Exercise and the Heart - the Harm of Too Little and Too Much Article

Full Text via DOI: 10.1249/JSR.0000000000000134 PMID: 25757005 Web of Science: 000351618400010

Cited authors

  • Lavie, Carl J.; O'Keefe, James H.; Sallis, Robert E.


  • Physical activity and exercise training are underutilized by much of Westernized society, and physical inactivity may be the greatest threat to health in the 21st century. Many studies have shown a linear relationship between one's activity level and heart health, leading to the conclusion that if some exercise is good, more must be better. However, there is evolving evidence that high levels of exercise may produce similar or less overall cardiovascular (CV) benefits compared with those produced by lower doses of exercise. Very high doses of exercise may be associated with increased risk of atrial fibrillation, coronary artery disease, and malignant ventricular arrhythmias. These acute bouts of excessive exercise may lead to cardiac dilatation, cardiac dysfunction, and release of troponin and brain natriuretic peptide. The effects of too little and too much exercise on the heart are reviewed in this article, along with recommendations to optimize the dose of exercise to achieve heart health.

Publication date

  • 2015

Published in

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1537-890X

Start page

  • 104

End page

  • 109


  • 14


  • 2