This isn’t the most obvious thing in the world. There are those who say that you shouldn’t exercise. The most atimate person I ever saw telling a child this was a morbidly obese woman who was telling a child that apparently people who run marathons are all anorexic and unhealthy. Yes, she said that. Insecure anyone? I have been never been so sorely tempted to slap someone silly.
There are studies that suggest (not anorexia) that there are some potential health issues with exercise. Of course, there is plenty of research that shows how healthy exercise is, but some studies for example suggest that women who are triathletes are at a higher risk of pelvic floor disorders like urinary incontinence. Personally, I can be fit without being a triathlete…..and I would take that over some other health issues of not enough exercise or healthy living.
A new study shows that there may also be a higher prevalence of osteoarthritis and joint breakdown in the lower limbs among formerly elite athletes. With so much impact on joints, this isn’t wholly surprising, but you would think that the muscle built around the joints would balance it out to some degree. As you may notice though, all of the research that indicates that exercise may be bad is generally focused on some pretty extreme exercise practices. Dr. James O’keefe wrote
Run for your life! At a comfortable pace, and not too far. He says,
the fitness patterns for conferring longevity and robust lifelong cardiovascular health are distinctly different from the patterns that develop peak performance and marathon/superhuman endurance. Extreme endurance training and racing can take a toll on your long-term cardiovascular health. For the daily workout, it may be best to have more fun and endure less suffering in order to attain ideal heart health.
Frankly, exercise is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s a great thing if done right. You don’t have to be an endurance athlete, and according to the research, you shouldn’t be. Just 30 minutes a day is fine for most of us, and if you find that you are always tired, sore or have frequent injuries, or you are sacrificing other parts of your life for this, you may be going too far.
In addition, I would combine the exercise routine you choose with a healthy diet. Don’t take a good run as an excuse to sugar it up at your local bakery or coffee shop. There is a definite tendency for many to do this, but it ends up undoing a lot of the good and doing some potentially serious damage. So focus on balance. When you do this, you can get the most out of your exercise, and there’s no reason to really worry about these issues that you hear about with extreme exercise.