Workouts Sculpt Heart As Well As Muscles

Front view of heart and lungs.

Image via Wikipedia

Exercise can cause structural changes in the heart — and the changes can vary depending on the type of exercise.

Researchers found that endurance athletes showed an increase in the size of both their left and right ventricles after 90 days of team training. However, athletes who only did strength training had excessive growth in their left ventricles, but no change at all in their right ventricle size.

In addition, the ability of the left ventricle to fully relax between beats (diastolic function) was enhanced in the endurance athletes, but it worsened in the strength trainers.

It is possible that this could point the way towards tailored recommendations for rehabilitation and recreational exercise for people with heart problems.

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Sources:

* Reuters May 7, 2008

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