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Vigorous Exercise: Why It’s Important To Know Your Limits

Last updated March 21, 2015

Being physically active is important in light of the spread of epidemics like diabetes and obesity. It is a fact that walking, jogging, and running is beneficial for all age groups.

Being physically active is important in light of the spread of epidemics like diabetes and obesity. It is a fact that walking, jogging, and running are beneficial for all age groups. These activities do not need a lot of equipment. A pair of shoes and some open space are all that is required and, of course, a desire to exercise. Some of the positive outcomes of regular exercise include improved health, reduced stress, better sleep habits, and motivation.

Although physical activity is good for health, can excessive exercising offer extra benefits to the body? According to a research study by O’Keefe and colleagues, excessive endurance training could result in changes to the structure of the arteries. The body is put under so much strain that its natural recovery mechanisms are unable to cope. Continuing in this path might ultimately lead to reduced physical fitness and, therefore, the purpose of exercise will be lost. Several other studies seem to be in agreement. However, a lack of large group studies in such investigations makes it difficult to conclude that excessive exercising will result in reduced physical fitness.

This does not mean that people should stop vigorous exercise. On the contrary, the safe interpretation of the studies mentioned above would be that an individual has to know his/her limits and work out accordingly. Along with physical activity, eating right should also be a priority to get sustained benefits.

Thus, a self-optimized exercise plan to avoid risk of injury, a diet that can be adhered to, and allowing the body to rest after a workout are all necessary to reap the benefits of any kind of physical activity.


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O'Keefe, J. H., Patil, H. R., Lavie, C. J., Magalski, A., Vogel, R. A., & McCullough, P. A. (2012, June). Potential adverse cardiovascular effects from excessive endurance exercise. In Mayo Clinic Proceedings (Vol. 87, No. 6, pp. 587-595). Elsevier.

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Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: March 21, 2015
Last updated: March 21, 2015