The Cardiovascular Physiology of Sports and Exercise

Mildred A. Opondo, Satyam Sarma, Benjamin D. Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Athletes represent the extremes of human performance. Many of their remarkable abilities stem from a cardiovascular system that has adapted to meet the metabolic needs of exercising muscle. A large and compliant heart is a hallmark feature of athletes who engage in highly aerobic events. Despite high fitness levels, athletes may present with symptoms that limit performance. Understanding and dissecting these limitations requires a strong background in sports science and the factors that determine sports capabilities. This article reviews the basic principles of exercise physiology, cardiovascular adaptations unique to the "athlete's heart," and the utility of exercise testing in athletes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-404
Number of pages14
JournalClinics in Sports Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Athlete
  • Exercise
  • Physiology
  • Vo<inf>2</inf>

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


Dive into the research topics of 'The Cardiovascular Physiology of Sports and Exercise'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this