Scarring, enlargement of the heart and blood vessels, as well as irregular heart beating are just some of the potential cardiovascular damage that extreme endurance exercise can produce researchers have concluded in a recent article in this month’s Mayo Clinic Proccedings.
"The authors surveyed more than 50 different studies that followed athletes who chronically trained and participated in extreme endurance events, such as marathons, ultramarathons, Ironman triathlons, and long-distance bicycle races," according to CNN.
"The paper cited that veteran marathon runners and professional cyclists were five times more likely to have irregular heart beats" CNN goes on to report.
Lead author Dr. James O'Keefe, a cardiologist at the Mid America Heart Institute, said, “We want people to understand that this in no way detracts from the importance of exercise. Physically active people are much happier than their sedentary counterparts. So much so, that they live up to seven years longer.”
You can do light to moderate exercise as long as you want. We’re genetically designed for that kind of activity. We’re just not designed to run 26 miles at a time, or 100, or go on a full distance triathlon for 12 hours as hard as you can go," he added.