I am a 40 year old male who is very active and competes in intense aerobic style competitions and train quite intensely for these as well. I have had a recent stress echo which came back normal, but mentioned an incomplete right bundle branch and sinus rhythm. I have a few questions for you regarding how exercise may change my heart.
1.) I understand that intense exercise causes the heart to beat more slowly at rest?...sometimes my heart rate gets down to around 40 bpm. But does exercise cause the heart to contract more forcfully...sometime I can feel my heart pumping blood out the left side very hard into my left arm, and can actually feel my heart pulsating through the rib cage...even though the heart rate is slow. Is the exercise causing my heart to get bigger and thicker?
2.) Does training hard somtimes cause the heart to contract early like a pvc or pac at rest and less so when the heart rate is elevated? Is the incomplete right bundle branch or sinus rhythm the cause of this?
3.) It seems that when I train, it is taking longer and more difficult to reach near my Max heart rate of 180 bpm, even though the actual watts or speed is increasing. Is this expected?
You are asking if exercise can increase the forcefulness of heart contractions and if an incomplete right bundle branch block may affect heart contractions?
The more one exercises the more one's own body becomes conditioned and the lower the heart rate at rest. This does not have a direct affect on the heart's contractility. An individual who is extremely fit may develop the characteristics of an atheletic heart where there is a mild increase in heart muscle. This should not cause the heart to contract more vigorously during rest and less so during exercise. The symptoms you are describing sound like palpitations, which is the awareness of one's heart beat.It is likely that during rest you are more aware of heart's contraction than during exercise. If these symptoms are increasingly bothersome it may be a good idea to discuss them with your doctor so that any problems with the heart's rhythm may be evaluated.
The incomplete right bundle branch block or sinus rhythm is unrelated to these symptoms.
You also report that it takes longer for you to reach your maximum heart rate of 180. This may be a sign of physical conditioning. Those of us who are not conditioned reach our maximum predicted heart rate quite rapidly. Those of us who are conditioned may take a little longer to reach the maximum predicted heart rate. (Exluding the use of medications which slow the heart rate.)
It has been quite refreshing for me to find out that i am not the only person in this world with concernes and questions about heart condition. Tow yeaers ago i was taken to the hospital with what seemed to be a heart atack. I was 37 at the time. After lots of tests i was given the clear for heart atack and angine. However to this day no the doctors can't tell me waht the problem was. I am taking atenalol and it has controled svt. Waht concernes me the most is the chest pain, waking a midle of the night as if the life is runing out of me, pain in the back of my legs etc. etc. I have discussed this with my cardilogist and he thinks that thre isen't any othr issue with my heart it is only a relatively benign SVT and that i spent too much time on the internet looking at heart problems, so he does not consider any further tests. Is anyone out there with a svt that has similar symptomes, do you know anyone? I would love to hear from you.
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