Chronic Cardio Debate
There was an article from the Wall Street Journal yesterday about the [URL="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323330604578145462264024472.html#articleTabs%3Darticle"]health risks of endurance running[/URL]. This is apparently based on data from a couple of recent studies on endurance athletes. I'm always somewhat skeptical about these exercise studies, especially when they make broad conlcusions. The article mentioned a cardiologist who believes there is an agenda behind the "too much exercise" hypothesis and that the authors of the original study are manipulating the data to prove their point.
This afternoon an article from Alex Hutchinson was published on the [URL="http://www.runnersworld.com/health/too-much-running-myth-rises-again"]Runner's World[/URL] site explaining how the health risks might be exaggerated based on the statistical methods used. Here is a quote from that article
[QUOTE] But this scaremongering about relatively modest amounts of exercise in favor of "hunter-gatherer" exercise is silly. We can speculate all we want about "potential" risks and benefits, but the real-world epidemiology is crystal-clear: if you exercise for an hour a day, you're likely to live longer than if you exercise less than an hour a day.[/QUOTE]
I think it's possible to overdue exercise, but I wonder how many people are actually training at the level and intensity that might be detrimental.
I think a lot of marathon runners and triathletes are way over doing it with the cardio. Excessive cardio has been shown to lower testosterone and [URL="http://fitnesswayne.com/2012/10/10/avoid-cortisol-stay-young/"]increase cortisol[/URL]. Lately I have been trying to keep my cardio short but [URL="http://fitnesswayne.com/2012/10/29/interval-training-on-the-bike/"]intense with sprints and intervals[/URL]. I have been feeling a lot better and never get joint pain like I used to get when I would run 30 to 50 miles a week.
I think that article, or another one like it, stated that if you run more than 15 miles a week you are doing it for something other than health benefits. I think the marathon runners dropping dead with heart problems are probably running more than that. You don't need more than that to be healthy and you can do much less than that and be healthy.
hmmm... you appear to be neglecting the option that they may do it simply because they enjoy it.
I feel a lot better for doing minimal sprints with the rest of activity falling under low-level cardio (heart rate below 125 bpm).
I do it because I enjoy it and it makes me feel on top of the world.