Some of us are more addicted to exercise and as a result, are more prone to undergo a grueling exercise session. For events such as 24 hour ultra-marathons and multi-stage ultra-marathons, athletes or participants subject their bodies to intense physical training for consecutive days.
However, according to fitness experts and those who possess knowledge regarding the hazards of over exercise, opine that one should exercise for up to a limit. “Exercising in this way is no longer unusual — waiting lists for marathons, Ironman triathlon events and ultra-marathons are the norm and they are growing in popularity,” says Ricardo Costa from Monash University.
A team led by Costa studied a range of people who subjected themselves to rigorous exercise. It was found that when the body is subjected to more than four hours of exercise daily can cause intestinal bacteria to leak into the bloodstream. This, in turn, can cause blood poisoning. It was also noted that individuals who participated in long hours of strenuous exercise, especially with little training and under heat, put their physical health in harm’s way.
“Blood samples taken before and after the events, compared with a control group, proved that exercise over a prolonged period of time causes the gut wall to change, allowing the naturally present bacteria, known as endotoxins, in the gut to leak into the bloodstream,” said the research. “This then triggers a systemic inflammatory response from the body’s immune cells, similar to a serious infection episode,” the study authors said.
The human body is trained to recognize the presence of natural bacteria and act against it. The higher levels of endotoxins in the blood produce a higher protective counter-action in the body, which makes the immune system respond more powerfully.
t is crucial that anyone, who signs up to an event, gets a health check first and builds a slow and steady training program, rather than jumping straight into a marathon, for example, with only a month’s training,” Costa added. Costa also added that any exercise for more than four hours daily has a negative effect on the individual.