Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Heart Health Center

Font Size

After Heart Attack, More Exercise Not Always Better

Excessive walking, running may lose protective effect


The study did find that the heart benefits of walking compared to running were equivalent, as long as the energy output was the same -- walking will take about twice as long as running to burn the same number of calories.

The study is published online Aug. 12 in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

In the same issue, Spanish researchers reviewed the findings of 10 published studies, looking at the effect of elite athletes' training on longevity.

That study included more than 42,000 athletes, mostly men, who had participated in football, baseball, track and field, and cycling. Elite athletes lived longer than the general population, the study found. This suggests that health effects of exercise, especially for reducing heart disease and cancer risk, are not always confined to moderate doses.

That finding isn't necessarily at odds with the other study, said Lavie, co-author of an editorial accompanying the studies.

"It's at least comforting to know that previously athletic, high-competition, high-level athletic activity does not seem to be associated with worsening of survival," but actually with benefits of survival, he said.

Also, the exercise done by the athletes was often not at the extreme level of marathoners, he said.

This is right in line with what heart doctors have recommended all along, said Dr. James O'Keefe, another editorial co-author and a cardiologist at St. Luke's Mid-America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Mo. "Exercise is the best thing you can do for your health," he said, if done in moderation.

"It's not good to be sedentary, but you can overdo it," he said.

Half of the U.S. population gets too little exercise, O'Keefe estimated, and "maybe one in 20 is getting too much."

According to O'Keefe, if you are exercising mostly for health (not fitness) benefits, 2.5 to 5 hours of vigorous exercise a week is plenty. He and his colleagues also noted that taking one or two days off from high-intensity exercise each week might pay off as well.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

hdl letters stacked up
How to boost your ‘good’ cholesterol.
Learn the causes.
Compressed heart
5 habits to change.
heart rate
What’s normal? What’s not?
Lower Cholesterol 02
Heart Foods Slideshow
Compressed heart
doctor looking at xrays
Heart Disease And Ed
Lowering Cholesterol Slideshow
lowering blood pressure
Wide Awake For Heart Surgery