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Exercise Can Kill You

April 10, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 145

Moderation seems to be the key for much of what we do in life. Moderation in eating, drinking and, as it turns out, in exercise.

If you run a marathon or engage in any other strenuous physical activity that lasts for three or more hours you have a 1 in 50,000 chance of suffering a heart attack during the event or within the next 24 hours.

You might tend to think that long-term endurance athletes are in the best shape of all athletic classes but recent studies suggest otherwise. A study published in 2011 in the "European Heart Journal" found four significant heart issues associated with endurance competition and training:

1. Right ventricular function diminished after races.

2. The decrease in function was greater after longer races.

3. Markers for heart injury, known as cardiac enzymes, increased.

4. One week after the race, MRI scans detected scar tissue in the heart muscle of 12 percent of the athletes.

Dysfunction in the right ventricle is alarming to doctors because diseases that affect that area of the heart can cause electrical instability which increases the risk of sudden death. Even though athletes tend to have good short-term recovery chronic changes may last in many of them.

Exercise is still recommended and can reduce cardiovascular risk by a factor of three but something like marathon training can actually increase the cardiac risk by a factor of seven. Other intense cardio workouts can carry the same risk.

Interval training has been shown to produce the benefits of a more strenuous exercise regimen but in less time. Interval training consists of short bursts of intense activity followed by much slower, non-strenuous movements. The whole session only lasts about 20 minutes and is done for no more than three times per week. You can do other, less intense workouts on the other days but only three times per week for the interval training.

A good interval training session can be done on an elliptical machine, a recumbent bike, or even a treadmill. The idea is to do the intense activity for 30 seconds and then very slow for 90 seconds. Do this eight times with a cool down period at the end for a total of 20 minutes. That's it.

The bottom line is to continue to exercise but find a balance between the tortoise and the hare styles to live longer and healthier. Now, if I can only find a special dispensation from the moderation rule for chocolate.

Personal fitness, health issues, nutrition, and the connection of our mind and body are the things I've taken a great interest in for at least the last 30 years so I think I know of whence I speak. I am not a physician, therapist, or any other kind of so-called expert and am not giving anyone any medical advice. I know what works for me and have spent a lot of time, money, and effort constantly learning as much as I could about all of those subjects. But I strongly advise anyone to consult their own physician before making any changes in their own life.

Visit my blog for other interesting articles, video recipes featuring Chef Dog, books that I authored, and some truly free downloads--no opt-in required:

Source: EzineArticles
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