Saturday, August 31, 2013

Heart-Brain-Exercise Balance

Heart-Brain and Endurance Exercise

There seems to be no question that physical exercise benefits both the heart and the brain. Study results of endurance exercises, however, are suggesting that intense endurance exercise (e.g., marathons, triathlons) can cause acute dysfunction of the heart’s right ventricle, which can induce chronic structural changes even in some of the most practiced athletes. Researchers now suspect that there may be a point at which exertion becomes dangerous, especially for middle aged men who, because of gender and changes that accompany aging, are more susceptible to cardiac arrest caused by vigorous exercise. According to a 2012 study published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, the death rate for triathlons is about twice that of marathons because of increased intensity of the competition and the initial swimming leg of the events. And the brain connection? It is totally dependent upon the heart for blood flow and the oxygen, glucose, and micronutrition it provides. Both the brain and the heart seem to work better in an environment of balance rather than excess. I’ve included a link below of the dozen or so I’m aware of.

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