Extreme Exercise - Why It's Not Necessarily a Good Thing

Runners in a Marathon

They say that too much of a good thing can actually be a bad thing - and that includes exercise. While a reasonable amount of exercise can help you reach and maintain a healthy weight and even boost your life expectancy, extended periods of extreme exercise can ultimately do more harm than good, research shows.

Exercise is known to boost your body's ability to take up serotonin from your blood and increase dopamine production, lending a bit of a natural high. That intense feeling of satisfaction can prompt some to overdo it - a move that backfire health-wise, as evidenced by 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. Yet, those who regularly took endurance training to the extreme not only saw the benefits of their exercise diminish, but also were more likely to experience negative health issues.

Negative effects of extreme exercise included various heart troubles. 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,can cause scarring of the heart tissue. That scarring can increaseyour risk of irregular heartbeats and other potentially serious cardiovascular problems.

To best reap the benefits of exercise, know that 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. Call 800-501-8090 to get started today.




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