Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Can Exercise Be Dangerous?

A New York Times article reported on the findings of Dr. Claude Bouchard, a famous proponent of regular exercise. Between 7 and 10% of patients who underwent rigorous exercise had increases in known risk factors such as cholesterol and blood pressure. However, another 10% had dramatic improvements in the similar risk factors. More importantly, only surrogate end points were examined. The study was not long enough to look at definitive end points such as death and heart attacks. Sometimes, people in rigorous studies have dramatic changes in body biochemistry that are not clinically significant. It would seem prudent to continue to recommend at least 150 minutes of exercise a week, and if the person is feeling well with higher degrees of exercise and wants to continue, I would say go ahead. But maybe watch your risk factors a little more closely. See PLoS One, May 30, 2012 and NY Times, May 31, 2012. www.healthcelebration.com

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