Anything in excess is bad and a new study which was published in Mayo Clinical Proceedings has found that persons who had a heart attack are more likely to die from heart problems, if they exercise heavily. This does not mean that physical inactivity is beneficial to heart attack survivors. On the contrary regular physical activity has been recommended for lowering the risks in persons who are suffering from heart ailments, hypertension or Type 2 diabetes.
Researchers affiliated with the Department of Cardiology, Hartford Hospital, Hartford, CT carried out a study which involved analysis of data from the National Walkers’ and Runners’ Health Studies databases, involving about 2,400 physically active heart attack survivors.
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans specifies that we need about 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise or seventy five minutes of high intensity exercise per week.
The results once again reaffirms the earlier findings which said that the benefits of walking and running are same provided the energy expended is the same. It must be remembered that walking takes almost twice as long to burn calories equal to running.
The study also found that morbidity due to cardiac ailments decreased to 65% in persons who ran less than 30 miles per week or walked < 46 miles per week. Exercising beyond this limit often resulted in the benefits of the exercises getting lost.
“These analyses provide what is to our knowledge the first data in humans demonstrating a statistically significant increase in cardiovascular risk with the highest levels of exercise. Results suggest that the benefits of running or walking do not accrue indefinitely and that above some level, perhaps 30 miles per week of running, there is a significant increase in risk. Competitive running events also appear to increase the risk of an acute event,”
The researchers however added that all the subjects in the study were heart attack patients and it will not be possible to generalize these findings among all intensive exercisers.