Do international-elegance swimmers’ hearts function otherwise than the hearts of elite runners?
A new study finds that the answer may be yes, and the differences, although slight, will be telling and consequential, even for those of us who swim or run at a much less high degree.
Cardiologists and exercise scientists already understand that ordinary exercise modifications the appearance and workings of the human coronary heart. The left ventricle mainly alters with a workout. This chamber of the heart receives oxygen-rich blood from the lungs. It pumps it out to the rest of the body, using a strenuous alternative twisting and unspooling motion, as though the ventricle has been a sponge being wrung out earlier than springing back into shape.
Exercise, mainly cardio exercising, requires that sizable oxygen is added to operating muscle tissue, setting excessive demands on the left ventricle. In response, this part of the coronary heart in athletes becomes typically more significant and potent than in sedentary humans. It functions excellently, filling with blood a touch in advance and greater absolutely and untwisting with each heartbeat a piece extra unexpectedly, permitting the heart to pump more blood speedily. While almost any exercise can activate the remodeling of the left ventricle over time, unusual activities frequently produce subtly exclusive consequences. A 2015 study determined, as an example, that competitive rowers, whose sport combines persistence and energy, had different muscle groups in their left ventricles than runners, making their hearts robust but potentially less handy during the twisting that pumps blood to muscle tissue.