Endurance Exercise and the Heart: Friend or Foe?

Abstract

Although low- to moderate-intensity exercise has well-known cardiovascular benefits, it has been increasingly suggested that prolonged strenuous endurance exercise (SEE) could have potential deleterious cardiac effects. In effect, the term ‘cardiac overuse injury’ (or ‘over-exercise’) has been recently reported to group all the possible deleterious cardiac consequences of repeated exposure to SEE or ‘over-exercise’. In this article, we provide a balanced overview of the current state of knowledge regarding the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ of SEE from a cardiological point of view.

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Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to Prof. Benjamin Levine for his critical review of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Fabian Sanchis-Gomar.

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Fabian Sanchis-Gomar, Laura M. Pérez, Michael Joyner, Herbert Löllgen, and Alejandro Lucia declare that they have no conflicts of interest relevant to the content of this review.

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Sanchis-Gomar, F., Pérez, L.M., Joyner, M.J. et al. Endurance Exercise and the Heart: Friend or Foe?. Sports Med 46, 459–466 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-015-0434-4

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Keywords

  • Sudden Cardiac Death
  • Right Ventricle
  • Late Gadolinium Enhancement
  • Standard Mortality Ratio
  • Right Atrium