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THE HEART OF AN ATHLETE

Exercise causes a number of changes to the body. Acutely, it results in increased cardiac output (more blood flow), increased blood pressure, decreased peripheral vascular resistance (think of this as dilation of the capillaries at the level of your organs to allow for even more enhanced blood flow), and increased oxygen delivery. Longterm effects of exercise result in structural modifications of the heart, and these changes are most recognizable in male athletes who have been undergoing endurance training.

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