Extreme endurance exercise could pose health risks

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Athletes beware, those who train for and participate in extreme endurance events could be doing more harm to their bodies than good.

A recent report by The Mayo Clinic stated that those who train and compete in marathons, triathlons and long distance bike races are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular problems.

Phillip Trotter works out at The NEA Wellness Center said he knows what it's like to push yourself in the gym as he bikes around 18-20 miles a day. But with that kind of drive comes risk of injury.

"I definitely overworked myself and hurt myself a few times and I had to take some time off," Trotter said.

The Mayo Clinic looked into athletes who chronically train and participate in extreme endurance events. They say those athletes can experience scarring and enlargement of the heart as well as irregular heart beat.

Trotter said it's easy to get into an "addicted to exercise" like mindset.

"Definitely tore down my body more than I should have," he said.

But Personal Trainer, Cara Fowler said listening to your body's natural warning signs can help you stay healthy while exercising.

"Any time you reach the point of pain you need to cut back on how much you're doing or how many reps you're doing," Fowler told Region 8 News.

She wants people to know that the saying "no pain, no gain" is only true to an extent.

"I still say that sometimes 'no pain, no gain' to my clients... but if they say they hurt I ask if they hurt or if they burn because I think burn is good feedback and you should get burn but you shouldn't get pain," Fowler said.

She said be especially careful while training for those extreme endurance sports during the hot summer months.

"So if you're not hydrated enough you're not going to sweat and that is when your body is going to overheat," she said.

Trotter said, it's something he's going to keep in mind as he continues to work out.

"So you don't lose your focus and then end up hurting yourself and then you've gotta build yourself back up again so you definitely have to be careful with how far you take things," Trotter said.

The Mayo Clinic said they weren't trying to dissuade people from working out, just let them know the old adage "all good things in moderation" rings true for working out as well.

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