To Your Health: Can Too Much Exercise Kill You?

Part-time Telluride local Dr. Alan Safdi, a world-renowned internist and gastroenterologist with encyclopedic knowledge of mind-body wellness and preventative medicine, posts on Telluride Inside… and Out under the banner of “To Your Health.” His blogs feature the most current information in his field: health, wellness, and longevity. Which now has to mean Dr. Alan’s podcasts and stories are all about what’s on everyone’s mind: COVID-19. 

Links to Dr. Alan’s podcasts and narratives on COVID-19 are here.

This week, Dr. Alan talks about exercise. In this podcast, he addresses the following:

1. How dangerous can exercise be? (Can too much actually kill you?)
2. How dangerous is it for a sedentary person to suddenly exercise at a high level.
3. 12 or more benefits of exercise
4. Different types of exercise (weight-training, balance-training, stretching, and aerobics) and why we should consider embracing the whole package.

Note: Tough as it is everyone does need to be paying attention to the new normal: the corona pandemic has a death rate about 49 times higher than that of the flu in the United States.  Dr. Alan suggests “WMD”: WASH, MASK, DISTANCE.

Just because your gym is closed – or you have a reasonable fear about exposing yourself to lots of sweaty people – is not an excuse to let your health — and belly — go by the wayside. Instead, consider this a time to refocus on your fitness. Exercise not only helps keep our muscles at peak strength and our hearts and brains in good working order, it also helps control stress. And with the right home equipment, exercising can provide the same strength-training and aerobic benefits as a visit to your local gym.

Plus you can still get outdoors and go for a brisk walk, run, or bike ride — always being sure to keep at least a 6-foot (or more) distance from other people while the virus that causes COVID-19 is still circulating.

Limited data obtained from mice, suggests that moderate exercise for 20 to 30 minutes a day after being infected with the influenza virus improves the chances of surviving. In fact, 82% of the mice that exercised 20-30 minutes a day during the incubation period, or the time between getting infected with flu and showing symptoms, survived. In contrast, only 43% of the sedentary mice stayed alive. Interesting data during this pandemic.

What’s more, whether it is called peregrination, perambulation, or sauntering, most people end up walking at some point everyday. By simply increasing the amount of daily steps from 4,000 to 8,000, you can significantly decrease all-cause mortality risks, according to the results of an observational study published in JAMA. 

Dr. Alan, more:

Dr. Alan Safdi is board-certified in Internal Medicine and in Gastroenterology and is a Fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology. A proven leader in the healthcare arena, he has been featured on the national program, “Medical Crossfire” and authored or co-authored numerous medical articles and abstracts. Safdi has been involved in grant-based and clinical research for four decades and is passionate about disease prevention and wellness, not just fixing what has gone wrong. He is an international lecturer on the subjects of wellness, nutrition and gastroenterology.

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