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The belief that regular cardiovascular exercise is the magic bullet for optimal heart health is leading to a number of athletes with heart problems.
When Exercise Becomes Harmful
5th Oct

2016

When Exercise Becomes Harmful
Excerpts:
“Extreme exercise puts the body in an inflammatory state,” explains Mimi Guarneri, MD, an integrative cardiologist in La Jolla, Calif., and author of The Heart Speaks. Yes, endurance exercise can strengthen the heart — but sometimes the stress of training or racing is more than the muscle can repeatedly withstand. “By the time someone crosses the finish line in a marathon or a ski race, their heart is in stress. They almost look septic.”
In recent years, several prominent athletes have been sidelined with arrhythmias, including Basque pro cyclist Haimar Zubeldia and Norwegian Olympic cross-country skier Marit Bjørgen, among others. Both National Football League star Reggie White, who died at 43 in 2004, and legendary ultramarathoner Micah True, who died at 58 in 2012, suffered from fatal arrhythmias. Prominent bicycle racer Lennard Zinn — who quit racing in 2013 due to an arrhythmia — says, “Everyone I knew could name six guys with arrhythmias. I started to see it as this defining problem among people like me.”

 

 

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