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Edgar Benitez, CSCS, Director


November 9, 2023

Calves- Your Second Heart

Is the Calf the Most Important Muscle for Health?

Good day everyone! Let's chat about a muscle group that often flies under the radar in our health conversations – our calf muscles. You might be surprised to learn just how crucial these muscles are for your overall well-being.

Now, when we think about important muscles, the heart usually takes center stage, and rightfully so. But, did you know that your calf muscles play a significant role in supporting heart health and overall longevity? Yes, those muscles that help you stand on your tiptoes are more important than you might think!

The Unsung Heroes: Calf Muscles

Often hailed as the 'second heart', your calf muscles are key players in your circulatory system. They help pump blood back up from your legs to your heart, a task that becomes increasingly important as we age or deal with health challenges.

A Recent Eye-Opening Study

A study conducted at the Mayo Clinic sheds new light on this topic. Researchers examined patients from 1998 to 2011, focusing on their calf muscle pump (CMP) function. What they found was fascinating – and a bit concerning. It turns out that individuals with impaired CMP function, where the calf muscles aren't working as well as they should, had a higher mortality rate compared to those with normal CMP function. This was especially evident in patients with heart failure.

Why Should You Care About Your Calves?

Well, first and foremost, healthy calf muscles can literally be lifesavers. They not only support venous return (the process of blood flowing back to the heart), but also play a crucial role in preventing conditions like venous insufficiency and deep vein thrombosis.

But there's more. Strong calves can enhance your physical performance, improve your mobility, and even boost your balance. And who doesn't want to feel more agile and stable?

How to Keep Your Calves in Top Shape

The good news is that maintaining strong calf muscles doesn't require a gym membership or fancy equipment. Simple exercises like walking, jogging, calf raises, or even dancing can strengthen these vital muscles. The key is consistency and making sure you include some form of calf workout in your daily routine.

Final Thoughts

It's time we give our calves the attention they deserve. These muscles are not just about looking good in shorts or helping us run faster. They play a critical role in our overall health, especially when it comes to heart health and longevity.

So, next time you're considering skipping leg day, remember your calves are doing more than just helping you move – they're working hard to keep you healthy. Let's show them some love!

Stay healthy and keep moving, everyone! 🏃‍♂️💪🫀

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