Overly intense exercise can be bad for the heart

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

intense jogging
An hour of exercise a day is far safer for your heart than running a mega marathon.

A rejuvenating workout is a great way to keep our bones and muscles healthy. Interestingly, more research is finding that smaller chunks of exercise are just as healthy as long intense regimens. However, a new study found that overly vigorous workouts can be unhealthy, especially for those with heart disease.

In order to reach this conclusion, researchers monitored the daily physical activity of 1,000 people with cardiovascular (heart-related) diseases. Most of the study participants either engaged in tough workouts for long periods of time, or less hardcore exercise throughout the week. Only about 10% of the volunteers said they didn’t do any sort of physical activity.

The researchers kept track of these individuals for about 10 years. Unsurprisingly, those who fully adopted the couch-potato lifestyle were twice as likely to suffer from heart complications compared to their more active study participants. The real shock, though, was discovering that those who pushed their bodies to the limit on a regular basis were more likely suffer from heart complications and die compared to those who did moderate physical activity. Yikes.

Researchers recommend that people suffering from heart diseases constantly monitor their heart rate during physical activity. Thanks to improving fitness trackers and smartphone apps, it won’t be too hard to do so. Most doctors recommend about an hour of exercise a day, and believe that long events like marathons can be risky for the heart.

Featured image courtesy of istolethetv on Flickr. Image of joggers courtesy of whologwhy on Flickr.