The Consequences of Overtraining Your Heart
When people discover something is good for them, they seem to think that the more of that “good” thing the better. As Paracelsus has said “All things are poison and nothing (is) without poison; only the dose makes that a thing is no poison.” The same goes for exercise. Regular, moderate exercise is extremely beneficial for a person’s health. However, when we delve into the realm of competitive sports, our thinking makes a 180 degree turn.
Not only do professional athletes go through exhaustive training regimens, they also, quite frequently, resort to doping. The time when it was possible to win without doping is long gone. Now it’s all about who gets caught. For example, in strength training, even if a person has amazing genetics and doesn’t use drugs, he will have no chance of winning when going further than a regional competition.
As you could have guessed, over exercising is not good for the human body. The body begins to fail after a while. First the joints and tendons give out, then the spine, and eventually the heart. Over time, the person develops a condition known as the Athletic Heart Syndrome.
What is Athletic Heart Syndrome
Athletic heart syndrome (also known as exercise-induced cardiomegaly) is a condition frequently seen in sport medicine that is characterized by bradycardia (slow heart rate) and enlargement of the heart. Athletic heart syndrome usually appears among athletes who participate in endurance training, although weight lifters can be affected as well.
Usually, athletic heart syndrome does not present any visible harm to the person affected. The reported causes of sudden death among young athletes are usually linked to underlying congenital disorders. However, when people use drugs to reach new heights, everything changes. For example, professional bodybuilders use a number of drugs to decrease the time it takes for the muscles to rebuild themselves. Although newer drugs taken by bodybuilders are relatively safe when taken responsibly and when followed by anti-estrogen therapy, they can still damage a person’s health. This damage can occur as a result of hypertrophy of the heart.
Problems start to arise due to the fact that the branches of the coronary artery cannot grow as fast as the mass of the heart increases. This eventually leads to ischemia (poor supply of oxygen) to certain parts of the heart. As a result, this may lead to symptoms of angina pectoris or even a heart attack. Although this is rare, it can still occur, especially if the person is taking performance enhancing drugs.
Movement is life and without it everything withers and dies, thus, it is important to be always moving and exercising. This is especially important for a modern person since modern lifestyles and work environments do not require us to move and be active. If you are a professional athlete, too much of a good thing can also be harmful, especially if you are forced into competition with people who use drugs to achieve success.