He ran for 20mins and trekked back home; boasted to his wife about his fitness as he entered the room. He went straight to the bath and the wife entered the room one hour later and found his husband laid motionless inside the bath. He was brought in dead to the clinic. Can Too Much Exercise Hurt The Heart?

‘He woke up around 6am, said his morning prayers before hitting the road for his recently started trekking exercise’ the wife said. This particular morning, the 47 years old man, felt he wanted to jug rather than his usual trek. He ran for 20mins and trekked back home; boasted to his wife about his fitness as he entered the room. He went straight to the bath and the wife entered the room one hour later and found his husband laid motionless inside the bath. He was brought in dead to the clinic.

‘Can too much exercise hurt d heart?’

 

This question is paramount. The need and much talk on exercise is being stressed over and over again by health practitioners. No doubt it is good but there are also things we must know about our body before any rigorous exercise says a new study. Gretchen Reynolds reported for New York New Times paper on the same subject and reviewed a recently published Journal: Are There Deleterious Cardiac Effects of Acute and Chronic Endurance Exercise? By Eijsvogels TM.

The researchers did a scientific review that offers both reassurance and some caution he says. ‘It found that while most athletes’ hearts can withstand most exercise, there are exceptions. For some people in seemingly good health, heavy loads of exercise might be problematic. That’s why all of us who work out should be as informed as possible about our family’s cardiac history and our own potential genetic risks’ the researchers warned.


 

The reporter emphases the benefits of exercise for heart and comments that ‘dozens of large-scale epidemiological studies have found that people who exercise in any amount, whether five minutes a day or two hours a day or more, are much less likely to develop or die from heart disease than people who are sedentary. The authors’ report however suggest that ‘prodigious amounts of exercise may increase markers for, and even the incidence of, cardiovascular disease’. They further examine the ‘evidence that extremes of endurance exercise may increase cardiovascular disease risk by reviewing the causes and incidence of exercise-related cardiac events, and the acute effects of exercise on cardiovascular function. The effect of exercise on cardiac biomarkers, including “myocardial” creatine kinase, cardiac troponins, and cardiac natriuretic peptides’ the researchers warned.

Some scientists were however of the opinion that If a little exercise is good for the heart, why shouldn’t more be continually better? There is no evidence that there is a level of exercise that is dangerous or too much for a normal, healthy person,” said Dr. Thompson. ‘Many past studies have looked at individual aspects of prolonged exercise and heart health. But no past review had comprehensively examined all of the ways in which prolonged endurance exercise might affect the heart and whether, on aggregate, those studies indicated that we should — or should not — worry about the effects of heavy training ‘says the authors.




In the short term, these changes can mimic heart damage, they point out, with cardiac cells often becoming “leaky” after strenuous workouts or events, releasing proteins into the bloodstream that, in other circumstances, could indicate a heart attack. These proteins usually disappear within a few days, and the heart seems to recover fully, says Dr. Thompson

But in the process, the heart adapts and changes. Its left and right ventricles enlarge. It begins to look quite different than a non-athlete’s heart says the author. NY new times reporter believes that for most people, these changes are beneficial and also necessary for successful athletic performance. But, as Dr. Thompson and his colleagues write, their review of the studies indicates that there are outliers, seemingly healthy people for whom strenuous exercise holds unexpected dangers.

The act of exercising, however, may increase the risk that the plaques will rupture, precipitating a heart attack. Someone with atherosclerosis is more likely, the studies show. The authors believe that the chances of having a heart attack while running his higher than while sitting quiet. Similarly, according to the new review, people with certain inherited heart abnormalities, such as cardiomyopathy (an enlarged heart) or long QT syndrome, a disorder of the heart’s electrical activity, may exacerbate their conditions with strenuous exercise said the reporter. The cardiac remodeling that is beneficial for most exercisers, the reviewers write, is undesirable for them and could lead to premature death, possibly contributing to the statistical downturn in health benefits from extreme exercise seen in some studies.




The best response to this information is not, however, to panic and avoid strenuous exercise, Dr. Thompson said. The best response is “to know your family history of sudden death,” he said. If a close family member has died unexpectedly of heart problems, talk to your doctor about whether you need to be tested for conditions such as atherosclerosis or cardiomyopathy.The rest of us should pay attention to symptoms such as unusual fatigue, shortness of breath or chest pain during exercise, he said. The authors feel we are much more likely to strengthen our hearts with exercise than harm them all things being equal. The researchers conclude that ‘the best evidence remains that physical activity and exercise training benefit the population, but it is possible that prolonged exercise and exercise training can adversely affect cardiac function in some individuals’. This hypothesis warrants further examination, they warned.

 

 

 

Sources

  • The New York Times
  • Published Journal of America Physiological Society:

Are There Deleterious Cardiac Effects of Acute and Chronic Endurance Exercise?

work of Eijsvogels TM Etal.

 

 



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