Jockology: how much exercise is too much?
This week’s Jockology column in the Globe and Mail takes a look at the debate about whether too much exercise is actually bad rather than good for you, drawing on recent studies about cardiac fibrosis in elite endurance athletes, epidemiological data from the National Runners’ Health Study, and — to be topical — Tour de France riders:
Given the number of cyclists in this year’s Tour de France who have skidded off mountain passes, been sideswiped by passing cars or catapulted into barbed-wire fences, it’s obvious that riding in the Tour can be hazardous to your health.
But what about the riders who make it to the finish line in Paris, having covered 3,430.5 heart-pounding, leg-draining kilometres in three weeks? Does their gruelling training regimen make them healthier, or does too much of a good thing leave them worse off? Medical opinion has flip-flopped over the years as our understanding of the heart’s response to exercise has increased, but a new study on the most important outcome of all – staying alive – suggests that Tour riders do better than average. [READ THE ARTICLE...]