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Can Too Much Exercise Be Harmful?

Chronic Long-Distance Training May Harm the Heart; Moderate Running Linked With Lower Death Risk, Studies Find

Exercise Prescriptions

Strive for healthier patterns of exercise, O'Keefe suggests. "Things like gardening, walking, jogging, swimming, yoga," he says. "These are all ideal forms of exercise."

Pay attention to intensity. You can take a leisurely all-day bike ride, he says.

"Even a century (100-mile) bike ride you can do safely if you don't hammer it." He encourages rest breaks.

Lavie concedes that some athletes love the competition and won't give up the long, grueling events. He encourages people to cross train, mixing in several forms of exercise.

Runners should consider fitting in some lower-impact exercise such as swimming, biking, or light weight lifting, he says.

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