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Can extreme exercise damage the heart? With Dr Benjamin Levine

re: heavy metals

I skipped some of the intro so I could get to the good stuff (I never understood why people think anyone wants to hear all about their background for 10 minutes before the information starts, that sucks IMO).

Can extreme exercise damage the heart? With Dr Benjamin Levine

-Dallas bed rest study from 1967 then followed up with the same participants 30 years later. Found that 3 weeks of bed rest was worse than 30 years of aging for the body’s capacity to do physical work! Aging leads to atrophy and stiffening of the heart and reduced compliance of the blood vessels and life long training prevents this.  

-Four to five days a week of exercise the sweet spot for optimizing cardiovascular health  (one fun easy 60+ min, 2-3 moderate to vigorous, 1 intense plus sone strength training).   2-3 days gets you no beneficial change in cardiac structure—has to be 4-5 days.

-If been sedentary for a life time (eg 70 year olds) exercise can’t reverse the hearts lack of compliance etc. Starting exercise before the age of 55 is important.  

-Walking not hard sufficient load to maintain the hearts function. Endothelial function and exercise training: greater dilation of blood vessels after exercise training.  

-For the vast majority of people competitive levels of exercise is good for heart health. In a small amount of people that do an extraordinary amount of exercise, exercise-induced right ventricular cardiomyopathy can occur (this will be discussed more in a later podcast by the expert on this, the Cardiologist Dr Andre La Gerche).  Genetic cardiomyopathies and exercise. Higher calcium/calcification in coronary arteries in some athletes but this doesn’t increase mortality and appears to reduce mortality. Higher rate of atrial fibrillation with high levels of exercise training but not greater heart disease risk.  

-Exercise can’t be expected to overcome a bad diet.

WIND: sounds about right relative to my personal observations on my own physiology over 20 years.

If you start too late (past 55 or so), even a year of excercise cannot get heart structure (cardiac compliance) back! A few decades of sedentary activity *can* be reversed if you start in your 40's however.

Apparently blood pressure in rowers can hit about 250! But it is much more complicated than that, and varies from the heart and the rest of the body, and can depend on grunting style exertion.

I know that stroke volume can greatly increase with training, and this is consistent with the talk. For example, I’ve seen my heart adapt by up to 15 bpm from winter to peak summer fitness, at identical power output.

Hypertrophy—yep I have some of that as do most endurance athletes.

I have a high cardiac volume which relates to a high VO2 Max (99th percentile for 18 year olds at the age of 36!), but that’s not nearly good enough to be a professional athlete. My sense of it is that you have to choose your sperm and egg carefully to be a pro athlete, before you are born. The talk explores that idea that it is actually a gene-environment interaction.

I have a high level of calcium in my heart (a form of atherosclerosis) which I attribute to more than a decade of training and doing double centuries. But I also posit that magnesium deficiency might be a significant factor in a calcified heart.

Can an Extreme Endurance Athlete Have an Early Heart Attack? CT Coronary Calcium Scan, HDL Cholesterol, LDL Cholesterol, Statins, Atherosclerosis, etc (UPDATE with a cardiologist viewpoint)

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