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Extreme Exercise Can Wreck Your Health

Friday, 21 Feb 2014 08:40 AM

NASCAR driving legend Dale Earnhardt once said, "You win some, lose some and wreck some." He was talking about racing cars, but he could just as well have been referring to the latest craze for super-extreme workouts.

You know the ones. The folks in the testimonials always say, "The first time I tried it, I thought I would die!" as if that were a virtue.

Well, they're closer to the truth than they know.

Seems these body-bashing routines destroy muscles and threaten kidney health. They can trigger a condition called rhabdomyolysis - the breakdown of muscle cells that causes the release of a protein, myoglobin, into your bloodstream. Your kidneys aren't equipped to process it, and they shut down. Muscles are left depleted and dying. You can cause long-term damage to joints and tendons too.

And the "fitness" companies know it! One even created cartoon characters called Uncle Rhabdo and Pukie the Clown to make light of the knock-you-down dangers of their exercises.

We'd like to see you keep in shape throughout your life, like 90-plus Olga Kotelko, who still competes in track and field. As she says, "It's not how old we are; it's how we get old."

So if you want to stay fit for the long run, exercise regularly, but not extremely: 30-60 minutes of aerobics daily, plus two to three 30-minute strength-building sessions a week.

Olga's muscles have been closely studied; they haven't seen the usual breakdown that happens with age, and yours don't have to either.

© 2014 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

© King Features Syndicate

 
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NASCAR driving legend Dale Earnhardt once said, You win some, lose some and wreck some. He was talking about racing cars, but he could just as well have been referring to the latest craze for super-extreme workouts. You know the ones. The folks in the testimonials always...
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2014-40-21
Friday, 21 Feb 2014 08:40 AM
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