HEALTH & FITNESS: Cardio Overload

(Article by Nash A.)

I’m sure the feeling of euphoria would have won over the fatigue that grows on you after the 42nd kilometres on the road. Completing a marathon somewhat at times boosts one’s self-esteem and makes us feel good about our accomplishments. Besides, knowing that it is for the development of fitness, we tend to think that the heart is also going to get stronger each time we finish the race so we should go out there and conquer as many marathons and runs as possible. Well, that could be a grave mistake.

A recent study actually measured the vascular functions of avid runners after their runs, the result is really shocking.

By measuring cardiac enzymes and taking ultrasounds, the researchers were able to measure the acute effects of extreme exercise on the heart.

They found that:

  1. Right ventricular (RV) function diminished after races
  2. Blood levels of cardiac enzymes (markers for heart injury) increased
  3. The longer the race, the greater the decrease in RV function
  4. 12 percent of the athletes had scar tissue in their heart muscle detected on MRI scans one week after the race

Although exercise reduces your cardiovascular risk by a factor of three, too much vigorous exercise, such as marathon running, actually increases your cardiac risk by seven, according to a study presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2010 in Montreal. This is a powerful lesson to anyone who engages in large amounts of cardio exercise, because as it turns out, excessive cardio may actually be counterproductive.

The Solution:

1) Mix it up

Do not cancel your runs just yet. Long-distance running should not be stopped totally. Instead, frequency could be reduced, making way for interval training, which allows you to capture peak cardio activities without superficial strains. Right amount of stress, for the right amount of time.

2) Super-Slow Resistance Training

The objective of superslow resistance training is to create more tension in a muscle for a given workload. This is accomplished by decreasing the speed of movement. The amount of force or tension a muscle can develop during a muscle action is substantially affected by the rate of muscle shortening or lengthening.

In Conclusion

As you would diversify your financial portfolio, please do diversify your training portfolio.
Physiological development should be holistically done to ensure a sound and functioning body, with no signs of over exertion.

But of course, go easy on the diversification. 😛

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