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Triathletes with Amazing Hearts

Resistance/Endurance Combo Best for Heart

A study of triathletes shows that combining resistance and endurance training is best for heart health. Researchers used MRI to study effects of triathlon training on the heart. They found that triathletes who participated in multi-sport events like swimming, cycling and running had larger right and left ventricles, as well as larger left atria. The triathletes' ventricles also displayed greater muscle mass and wall thickness, say researchers. The findings, published in Radiology, reveal that the resting heart rates of triathletes were 17 percent lower than the control group. A lower resting heart rate means more cardiac blood supply. "The hearts of the triathletes ... are stronger and able to manage the same workload with less effort," says lead researcher Michael M. Lell, M.D.

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