It is known that running is good for the heart.
However, if we do it too much, it may actually harm our heart health.
In a recent study on triathletes, researchers found people who trained and competed the most had more heart scarring than the other athletes.
When too many heart muscle cells are damaged, the heart muscle becomes weakened. The heart will try to heal itself by changing the damaged heart muscle cells into scar tissue.
However, the scar tissue is different from heart muscle because it does not contract. This means it cannot help the heart to pump. Heart scaring could lead to heart failure.
The finding shows that too much training may actually harm the heart.
Another study examined the heart health in long-distance runners immediately after a marathon and up to 24 hours later.
Researchers found that these people showed biomarkers that signal heart stress and injury.
They suggest that about 1 in 4 people are susceptible to this recurrent injury of the heart, and about 1% of people may be prone to heart scarring.
Recent research also has shown plaque buildup and scarring in the heart in some long-distance runners.
The evidence suggests that running for hours at a steady pace may bring health risks.
But people should not have a sedentary lifestyle.
It is best to follow the guidelines which suggest 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week or at least 75 minutes at a vigorous intensity.
These exercise intensities may bring heart health for the long-term.
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