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Hearts of Swimmers vs Runners vs... Cyclists

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Hearts of Swimmers vs Runners vs... Cyclists

Old 06-22-19, 07:25 PM
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McBTC
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Hearts of Swimmers vs Runners vs... Cyclists

Turns out runners hearts are more efficient than swimmers. Interesting as to why-- runners must move blood in a upright position whereas swimmers' horizontal position means the heart is spared a little work and in all instances, whatever the exercise, the body never creates a greater capacity to do work than is required of it...

https://www.todayonline.com/world/he...s-heart-runner

Even so, studies also have shown that swimmers surpass runners when it comes to longevity, although both groups live longer than sedentary folks.

Cycling in some ways seems to fall between swimming and running when it comes to what the heart is forced to cope with to overcome gravity. There also are big differences though between these activities (e.g., water can be cold). Overall, I'd choose cycling as the better activity because you can actually go somewhere which I think helps maintain interest and lends itself better to a lifelong activity.
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Old 06-22-19, 07:42 PM
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What if you're a triathlete?
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Old 06-22-19, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
What if you're a triathlete?
You do weird things to your bike.
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Old 06-22-19, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Wilmingtech View Post
You do weird things to your bike.
Actually more triathletes don't know much about bikes. Like how to maintain them, the LBS is full of tri bikes that need to be cleaned and lubricated.
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Old 06-22-19, 07:52 PM
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Efficiency of the heart and even longevity are only part of life and too much of one thing is never any good.

As an example, cycling alone does nothing for bone density and has people who do no weight bearing exercise open themselves up to osteoporosis as they age. An efficient heart is little consolation for a broken hip.

The 50+ forum is full of guys who rode 6000 miles/year and had heart attacks - too much stress ,not enough sleep, thought they could eat anything they wanted and cholesterol/plaque clogged their pipes. An efficient heart can't force blood through clogged arteries.

Eat right, get plenty of rest, add some weight bearing exercise... classic advice given for decades. To that I would add ruthlessly removing anything which causes stress. It is not possible to have a perfectly peaceful life all the time but major stressful situations should be rooted out to the extent that it is possible.

A life where physical, spiritual and intellectual are balanced is best.


-Tim-
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Old 06-23-19, 03:56 AM
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
Actually more triathletes don't know much about bikes. Like how to maintain them, the LBS is full of tri bikes that need to be cleaned and lubricated.
Maybe because a bike is simply another tool to a triathlete. And not a work of art to be constantly gazed upon and worshipped as many BF members seem to believe
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Old 06-23-19, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post
Maybe because a bike is simply another tool to a triathlete. And not a work of art to be constantly gazed upon and worshipped as many BF members seem to believe
True, aren't these the same people that spend insane amounts on marginal gains like Ceramic Speed UFO chains ($150) and OPS pulleys ($499)?
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Old 06-23-19, 06:32 AM
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My nephew's daughter began swimming competitively from age 9. She is built tall and slim like a ballerina. We arm wrestled when she was 12. I was astonished how strong she was. These days she is about 16 and I'm certain she is well stronger than I am. Swimming is a fine activity and from a health point of view, works every muscle in the body. Not only that, we can swim into old age, much the way we can cycle into old age. There are few 70 y.o. body builders which tells us something. The best exercise is the one we can maintain into old age.
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Old 06-23-19, 06:33 AM
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Definitely bicycling for me. I tell folks its because I get to sit on my azz while I get a workout.
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Old 06-23-19, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Efficiency of the heart and even longevity are only part of life and too much of one thing is never any good.

As an example, cycling alone does nothing for bone density and has people who do no weight bearing exercise open themselves up to osteoporosis as they age. An efficient heart is little consolation for a broken hip.

The 50+ forum is full of guys who rode 6000 miles/year and had heart attacks - too much stress ,not enough sleep, thought they could eat anything they wanted and cholesterol/plaque clogged their pipes. An efficient heart can't force blood through clogged arteries.

Eat right, get plenty of rest, add some weight bearing exercise... classic advice given for decades. To that I would add ruthlessly removing anything which causes stress. It is not possible to have a perfectly peaceful life all the time but major stressful situations should be rooted out to the extent that it is possible.

A life where physical, spiritual and intellectual are balanced is best.


-Tim-
Good advice re stress. I think the stress from a bad marriage is enough to take decades off a person's life.

Disagree re dietary fat and risk of strokes and heart attacks:

RESULTS: During 5-23 y of follow-up of 347,747 subjects, 11,006 developed CHD or stroke. Intake of saturated fat was not associated with an increased risk of CHD, stroke, or CVD. The pooled relative risk estimates that compared extreme quantiles of saturated fat intake were 1.07 (95% CI: 0.96, 1.19; P = 0.22) for CHD, 0.81 (95% CI: 0.62, 1.05; P = 0.11) for stroke, and 1.00 (95% CI: 0.89, 1.11; P = 0.95) for CVD. Consideration of age, sex, and study quality did not change the results.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20071648
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Old 06-23-19, 07:35 AM
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Swimming is a more full-body exercise than either running or cycling and has those concurrent benefits. If all you care about is health of your heart, even just walking briskly gets you 90% or better of the benefits.

For strictly workouts I'll admit that I personally prefer running to cycling, increasingly so as I get older. I know, that's backwards from most people, and I don't actually *enjoy* running like I do cycling, but it's just more beneficial in less time. Purely for cardio, a nice long ride with an elevated heart rate is, like walking, all that's really needed.
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Old 06-23-19, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Swimming is a more full-body exercise than either running or cycling and has those concurrent benefits. If all you care about is health of your heart, even just walking briskly gets you 90% or better of the benefits.

For strictly workouts I'll admit that I personally prefer running to cycling, increasingly so as I get older. I know, that's backwards from most people, and I don't actually *enjoy* running like I do cycling, but it's just more beneficial in less time. Purely for cardio, a nice long ride with an elevated heart rate is, like walking, all that's really needed.
Yeah, in terms of time vs workout, I do get a lot more bang-for-the-buck running than cycling.

It is kind of hard on my body, though.
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Old 06-23-19, 09:24 AM
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I thought the theory was, you could get a more intense workout on a bike than running.

According to this theory, a person running really hard reaches a point where their legs can no longer support them, and has no choice but to stop and collapse. Whereas the person pedalling away on the bike, can reach this same point of exhaustion, but they have a bike to support them, so that individual can keep going, and maybe even recuperate, without ever stopping at any point. Thus pushing the heart and lungs to a point beyond that which is attainable while running, due to the fact that their knees never buckle.

Or so the theory goes.
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Old 06-23-19, 09:40 AM
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Even when i was younger, and ran voluntarily (as part of a range of exercises with friends), I still pretty much hated every minute of it. Running always felt jarring and unpleasant, while walking, swimming, and especially cycling, are enjoyable (to me,personally).
But oddly, stuff like running laps up and down stairs or a hill, I kinda liked. But those were more brief, and kind of an anaerobic/interval-training type exercise, not the slow,boring, lengthy commitment going for a regular run is.(again, JMHO)
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Old 06-23-19, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
I thought the theory was, you could get a more intense workout on a bike than running.

According to this theory, a person running really hard reaches a point where their legs can no longer support them, and has no choice but to stop and collapse. Whereas the person pedalling away on the bike, can reach this same point of exhaustion, but they have a bike to support them, so that individual can keep going, and maybe even recuperate, without ever stopping at any point. Thus pushing the heart and lungs to a point beyond that which is attainable while running, due to the fact that their knees never buckle.

Or so the theory goes.
Running is a lot more intense and harder on the body than cycling...It's easy to ride 100 miles on a bike but it's very hard to run 100 miles and only elite level ultra-endurance athletes can run that type of a distance.
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Old 06-23-19, 12:19 PM
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and being of parents in high mountains has a heart that would to move lower oxygen less dense air..

Bolivia Bhutan , Nepal, Tibet..
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Old 06-23-19, 06:56 PM
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I'd argue that swimming is a better exercise, since it's full-body. But anyone can buy a bike and ride, while not everyone has access to a lap-swim pool. Also, swimming is hard on shoulders. Before I lost access to the local CC swimming pool (filled in to make room for a food court) I had to limit my yardage to about 1600 per day or deal with crunchy shoulders.

Neither swimming nor cycling is weight-bearing.
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Old 06-23-19, 07:22 PM
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Donít forget the wisdom of this guy...

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-...a-world-record

Saw a quote from him about a little glass of red wine daily, some pushups, and riding his bike.
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Old 06-23-19, 10:16 PM
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As far as stress goes, cycling helps relieve stress for me. I find it very ther-a-peutic emotionally as well as physically.

Last edited by Rje58; 06-23-19 at 10:18 PM. Reason: because the profanity editor didn't like ther-a-peutic
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Old 06-23-19, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
To that I would add ruthlessly removing anything which causes stress. It is not possible to have a perfectly peaceful life all the time but major stressful situations should be rooted out to the extent that it is possible.

A life where physical, spiritual and intellectual are balanced is best.
Major +1 on that.
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Old 06-23-19, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
What if you're a triathlete?
I guess you have three hearts...
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Old 06-23-19, 11:06 PM
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I feel for the swimmers, all that stress, all those bikinis...


They need a longboard.
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Old 06-24-19, 12:37 AM
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''The body cannot live without the mind.''

Whatever you do, make it real.


Last edited by MikeyMK; 06-24-19 at 12:42 AM.
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Old 06-24-19, 07:08 AM
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All types of exercise have benefits and drawbacks. What is "best" ultimately comes down to the individual. Running is great for a time pressed person, but poor for someone who can't stay healthy when doing it. Is there a pool nearby and what are the hours it's available? What you enjoy also matters.

But, for overall fitness, you should be supplementing your cardio with some strength training... especially if what you do isn't load bearing. Muscle loss due to aging is a big factor in future quality of life and bone density is obviously quite important also.

Last edited by OBoile; 06-24-19 at 07:42 AM.
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Old 06-24-19, 07:23 AM
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Loss of muscle mass as we age is real. Just look at the 105 year-old Frenchman who set a world record in 2017 (14 miles in one hour).

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