This is important. One of the main adaptations of intense cardiovascular training is a lowering of the resting heart rate. The heart is a muscle. It’s job is to keep a steady consistent flow of oxygenated blood flowing through your body. The more powerful each beat is, the greater the volume of blood that is circulated PER heartbeat. A strong heart beats with greater power, and beats less often to do its job. A weak heart has to accomplish the exact same task, or you die, so if it can’t push a lot of blood per beat, it beats faster to get the same result.
A good analogy:
A strong man goes grocery shopping, and fills 5 heavy bags of groceries. When he gets home he grabs all 5 at once and walks up two flights of stairs to his apartment.
A weak man unloads his car of the 5 bags, brings them to his front stoop, and carries two bags up at a time. He has to make more trips to accomplish the same goal.
Now, imagine that both men had to accomplish that goal on the same amount of time, or they would lose the groceries to the other. Who would likely win?
We used to say that every heart has only so many beats in it. How true that sounds.
NYTimes: Heart Rate as a Measure of Life Span
A higher resting heart rate is an independent predictor of mortality, even in healthy people in good physical condition, a new study suggests.