Swimming, soccer or tennis have less cardiovascular risk than other sports such as triathlon or rowing, as explained by the Spanish Heart Foundation (FEC). Thus, athletes like the winner of a silver medal at the London Olympics this Wednesday, Mireia Belmonte, or Andres Iniesta are less likely to have a heart complication than others like Javier Gómez Noya.
This conclusion of the foundation is supported by several international studies that distinguish between the different sports in terms of the cardiovascular benefits that they report to the athlete. An example of this is the Mitchell classification, which has been published in the 'Journal of the American College of Cardiology', and which classifies the specialties based on the amount of oxygen consumed and the percentage of maximum force used in their performance.
In this way, activities that require an activity with a high dynamic component and a low or moderate static component are the most beneficial in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. "Aerobic sports help strengthen the heart, reduce blood pressure and prevent cardiovascular disease," the specialists emphasize.
On the contrary, sports such as cycling involve more risk "because they require a high both static and dynamic component", they explain from the FEC. "During training, and especially during competition, more than 70 percent of the individual's maximum oxygen consumption is used," adds the representative of the affiliated societies of the Spanish Society of Cardiology (SEC) and cardiologist at the Center for Sports Medicine, Dr. Araceli Boraita.
In this sense, experts indicate that veteran athletes who have exercised this last class of sports for years "present cardiac adaptations." One of these is "the dilation of the atrial cardiac cavities, which favors the development of supraventricular arrhythmias, especially if they abruptly abandon their practice," they maintain.
However, from the FEC the population is invited to practice sports, since "practiced in moderation, sport is beneficial for the heart." For this reason, it only qualifies that those people who suffer or have suffered cardiovascular diseases "should always do it under the prescription of their doctor."