Cardiotoxic: Intense exercise could be bad for your heart | health and fitness | Hindustan Times
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Cardiotoxic: Intense exercise could be bad for your heart

New studies show that too much exercise could be dangerous for your heart and cause permanent damage.

health and fitness Updated: Feb 26, 2016 12:15 IST
There is growing evidence that high levels of intense exercise may be cardiotoxic and promote permanent structural changes in the heart.
There is growing evidence that high levels of intense exercise may be cardiotoxic and promote permanent structural changes in the heart.(Shutterstock)

Too much of anything is bad, goes the old adage. Sadly, that could be true of exercise as well. A new study has shown that high level of intense exercise could harm your heart.

The researchers reviewed studies that looked into the relationship between exercise and heart problems and found that there is growing evidence that high levels of intense exercise may be cardiotoxic and promote permanent structural changes in the heart.

There is already fairly compelling evidence supporting the association between long-term sports practice and increased prevalence of atrial fibrillation -- abnormal heart rhythm characterised by rapid and irregular beating.

Read: How much of exercise is too much?

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 fuelled an environment in which one may be criticized for even questioning the benefits of exercise,” explained study author Andre La Gerche from the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia.

Studies have shown an association between long-term sports practice and increased prevalence of atrial fibrillation (abnormal heart rhythm characterised by rapid and irregular beating). (Shutterstock)

“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,” La Gerche noted.

Read: Too much exercise doesn’t mean great health

The study was published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology.

“The answers regarding the healthfulness of ‘extreme’ exercise are not complete and there are valid questions being raised,” La Gerche said.

Read: Too much exercise harms the heart

“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,” La Gerche observed.