Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Exercise As A Bad Thing?

It has been held as sacrosanct that some form of moderate, aerobic or anaerobic exercise is a good thing. I cannot dispute that any more than I can dispute the notion that eating a whole bag of chips and drinking soda every day is a BAD thing.
However, an interesting study has come to light that casts something of a question on the activities of those of us who remain competitive long after the "average" person has decided to move on to more leisurely pursuits. The latest study was published in the European heart Journal in June and suggested that those who remain competitive endurance athletes into their 50s might be asking for a bit of trouble.
Researchers studied 53,000 participants in the Vasaloppet, an annual nordik ski race of 56 miles held in Sweden. The study examined the effects of intense, prolonged aerobic exertion on the participants between the years of 1989 and 1999. The results seemed to imply a certain danger as these athletes aged.
For example, the more of these races the competitors entered OR the faster their times in these races, the more likely they were to be hospitalized during the following 10 years with heart problems...notably arrhythmia. A significant number of those being hospitalized suffered from atrial fibrillation: a condition in which the heart beats irregularly and can put the patient at risk for stroke.
An additional study of male, lifelong, competitive endurance athletes over 50 years old done in 2011 pointed out that there was a significant increase in scarring of the heart muscle...and THAT doesn't sound like a good thing.
Of course, for most people, this is of little concern since most people are not highly competitive endurance athletes at this age: they are gaining the benefits of exercise without endangering their health...
...which allows them to eat the occasional bag of chips and drink unhealthy beverages on occasion.


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