Moderate vs. Extreme Exercise - Which is Best?

Lady Walking

If moderate exercise is healthy, extreme exercise must be even better, right? Not so, researchers say. In fact, while a reasonable intensity and amount of physical activity can help you shed pounds, boost heart health and extend life expectancy, long periods of overexertion can backfire, ultimately doing more harm than good.

Exercise is known to boost your body's levels of serotonin and dopamine production, feel-good cerebral chemicals that lend something of a natural high. That intense feeling of satisfaction can prompt some to overdo it, which can backfire, according to results of a study recently published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings. The study compared the overall health and longevity of athletes who competed in marathons, iron man triathlons, ultramarathons and long distance bicycle races. Research showed that those who participated in these activities fared better than those with sedentary lifestyles, including living an average seven years longer. But among those with the most extreme exercise regimens, benefits of exercise diminished and eventually and effects of overexertion eventually took their toll.

Negative effects of extreme exercise included various heart issues. That's because, during an extreme working like a marathon, your heart must pump upward of five times the amount of blood that it typically does while you're at rest. This can cause changesin your heart that, over time and with repeated intense exercise,may lead to scarring of the heart tissue. This scarring can increaseyour risk of irregular heartbeats and other potentially serious cardiovascular problems.

To best reap the benefits of exercise, a moderate level of physical activity for 30 to 60 minutes a day is most effective and sustainable. Weight loss specialists at your nearest Metabolic Research Center can tailor a healthy nutrition, exercise and lifestyle plan just for you. Get started today by calling 800-501-8090.


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