The Heart of an Olympian
Cardiologists recommend daily exercise and physical activity to aid in overall health and well-being. Whether you choose to walk, run, or join a local cycling class, exercise will benefit you both physically and mentally. As the 2012 Olympics carry-on in London, Olympic athletes will compete to see if the many years of training will pay off—for their sake and the sake of their country.
Do you have the heart of an Olympian?
Unless you are an Olympic athlete, this question will most likely remain unanswered. For spectators in awe of the amazing physical achievement that the Olympic stars have attained, it comes as no surprise that Olympians have strong hearts.
The heart, like other muscles of the body, is strengthened by exercise. According to Livestrong.com, a normal adult heart-rate is around 72 beats per minute. An Olympic athlete at rest can have a heart rate as low as 28 to 40 beats per minute. It must also be noted that achieving one’s heart strength and low heart rate, in comparison to that of an Olympic athlete, takes years of hard work and concentrated endurance training.
Look to professional Olympic swimmers for heart-healthy pointers:
According to researchers, swimming proves to be the most beneficial activity for heart-health. CBS News recently released a report highlighting the many benefits of engaging in the “cool” summer activity and the findings might make you want to search for the nearest body of water.
Swimming has been shown to lower blood pressure and protect the heart more than other workouts. It also increases the elasticity in the carotid artery which makes it easier to pump blood from the heart to the brain. If you think this is great but are not sold on the fact that swimming is more beneficial than engaging in a cardio workout, check out this finding: Swimming burns as many calories as jogging without adding stress on the knees.
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