Washington: It is well known that exercise is good for the health, but now, a team of researchers has rooted against high-level intense exercise, saying it is bad for the heart.
The study explores current controversies and makes the case for investing in large prospective research studies into the effect of intense exercise on heart structure and function.
Without challenging the undeniable evidence supporting low and moderate intensity exercise, this review by sports cardiologist Andre La Gerche provides a balanced discussion of the available data for and against the concept that intense exercise, particularly endurance exercise, may cause adverse cardiac changes in some athletes.
La Gerche noted that much of the discussion regarding the relative risks and benefits of long-term endurance sports training is hijacked by definitive media-grabbing statements, which has fueled an environment, in which one may be criticized for even questioning the benefits of exercise.
This paper discusses the often questionable, incomplete, and controversial science behind the emerging concern that high levels of intense exercise may be associated with some adverse health effects, added La Gerche.
La Gerche points out, all available therapies, pharmacological or otherwise, have a dose-response relationship whereby benefits diminish at high doses and the risk of adverse events increases. An open mind would consider that this may even be possible for exercise.
“The answers regarding the healthfulness of ‘extreme’ exercise are not complete and there are valid questions being raised,” continues Dr. La Gerche. “Given that this is a concern that affects such a large proportion of society, it is something that deserves investment. The lack of large prospective studies of persons engaged in high-volume and high-intensity exercise represents the biggest deficiency in the literature to date, and, although such work presents a logistical and financial challenge, many questions will remain controversies until such data emege.”
The review is published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology. (ANI)