“You can often find in rivers what you cannot find in oceans“. ~ Indian proverb.
“Going beyond is as bad as falling short“. ~ Confucius
“Never go to excess, but let moderation be your guide.” ~ Cicero
Throughout the ages, philosophers and sages have advised against the extreme in any physical endeavor. Whether by eating too much, sleeping too much, or working too much, we can quickly turn something that’s meant to be beneficial into something harmful.
How about exercising too much? In recent years, marathon races have become fashionable as a way to prove your physical fitness while also strengthening your soul. In one afternoon, you can push your physical limits while simultaneously donating to your favourite charity. Amateur athletes love them, and every major city around the world now hosts at least one race each year.
But are they really good for your health?
“There does seem to be a point of diminishing returns with exercise. The health benefits seem to drop among people who run more than twenty miles a week, more than six days a week, or faster than eight miles an hour.” – from the journal “Medicine & Science”
In the case of triathlons, marathons and even quadruple marathons, the wear and tear on joints and the increased pressure on your heart can erase many of the benefits that come from more moderate levels of exercise. According to a study published in the British medical journal “Heart”, years of excessive exercise can cause thickening of heart tissue, potentially leading to scarring, irregular heart beat, or even sudden death”.
So, if you like to run, more power to you! But you might want to keep the distance to only a few miles per day, and take your time. You’ll still be getting all the health benefits, yet avoid all the damage to your heart and joints.
About the author: Rebecca Wong has been working in the herbal business since 2000. She has received her training in acupuncture and herbalism from respected authorities Paul Des Rosiers and Vu Le at the Ontario College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Toronto, and Michael Tierra at the East West Herb School in California.