Can Too Much Exercise Be Bad for You?

Source: Her Campus

A new review in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology brings into question the long-lasting effects of extreme endurance exercise. By comparing data from several cohort studies and small mechanistic studies, researchers were able to see a link between long-term, intense exercise and increased rates of atrial fibrillation and other arrhythmias.

Many scientists believe that exercise only acts as a trigger in athletes, bringing underlying and pre-existing heart abnormalities to the surface. However, because this study excluded participants that had such inherited conditions, it suggests that exercise itself can actually cause a structural change in the heart.

Because the hazardous effects of extreme exercise are not frequently studied, researchers are wary to persuade people to stop exercising. They claim more research is required on a large-scale basis before any true conclusion can be drawn. Because the benefits of low and moderate exercise are extremely well-documented, it is important to continue these fitness activities for optimum health results.