Thursday, March 08, 2007

Being healthy can kill you

I don't know if it's an Ottawa thing or if it has spread insidiously over the globe. They are amongst you, and you might not even know it. It could be your co-worker, your neighbour, your best-friend. They get together several times a week and practice their rituals. Often it eats off their life, taking more and more time away from the people they love and the things they used to do. Yes I'm talking about runners, which is very much a cult. It is no longer just a physical activity, it's a way of life. They even have their own magazines and books and conferences, which I'm sure are all in "tongues". And running is not without risk, a simple search on pubmed for running injury will give you over 2200 hits. Yet little is known about the what is going on in the brains of runners. Is it dammaging to spend 3 hours running a marathon with low blood sugar level, chronic hypoxia and repetitive impact tremors shaking the brain. At least one study suggest it may result in decreased monoamine levels. At least make sure you stay well hydrated, preferably with holy water in case you drop dead at the end of your marathon. So I'm warning you, being too healthy can kill you. Even vitamines are dangerous: "The researchers reviewed 68 studies, but sorted out results from the 47 they considered the most credible and found an overall 5 percent increased risk of death. Beta carotene was associated with a 7 percent increased risk; vitamin A, a 16 percent increase, and vitamin E, a 4 percent increase."


Bayman said...

I've done as much running as anyone out there in my day, and here's my take: cardiovascular exercise is probably a good thing, but the human body degrades with every stride you take. You can only take so many before you die. So why rush to the end?

Dominic B. said...

Risks and me there are more benefits! In fact, with the hour change this weekend, I can increase my running...YESSS!