What does regular training do?
You have to think about how you want to train your body. Do you want to improve your endurance so you can run longer or do you want to get stronger so you can lift more heavy things. After three or four days of training, I’m a little better than before. But then you have to do something again, otherwise everything will return to how it was before.
Most people die of heart disease. However, if you train the cardio regularly by running in the student woods or around a tube lake, the size of the heart will increase slightly over time. Then it can pump more blood per heartbeat and you can run faster. Normally, the heart beats about 60 times per minute. However, if it gets bigger than a regular run, it will be enough at rest if it only beats 40 times, so you’ll save heartbeats and probably live longer too.
Through training you try to make all the parts of the body a little better and then the work becomes easier for them. And if you can thin it out every day, it will stay productive longer. If you drive 100,000 kilometers a year, it can last three years. If you reduce your car driving and treat it with care, it could last ten years. So is the case with the body.
Esther: Which sport is the healthiest?
Great question, you can almost answer it yourself. We said the core has to work a little harder once or twice a week to adapt to the stress. Then you can think about which sports make cardio more efficient. Running, swimming, biking, whatever you can keep up with for a longer period of time. Anything you can do for fifteen minutes or twenty minutes at a time is heart-healthy. If I say now, I don’t want to have a bad back, then you should strengthen the back muscles, for example by lifting weights, climbing or judo.
Alexandra: We were taught at school that a heart is the size of a fist. If the heart gets bigger, does that mean the fist gets bigger too?
In the case of a child, the heart is slightly smaller. At the age of twenty-five, the heart has reached its maximum size. So it’s the size of a young man’s fist. However, if you train it, it can almost double in size.
Is it really healthy to have such a big heart or can it also be dangerous?
It is healthy except when the heart is excessively dilated from disease. The heart is supplied with oxygen through the coronary arteries. However, there are diseases in which there is not enough oxygen to the heart, for example this can happen due to steroids or because you have a congenital disease. All participants in the Olympic Games are pre-examined by a cardiologist. They are only allowed to participate if they put a stamp in their passport stating that they have a good heart.
Lisa: If I lose my leg in an accident and get a prosthetic, can I exercise with it as productively as if I had a real leg?
Great question – but also very difficult to answer. You want to know if you can be as efficient as a healthy athlete. There are two types of competitions for athletes at the Olympic Games, with the Paralympics for Paralympic athletes. Spectators, television, and sponsors have much to do with healthy people’s games, so maybe healthy and disabled people should come together.
In some disciplines, this may actually be possible because you can do some things better with a prosthesis than without. For example, the prosthesis does not tire, so a child with a spring-loaded prosthesis can win a longer running contest. The world record over 1,500 metres, roughly four laps on the court, is about three seconds faster for runners with prosthetic limbs than for healthy runners. It’s similar in the long jump, because if you have a prosthesis on your ankle bone, the flex energy returns when you take off.
These properties cause a lot of controversy and many problems. If all the athletes can compete together, a healthy athlete might consider removing the lower leg so that he can move faster and be the first. Even after you become an adult, there may still be talk of how to make sport better and fairer.
Titian: I’ve been swimming actively for six years. Does this make a difference to the development of my heart? I will say 10 kilometers for swimming training.
Ten kilometers or rather five kilometers? If you really do this twice a week, your heart will surely get bigger. The only question is: is it good to train children’s cardio, or is it better to improve the technique first? Because technology is the basis of having a foothold in the water. Only later, the cardio is specially trained, especially for long distances, and years later, you will also have to go to the weight room.
Esther: What is the most popular sport?
Certainly football in Germany – at least for the boys. Girls especially love to swim and dance, and horseback riding is also very popular, although it is not cheap.