[SportMed] PHYSICAL EXERCISE AND FITNESS : HEALTH : HEART DISEASE: Can Too Much Exercise Harm the Heart?

 

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PHYSICAL EXERCISE AND FITNESS :

HEALTH :

HEART DISEASE:

Can Too Much Exercise Harm the Heart?

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Can Too Much Exercise Harm the Heart?

By Gretchen Reynolds

December 30, 2015 5:31 am

New York Times

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/12/30/ can-too-much-exercise-harm-the-heart/

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/nnhvloq

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With many of us contemplating marathons or other prolonged endurance events in 2016, we, our spouses and other family members most likely have wondered whether such strenuous training could be harmful to our hearts. Could any of us, in making ambitious resolutions, exercise too much?

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A newly published scientific review offers both reassurance and some caution. It found that while most athletes hearts can withstand most exercise, there are exceptions. For some people in seemingly good health, heavy loads of exercise might be problematic. Thats why all of us who work out should be as informed as possible about our familys cardiac history and our own potential genetic risks.

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Exercise, of course, is in general extremely beneficial for heart health. Dozens of large-scale epidemiological studies have found that people who exercise in any amount, whether five minutes a day or two hours a day or more, are much less likely to develop or die from heart disease than people who are sedentary.

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But these studies, while encouraging, contain a disquieting subtext. Their plotted data typically shows some type of bell curve to the heart benefits from exercise, meaning that the more people work out, the less they are at risk of cardiac problems  up to a point, and then the benefits plateau or decline.

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To some scientists, that finding made little intuitive sense. If a little exercise is good for the heart, why shouldnt more be continually better?

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snip

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Perhaps most surprising, older marathon runners can be just as susceptible as their sedentary counterparts to atherosclerosis, or the buildup of dangerous plaques in the arteries, the studies show. Strenuous exercise does not prevent these plaques in people who are predisposed by heredity or lifestyle to the condition.

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The act of exercising, however, may increase the risk that the plaques will rupture, precipitating a heart attack. Someone with atherosclerosis is more likely, studies show, to have a heart attack while running than while sitting quietly.

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But many older athletes with atherosclerosis have no idea they suffer from the condition, which often causes few symptoms.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
David Dillard
Temple University
(215) 204 – 4584
jwne@temple.edu
http://workface.com/e/daviddillard

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[SportMed] PHYSICAL EXERCISE AND FITNESS : HEALTH : HEART DISEASE: Can Too Much Exercise Harm the Heart?

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