Sports Injury Forum - Michael DeFranco MD | Guest - Michael LaCorte MD Pediatric Cardiology | Director of Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center -Brooklyn Division.
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We know that cardiovascular fitness is essential for staying healthy throughout life. And before we start talking about specific heart problems in athletes. For those in the audience who might not understand the issue surrounding an athlete chart, I was wondering if you can define for us or talk a little bit about how an athlete’s heart differs from a non-athletes heart. Well an athlete’s heart is very much likely than everyone else heart except better condition. It’s the same normal muscle that we all have but depending on how an athlete conditions himself, the harder they adjust to a various circumstances. For example, many athletes condition themselves by running and doing what we call aerobic exercise and over a period of time, 2 things happen. Your heart rate drops. That’s why athletes often have slow heart rate than many of us. And an addition to heart gets a little bit larger, the cavity gets a little bit larger. We have to remember that the amount of blood the heart pumps in a minute is a function of the rate which the heart is beating and how much blood the heart pumps with each beat. And Typical athletes heart, the heart rates comes down but it compensate for that, The heart gets a little bit bigger and with each beat there’s a better or a larger amount of blood that’s pumped and you find it at a baseline and they begin to exercise in condition to cells that’s what will happen. On the other hand people who condition themselves say by weight lifting or what we call anaerobic exercise, something else happens and that is the heart tensed the hypertracey or thicken in response to the strain of pumping the extra weight and the heart looks different. So some athletes had their called a hypertracey heart which we’ll talk about in a minute. It’s somewhat difficult to distinguish from an actual diseased part. Although when you look in an athlete’s heart that’s been conditioned by what we call anaerobic exercise, the heart muscle is normal. It’s just hypertracey, that means they just more of it but it’s not a diseased heart. So the whole business of an athlete’s heart depends on how the conditioning is done and many athletes as you probably know do both. They do aerobic and anaerobic exercise, so their hearts will be dilated a little bit. A heart muscle gets a little bit thicker and the whole mark is the heart rate will drop.
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