exercise, running
The study results showed that regular running decelerated the ageing process.jakebwotha/Flickr

Too much exercising is not good after a heart attack, new research reveals. Researchers said that patients who overdo exercise are at higher risk of suffering from another heart attack.

Regular physical activity is one of the most effective weapons against cardiovascular diseases. Previous studies have shown unlimited heart benefits associated with even moderate physical activity. A study reported in July this year stated 30 percent lowered risk of mortality in people, who run daily than non-runners.

Another study reported in the BMJ last year found that exercise was as effective as drugs in keeping diabetes away and secondary prevention of heart disease.

In the new study, running more than 30 miles and walking more than 46 miles per week, reduced cardiovascular deaths by 65 percent. However, people who ran 4.4 miles or walked briskly 6.6 miles daily doubled their risk of dying from heart attack or stroke, The Telegraph reported.

Researchers led by Dr Paul T. Williams of the Life Sciences Division of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Paul D. Thompson of the Department of Cardiology at Hartford Hospital, United States followed 2,400 heart attack survivors for nearly ten years before reaching the conclusion.

An investigation based on the National Walkers' and Runners' Health Studies' databases showed that running and walking provided equal cardiovascular benefits, but only when the energy expenditure was equal.

"These analyses provide what is to our knowledge the first data in humans demonstrating a statistically significant increase in cardiovascular risk with the highest levels of exercise," Williams and Thompson, said in a news release.

"Results suggest that the benefits of running or walking do not accrue indefinitely and that above some level, perhaps 30 miles per week of running, there is a significant increase in risk. Competitive running events also appear to increase the risk of an acute event."

They also added that their findings were not applicable to the general population as their study concentrated mainly on heart patients: "Our study population consisted of heart attack survivors and so the findings cannot be readily generalized to the entire population of heavy exercisers."

Similarly, in May this year, two separate studies from Germany and Sweden linked rigorous exercises to cardiovascular death and irregular heart rhythms.

Highlighting the study findings, Dr Carl Lavie, a cardiologist at the John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute in New Orleans and also co-author of the study, recommended heart patients to limit their total exercise time to 30 to 40 minutes a day.

How to Remain Healthy and Safe after a Heart Attack

It is estimated that nearly 17 million people worldwide die of heart attack and strokes. Experts at the Cleveland Clinic put forward some important points to help keep heart healthy and reduce future risks:

  • Never skip medications prescribed by the doctor
  • Adopt a healthy lifestyle- exercise regularly and say goodbye to smoking
  • Eat healthy, follow a low fat, cholesterol lowering diet
  • Keep blood pressure and blood sugar under control
  • Shed excess weight and try to achieve a healthy body weight
  • Practice yoga or other relaxation techniques to manage stress and anger
  • Attend cardiac rehabilitation programs
  • Visit the doctor and undergo regular heart check-ups