The Heart of a Swimmer vs. the Heart of a Runner

Education, Sports
Swimmer James Alexander Michie

Doug Mills/The New York Times

It is already well known that regular exercise makes changes in appearance as well as the functioning of the human heart. Even so, researchers have found important information and that the different sports disciplines affect the heart in a different way.

A new study answers a very important question. And is that the hearts of world-class swimmers work differently to the hearts of elite runners? This study shows in response that it may be that way, it is possible. The differences, although slight, can be revealing and consistent, even for those who swim or run at a much lower level.

Likewise, both cardiologists and exercise scientists already know that regular exercise changes the appearance and functioning of the human heart. The left ventricle, in particular, is altered with exercise. This chamber of the heart receives oxygen-rich blood from the lungs and pumps it to the rest of the body, by a rather vigorous twist and unwind movement, as if the ventricle were a sponge that slipped away before getting back into shape.

Really healthy heart

A new study emerged in November in Frontiers in Physiology, researchers at the University of Guelph in Canada and other institutions set out to map the structure and function of the hearts of swimmers and elite runners.

In this way, researchers focused on world-class artists because those athletes would have been running or swimming vigorously for years, presumably exaggerating any differential effects of their training, the researchers reasoned. The result, to no one’s surprise, the athletes, whether they were runners or swimmers, enjoyed enviable heart health. His heart rate was around 50 beats per minute, with the indexes of the runners slightly lower than those of the swimmers. But all the athletes’ heart rates were much lower than what is typical in sedentary people, which means that their hearts were robust.

Even so, there are interesting differences between swimmers and runners, according to the researchers. While all the left ventricles of the athletes were filled with blood before the average and were unscrewed more quickly during each heartbeat, those desirable changes were amplified in the runners. His ventricles were filled even earlier and they uncoiled more emphatically than the hearts of the swimmers.

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Source: Gretchen Reynolds | The New York Times

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