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Watch your exercise level

Watch your exercise level

Cardio exercise plays a big part in many people's fitness regime, with the treadmill and cross trainer arguably two of the most popular machines in the gym.

There's no harm in doing some good cardio workouts every now and then, but too much can in fact have negative effects on your body in the long run.

To start with, those who are regular marathon runners or take part in other endurance sports such as triathlons and rowing often are more likely to suffer from heart dysfunction, stiff arteries and plaque buildup, according to past research summed up in an article called Potential Adverse Cardiovascular Effects From Excessive Endurance Exercise. The more plaque in your arteries, the more difficult it is for the blood to flow through our body, which could cause some serious problems.

It found that months of repetitive injury due to strenuous cardio may lead to patchy myocardial fibrosis among other problems, as well as coronary artery calcification, diastolic dysfunction (the decline of the ventricles of the heart), and large-artery wall stiffening.

Carrying out high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which sees you split your workouts between intense bursts of movement and less-intense activities, is recommended instead. So during your next run, try jogging for two minutes then sprinting for one.

Another negative result of too much cardio, and one which people may not expect, is weight gain. The more exercise of this nature you carry out, the more cortisol your body produces, misleading your brain to store fat when really you want to be burning it. On top of this your ability to process sugar will be affected, and if sugar isn't processed properly it can lead to an increase on the scales.

This is another reason why HIIT is beneficial, or you could just try some other forms of exercise to keep fit rather than cardio.

Strength training is good for all ages, helps you tone up and enhances other workouts, so when you do go on that jog you'll feel a lot more physically equipped. On top of this your bones will become stronger, and with the endorphins released you'll feel great too. And any problems to your arteries will be caught early on if you get into the swing of strength, as it protects you against heart disease.

Yoga is another option and will see your flexibility increase, your posture improve and aches and pains slowly disappear. It's also been linked to lowering blood pressure and will help you lose weight without being extreme like with cardio.

Yoga is also known for its benefits on your breathing, again aiding other workouts you choose to do at other times.

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