Extreme Exercise - Is it Really Good for You?

Group Running Marathon

After an extended period of being a couch potato, that first exercise high can prove an addicting feeling. For many, it leads to a fitness binge of intense, overexerting activity that's not only unsustainable, but could actually be damaging, research shows.

Results of a recent study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedingscompared the overall health and longevity of athletes who competed in marathons, iron man triathlons, ultramarathons and long distance bicycle races. Overall, endurance athletes fared better than sedentary couch potatoes, living an average seven years longer. However, those who regularly took endurance training to the extreme not only saw the benefits of their exercise diminish, but all that excessive activity actually began to take a toll on these athletes.

Much of the damage observed happened in the heart. During an extreme working like a marathon, your heart must pump up to five times the amount of blood that it does while you're at rest. This can cause short term changes in your heart and arteries. Over a period of time, repeated intense exercise can cause scarring of the heart, boosting your risk of irregular heartbeats and other potentially serious cardiovascular problems.

Researchers found that most of the benefits of exercise occur at a moderate level of activity - 30 to 60 minutes per day. Do too much for too long and you can actually overdose on exercise, researchers warn.

For help developing an effective and sustainable exercise, nutrition and lifestyle plan designed to help you reach and maintain a healthy weight, visit your nearest Metabolic Research Center. Call 800-501-8090 to speak with a weight loss specialist today. 


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