in North America and for some, the temps have gotten less accommodating for that morning walk or run.

The video starts with a very short snippet of one of my defining moments; one of the reasons I started sharing trustworthy, but not necessarily mainstream strategies for aging well. But in case you aren’t into out of the box, there’s nothing unconventional about eating well, moving throughout the day, and managing stress. All of your muscles will love you for giving them what they need to keep you going, especially the one muscle you can’t live — or love — without.