Tuesday, 12 February 2019
Is there such a thing as too much exercise?
Many middle-aged marathon runners and other endurance athletes are familiar with concerns from their loved ones – and occasionally their physicians – that they might be exercising too much and straining or harming their hearts.
For all of them, a large-scale study published recently in JAMA Cardiology should be mollifying. It finds that middle-aged men who work out often and vigorously do tend to develop worrisome plaques in their cardiac arteries.
But those men also are less likely than more sedentary people to die prematurely from a heart attack or other cause.
In essence, these results suggest that large amounts of exercise can up someone’s risk of developing plaques, while also lessening the likelihood that he will die from a heart attack precipitated by those plaques, said Dr Laura DeFina, the chief science officer for the Cooper Institute, who led the study.