Are Straining Your Heart Through Marathons and Cycling or Strengthening It?

Two studies carried out on athletes suggests that you may be putting your heart at risk of plaque buildup by involving in marathon and regular cycling. The studies, which were conducted on endurance athletes revealed that they had plaques developing in their arteries. The condition was common in men than women. Male athletes who have spent years in training and competing had a high plaque buildup in the arteries, which is an indication of an underlying cardiovascular problem.

Difference in Plaque Structure

However, further studies on the plaques revealed that they differed from those found in individuals who rarely engage in exercises. According to the researchers, the difference in the plaque structure may be an indication that they are after all not harmful. For years, there have been concerns whether too much exercise can pose a danger to your heart health. Both scientific and anecdotal indications claim there is a relation between heart diseases and intense exercises.

Active Men are the Mostly Affected by the Plaque Buildup, but that Shouldn’t Cause Panic

In the research, scientists gathered volunteers, those who involved in active running in their adult life and those who didn’t. After answering certain questions, they were scanned of plaque buildup.

Artery plaque come in two forms, either as compact and heavily calcified, in which case these are stable and are unlikely to break up. The other type is the fatty and loose plaque which can easily rupture and initiate heart attacks.

From the research results, men who involved in intense cycling or marathon had the first type of plaque. A good indication that despite the high plaque buildup, they were not susceptible to cardiovascular problems. On the other hand, those who spent sedentary lifestyles had loose and fatty plaques which increased chances of heart attacks.

According to the researchers, you may be able to prolong your heart condition by involving in intense exercises.

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