Getting enough exercise is extremely important, and running is a great cardiovascular workout. Buckle Up: All 50 States, Ranked by How Likely You Are to Die in a Car Accident. callback: cb At one extreme, some people have died in marathons, though that is rare. But exercising on a regular basis has such a dramatic effect on other cardiac risk factors like blood pressure, obesity, and cholesterol that its protective benefits during your 23 nonexercising hours each day totally swamp any risks during exercise itself. But only to a certain point. That calculus would change if we could figure out, in advance, who is among the .1 percent with a vulnerable heart. Exercise helps preserve weight loss, which is good for the heart.

Unfortunately, no one knows for certain why long-distance runners have shorter lifespans. Running too hard too often can lead to problems, though there are always exceptions like Emil Zatopek. HDL: Is It Possible to Raise Your ‘Good’ Cholesterol? Let’s look at what the research has to say. They still make headlines and provide ammunition for those who argue that running is dangerous—but the truth is, when runners younger than about 40 die during a race, it’s usually the result of an undiagnosed genetic heart abnormality like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (when the heart muscle gets abnormally thick, impeding the pumping of blood); when older participants die, they usually had pre-existing heart disease.

Activebeat is dedicated to bringing readers all of the important news and information in the world of health. There are no studies actually backing this specific statement up, no. Answer by Bart Loews, runner, fitness enthusiast, on Quora: Do marathon runners live shorter lives due to the physical stress their heart takes? View all posts by Peter McCullough, MD, 82-year-old valve patient experiences evolution of heart surgery first-hand, When you should worry about an irregular heartbeat, When you should worry about an irregular heartbeat…, 82-year-old valve patient experiences evolution of…. A study done on marathon runners found that even after finishing extreme running events, athletes’ blood samples contain biomarkers associated with heart damage. But the studies that call into question the healthiness of running all have one major flaw: they’re purely correlational, and can’t demonstrate causation. In separate talks at the conference, Lavie and Thompson offered the cardiologist’s perspective on these heart changes. If nothing else, this whole debate will remind me not to take my own invincibility for granted—to be aware that my arteries could get clogged or my heart’s rhythm could go haywire.

I’ve completed 54 marathons during my lifetime, including one in every state. Running doesn’t need to be avoided, but moderation is key. 10 Winter Running Hats to Keep Your Noggin Warm, Jordan Hasay Races a Solo Half Marathon in Oregon, The 6 Most Common Workout Mistakes Beginners Make, The Fraud Street Run Is Peak 2020—Thanks, Twitter, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may opt-out by. And that’s in addition to cross-training activities such as swimming and weightlifting. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Why too much running is bad for your heart From couch potatoes to marathon runners, how running impacts your heart. For example, men running at least 40 miles a week were 26 percent less likely to develop coronary heart disease than those meeting health guidelines by running just 13 miles a week. A slim woman with dark hair approached Thompson and began peppering him with technical questions about his research. Bart Loews' answer to Why do marathon runners look so unhealthy? [1] Mortality among marathon runners in the United States, 2000-2009. First, marathon runners don’t go out and run a marathon daily. Mortality among marathon runners in the United States, 2000-2009. The highest-mileage runners in the study were logging just 176 minutes of running per week—and even at that relatively modest level, the range of uncertainty in the data left open the possibility that they might have a higher risk of death from heart disease than nonrunners. By now, if you’re like me, you’re probably thoroughly confused. originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

15 Bits of Inspiration For Newbie Runners. Approximately 15-20 miles per week appears to be ideal — shorter distances and varying speeds are healthier for your heart than endurance running. window.mc4wp.listeners.push( And their mortality statistics reveal that—well, interpreting those stats correctly is what scientists have been arguing about, the media has been sensationalizing, and that random dude at the gym has been lecturing you about. Fitness, health and wellness tips sent to you weekly. The bad news: Those benefits accrued primarily to men and women running less than 20 miles per week. That’s not the whole story, though. However, in a very small minority who have underlying problems, exercise can trigger arrhythmia. However, can too much of that determination and grit hurt your heart? So, while running marathons may give you a better chance at surviving a heart attack, it’s not going to prevent one, and it may actually increase your risk of having one. “At 156,000 subjects, we’re bigger than they are,” he said. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Additionally, there is the fact that we have no real explanation for if or why running contributes more to fatalities, contrary to what O'Keefe implies. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. If a heart attack occurs, a marathon runner is more likely to survive than his or her sedentary counterpart, but the same can be said of people who engage in other kinds of regular activity. Your body will already be tired, so your heart rate will actually be higher at slower running paces. “It’s a stress-relief. Moderate exercise is still best for physical, mental health. Aside from these issues, there are studies produced, like this one [5], from cardiologist James O’Keefe, who came to the conclusion that running is good but “too much” running is bad. And like most runners, once he’s out on the roads, floating along under the Louisiana sun, he’s no longer thinking about his heart. To put this into perspective you’re one hundred times more likely to die in a car accident on any given day [2].

For these runners, the best data we have comes from looking directly at what changes, and what potential warning signs show up in their hearts after decades of training. This question originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Running is well-known to lower BMI, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels, which in turn reduces the risk of heart disease. What if, instead, the proportions were 99.9 percent and .1 percent? Looking to get in shape? Too much exercise can lead to overtraining — a state of, “It appears that most people can get maximum health benefits with relatively low amounts of exercise, and that’s comforting,” exercise researcher Dr. Carl Lavie, medical director of, Chocolate Pumpkin-Chip Cookies, Try This Delicious Twist on the Classic, Cardiac Rehabilitation and Prevention at the John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute. And Lee’s data from the 2012 ACSM conference, though it was frequently cited as evidence of running’s deadly potential, still hadn’t gone through peer review to be published in an academic journal. You have successfully subscribed to our newsletter. Runner's World participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. For more on runners and their hearts, see our entire “The Runner’s Heart” presentation. There are few physical exercises that burn as many calories as running. “Extreme, long-term endurance exercise puts equally extreme demands on the cardiovascular system,” says Dr. Singh. Dr. McCullough is a graduate of Baylor University. First things first: yes, it is possible to run too much. Here’s the truth behind the hype. event : evt, Are there risk differences between men and women? Such decisions are deeply uncomfortable, which is why we avoid thinking about them when we, say, take an antibiotic or step outside on a sunny day. [2] Buckle Up: All 50 States, Ranked by How Likely You Are to Die in a Car Accident. The unfortunate reality is that some people die during and just following a marathon. In 1977, a cardiologist and 2:28 marathoner named Paul Thompson, M.D., was running Bay to Breakers 12K when one such death occurred. ); Rather, overtraining results from a combination of many factors: too much training, too much life stress, lack of sleep, under-eating, illness and nutrient deficiencies.

Running or fast jogging followed by weight training has more benefits for your heart health than just running. “You don’t need to push it longer and harder if you’re trying to make yourself as healthy as you can be.”. For example, British researchers presented data at a conference last year showing that long-term runners and cyclists—the 169 subjects had been training for an average of 7.7 hours a week for 31 years—had more highly calcified arteries if they ran at least 35 miles a week. Here's a look at some of the reasons running too much is bad for you. Additionally, the most high-profile of all marathon runner deaths were due to detectable congenital heart defects [3]. The bad news: Those benefits accrued primarily to men and women running less than 20 miles per week. weightlifting.

And sometimes, there’s no apparent explanation. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. Atrial fibrillation has been linked in several studies to cumulative years of exercise—most likely, Thompson said, because of an enlarged left atrium, where blood is stored after it returns from the lungs. That’s why, for Thompson, the fruits of the debate are “intellectually interesting, clinically worth knowing, but not worth worrying about.”. It was a potent one-two punch, with O’Keefe’s paper explaining what could go wrong and Lee’s conference presentation offering evidence that it was really happening. “All in all, despite the concern about extreme exercise, there is not much reason for the average person to worry,” says Dr. Singh. In a 2013 response to O’Keefe and Lavie’s Heart editorial, Thomas Weber, Ph.D., a cardiovascular researcher at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, pointed out a seeming flaw in Lee’s statistical analysis: The researchers had “adjusted” the data to eliminate differences in body mass index, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels—precisely the risk factors that running would be expected to lower. [4] Bart Loews' answer to Why do marathon runners look so unhealthy?

Peter McCullough, MD, is the Chief of Cardiovascular Research at Baylor Heart and Vascular Institute. That’s the finding of Dr. Martin Matsumura, who serves as co-director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute based in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Exercise is good for you. Weber was pointing out a similar problem in the Cooper Clinic analysis. If you start to feel fatigued, sore and in a bad mood for several days in a row, or if you find that your progress stops or even reverses, you may be overtraining. We’ve all seen the scary headlines.

For those who are athletes and have new symptoms or a diagnosis of heart disease, or those who may be concerned about continuing competition or endurance sports, you should be evaluated by a sports cardiologist.​, Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center.


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