Experts at the American Heart Association (AHA) have discovered that people who went straight into vigorous endurance exercises, such as marathons and triathlons, were 40 percent more likely to suffer a cardiac arrest.
Those who were normally inactive or sedentary were putting intense strain on their hearts by suddenly taking part in intensive workouts, with the authors suggesting low-intensity exercise was the best option for improving cardiovascular health in the long-term.
After reviewing more than three hundred scientific studies, they discovered that those who took part in aerobic exercises such as walking, cycling, and swimming have up to a 50 percent lower risk of heart attack and cardiac arrest.
Study leader Barry A. Franklin said his team wanted to highlight the pros and cons of high-intensity training and urged beginners to start slowly.
“Exercise is medicine, and there is no question that moderate to vigorous physical activity is beneficial to overall cardiovascular health. However, more is not always better and can lead to cardiac events, particularly when performed by inactive, unfit, individuals with known or undiagnosed heart disease,” he explained.
Accordingly, Franklin recommended a light program of exercise for people who want to become more active and building up slowly to a moderate exercise regimen.
“It is important to start exercising – but go slow, even if you were an athlete in high school,” the researcher added.
The findings were published in the journal Circulation.
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