Can You Exercise Too Much? Two New Studies

Note-Before you go any further into this reading, we need to make one thing clear: exercise is a vital component of staying healthy. The CDC estimates that 80% of adults do not get enough exercise. Do not take this blog post as a way to get out of your 2.5 hours of exercise each week!

Now, the news: researchers at the Karolinksa University Hospital and the German Cancer Research Center have published two studies that show too much exercise may not be healthy for your heart. The study proves that the adage “too much of a good thing” holds true, even for exercise.

The first study published by Dr. Nikola Drca from the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm found that “men who exercised for more than five hours per week when they were 30 years old had a significantly higher risk of developing atrial fibrillation later in life compared with men who exercised less.” However, the study also showed that adults who rode their bicycle or walked had a significantly lower risk of atrial fibrillation.

The second study, conducted by Dr. Ute Mons from the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, indicated that both those who participated in daily “strenuous” physical activity had increased risk of suffering a fatal cardiovascular event. The study also showed that individuals who participated in no to little physical activity also had a chance of dying from cardiovascular complications.

Since both of these studies relied on self-reported results, doctors caution not to read into the results as conclusive. However, some researchers think that these possible results may open up the door to further research into the causality between excessive exercise and cardiovascular diseases.

If you have questions about your exercise regimen, you can always talk to the physicians at MSCI. Our Irving, Texas-based clinic is staffed with knowledgeable physicians that specialize in a variety of medicine, including cardiology and physical medicine.


My Heart Beats For You: The Benefits of Relationships for Your Heart Health

Do you have that special someone in your life that makes your heart sing? Hold on tight to that person—and in fact, anyone that you care about in life! It turns out that having positive and strong relationships in your life can actually positively impact your heart health.

According to a Harvard Health study published in December 2010, “people who have satisfying relationships have been shown to be happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer.” These positive health benefits don’t stem from a love potion or some fanciful, magical source; instead, people with strong relationships rely on others to help them relieve stress. By reducing stress levels, people treat their heart better (particularly the arteries), as well as regulating insulin better, and improving their immune system.

Furthermore, whenever you do something caring for another person, you are releasing stress-reducing hormones. This is great news for those suffering from high blood pressure and other negative effects of stress: treat others with love and kindness, do something special for someone, and not only will you brighten someone’s day, but you’ll also be improving your health! It’s truly the gift of giving that can make a difference in your life.

Finally, the Harvard Health study concludes that the quantity and quality of relationships both matter. A study referenced by the Harvard Health article suggests that middle-aged women who said they had satisfying marriages were less likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases, and another study points to the fact that individuals who had a number of friends and contacts were less likely to develop dementia. So even if you’re not in a relationship this Valentine’s Day, don’t despair! Be thankful for the people around you and know that being friends and caring about them could actually lead to a better quality of life.

All the doctors and staff at the Medical and Surgical Clinic of Irving wish you and your loved ones a very happy and healthy Valentine’s Day!