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Health scare of the week: Too much running backfires
Running too far too fast, especially in middle age, may take years off your life instead of improving your health.
 

Running too far too fast, especially in middle age, may take years off your life instead of improving your health. A new review of research shows that while regular runners lower their risk of early death by nearly 20 percent compared with non-runners, running more than 20 miles a week can actually be harmful and lead to cardiac damage. Running too fast—at a pace faster than eight minutes a mile—also seems to stress the heart. “After age 50, pushing too hard is probably not good for one’s heart or longevity,” James O’Keefe, a sports cardiologist at Saint Luke’s Mid-America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Mo., tells The Wall Street Journal. A growing body of research shows that extreme exercise can harden the coronary artery, a condition typically seen in people who are completely sedentary. Endurance athletes—such as marathoners and triathletes—also appear to be at higher risk of atrial fibrillation, a heart arrhythmia responsible for one in three strokes. 

 

 

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