When it comes to exercising, you're probably under the impression that exercising at a high intensity is more effective than exercising at a slower, less strenuous level. You probably think that more intense exercise yields better results in terms of weight loss and overall fitness. While generally these notions hold true, recent research suggests that there may be a negative side to exercising at full throttle, compared to partaking in moderate-intensity exercise. Let's take a closer look at how the intensity level at which you work out affects your health and overall wellbeing.
What Happens to the Body During Exercise
During exercise, many aspects of your body are affected, including your heart, brain, lungs, joints and bones. Exercising increases your heart rate and blood flow, which can improve the function of your brain and mental focus while positively affecting your lungs' oxygen usage. In addition, when your heart rate rises during exercise, more oxygen-rich blood flows to your muscles, promoting muscle growth. Exercise can also benefit your bone mass and help keep your joints flexible and strong.
What New Research Suggests
All of the aforementioned benefits of exercising seem great, right? Unfortunately, it is possible that the physical effects of exercising can be too much of a good thing. Recent research focused on high-intensity running versus light-to-moderate jogging aligns with this notion. A 2015 study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology examines the connection between jogging and mortality rates, zeroing in on intensity and frequency of jogging. The results of the study illustrated that those who jogged at a slow pace for 1 to 2.4 hours per week, two to three times, had the lowest mortality rates. Those who jogged at a moderate pace came in second in terms of mortality rate, with those who were high-intensity runners coming in last, with the highest mortality rate. The overall results of the study demonstrated that high-intensity, strenuous runners had a risk of death from any cause comparable to those who did not exercise at all and were essentially sedentary. Two researchers involved with the study, Peter Schnohr and Jacob Marrott, say that such a strenuous activity level performed for decades could potentially put added stress on the cardiovascular system, possibly contributing to changes in the heart and large arteries, associated with disease.
Final Things to Consider
Before you take it down a notch in terms of your running habits, it's important to realize that this study does not demonstrate a cause-and-effect or definite correlation. Exercising regularly is still very important, but the results of this research suggest that you might not have to push yourself as hard as you may have previously believed to reap the benefits. Exercising for just a little bit, at a slow to average pace is still preferable to not exercising at all, but frequent, strenuous physical activity might counteract what you are trying to accomplish in terms of health benefits, specifically regarding heart health and cardiovascular disease. The most important thing to remember is that some exercise is better than none at all, and too-extreme running at high frequencies might not be a good idea.
Thank you for reading, and come back next time for more health news at eVitamins!