Our heart: the most heroic organ in our body, a reliable companion who remains steadfast at our side for our entire lives. It beats more than three billion times during an average lifetime, regardless of whether we are awake or asleep, of whether we feel happy and full of energy or sad and sluggish. The heart is always fighting for our survival. It plays an incredible role in our body, one that has always impressed me.
Today, I am a researcher in the lab of molecular cardiology at the University of Marburg in Germany, where I study the inner workings of our heart: its functions and especially its dysfunctions. I also work as a paramedic, curing heart conditions like cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac arrests, and asystoles or flatlines. It was my fascination with this incredible organ that eventually inspired me to write a book on the subject. In Heart: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Heroic Organ, I take a deeper look at cardiac science and uncover surprising facts about our heart—including some very unusual (yet entertaining) ways of keeping our tickers healthy.
Dear couch potatoes, allow me to introduce the most pleasurable path to heart wellness: sex! This physical delight is much more enjoyable than struggling outside on a long bike ride or run. And not only does a romp between the sheets provide a powerful workout for your body, it also releases an incredible cocktail of hormones and chemical messengers—each with its own health benefits. Let’s take a look at some of my personal favorites: