Thursday, April 10, 2008

Swimming and your Heart Rate

It's fairly common knowledge that swimming makes for a good cardio workout. Doing sprints is one way to keep the heart running faster. Pushing the distance can do it too as long as it's at some speed. Sounds analogous to the sport of running, right? Well, maybe not so fast.

Buried deep in an article in today's New York Times there is a mention about how one's heart works differently for swimmers than it does for runners. Runners' hearts, the article says, must fight gravity. It must pump the blood vertically up to the head. That's not the case for swimmers. The gravitational fight is not as much of an issue. You are already horizontal in the pool. I'm no medical type, but I'm having no trouble imagining that there's something to that.

OK, so what does this all mean? Does the heart rate for a swimmer working equivalently to the heart rate of a runner mean that the swimmer can put more energy into propulsion, while the runner is putting it just into surviving? I'll have to think on this some more. Thoughts from my readers are welcome.


  1. I was wondering if you were familiar with Super Swim Pro. It is an amazing system that is used by professional swimmers around the world. Your readers may find it very interesting.

  2. I've checked it out. Looks a little more advanced than that covered in this post. Or is it the same thing?

  3. Great article, thanks for sharing it! Would love to feature you on, a site that helps people to live healthier. Can't find a contact form so thought I'd comment; look forward to hearing from you. Thanks, Larisa


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