A new study shows that excessive jogging may become dangerous to health due to too much stress that a vigorous exercise can put on our heart and circulatory system. Researchers suggest that the optimal running pace is maximum 2.4 hours per week with no more than three jogging days on a week.
Researchers also found that strenuous jogging may be linked to a similar death rate to that of couch potatoes. The study was published Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
The research confirms previous studies by revealing that too much workout may also put excessive strain on the heart, although intense exercising has also a suite of benefits.
For their research, scientists surveyed more than 5,000 people registered in the Copenhagen City Heart Study, a 12-year-long survey that had provided essential data for many papers about heart health and conditions. Among people involved in the study more than 1,000 were healthy joggers, while 413 were healthy but sedentary people. Researchers focused on these two groups during their study.
They gathered data on jogging habits, including frequency, hours, and the persons’ perception on how fast they were running. The study didn’t take into account people already diagnosed with heart diseases, diabetes, or stroke when they entered the Copenhagen survey. Also, deaths within the first couple of years after the study began were also excluded.
The data revealed that those jogging between one and 2.4 hours per week at a slow or relaxed pace no more than 3 times a week showed improved health benefits on the long term. People exceeding this limit had death rates similar to those who didn’t run at all, researchers reported.
“2.4 hours of exercise is ridiculous if you’re trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon. But if you’re trying to live to be 90 and still have a good heart and still have good health, that’s probably an ideal amount of exercise,”
explained James O’Keefe, one of the scientists involved in the study.
However, David Bach, a heart expert, professor of medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and an avid jogger who ran in over 35 marathons, said that he was skeptic about the results.
“I’m far from convinced based on data from this paper and other papers that there’s an actual increase in cardiovascular risk with higher levels of physical activity. If this paper showed what it pretends to show — that running four hours a week is potentially detrimental — that is putting a very low lid on what is acceptable,”
Nevertheless, past studies had also shown that moderate workout is the best approach for people doing it just for the health benefits, rather than competition.
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