Recently there was an article in the New York Times that talked about the negative effects of endurance training on athletes, including enlargened hearts and heart murmers. Of course this is typical of everything that gets written about any topic. We are given limited facts that emphasize only one point of view and pertains to a very small percentage of people.
I had quite a few people forward the article to me with comments that exercise is actually bad for you. No, exercise is not bad for you. Exercise in excess can be bad for you but you know, truthfully the people that are physically able are the majority and the people who experience the negative effects are a very small percentage of the population.
These people are usually people that have something else going on as well. Often some sort of addiction because people who do one thing in excess often do everything else in excess as well. And any sort of addiction puts additional strain on your body. Of course people who push themselves to the extreme have potential to create stress in their body. Not only on their heart but their feet, ankles, knees and backs because anything we do excess in our bodies, whether it’s running, swimming or tennis can create an injury and as I have said before one of the good things about having exercise as your addiction is that it will force you to slow down because otherwise you will get an injury, you will get tired and so you are forced to change these habits before you hurt yourself.
So again when they say that exercise in excess is harmful this is for a very small percentage of the population, and most of the population aren’t actually capable pushing themselves to a damaging level. I know for myself having done an Iron Man one weekend and a marathon the next that it involves a lot of training to get yourself to that level and I can’t imagine doing that right now but I have no doubt that I could push my body and do that again. People don’t understand that unless you are pushing yourself at a pace that an elite athlete is doing the stress on your body and heart is not that bad. It is really a mind strength that allows you to do that because you learn to pace yourself to allow yourself to be more comfortable so that you can keep doing it.
So I hope this clarifies things for people and that people don’t suddenly start saying that they shouldn’t do exercise which is what often happens when an article like that goes out