An Endurance Athlete Heart

As an endurace athlete, you will develop an athlete’s heart which is very different to the non athlete’s heart. You will have;

  • Low resting pulse rate of under 50 beats per minute – Scientifically referred to as Bradycardia.
  • Thickening of the heart muscle wall
  • X-ray reveals an enlarged heart
  • Blood tests shows raised muscle enzymes

The above for the average person (non-athlete) indicate a probable heart block, hypertension or heart failure.

Should you need to go into hospital or see your doctor, you should inform them you are an endurance athlete.

My Doctor told me, Athlete’s heart also known as athletic heart syndrome is a medical syndrome in which the human heart is enlarged due to excessive amounts of exercise. Common in athletes who exercise more than an hour almost every day and occasionally in heavy weight trainers, this syndrome is believed to be a benign condition.

How an Athlete Heart  Develops

During intensive, prolonged endurance- and strength-training, the body signals the heart to pump more blood through the body to counteract the oxygen deficit building in the skeletal muscles. Enlargement of the heart is a natural physical adaptation of the body to deal with the high pressures and large amounts of blood that can affect the heart during these periods of time. After time, these pressures cause the muscle mass, wall thickness, and chamber size of the left ventricle of the heart to increase.

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