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Gym fitness for skiing

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@mini_mo, in terms of "lots of legs exercises", what are they?
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@HammondR, really?


Very basically (Energy in - Energy out = Weight change). If you carry on any type of exercise at all it will assist on the Energy Out side of that equation.
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@HammondR, really?


Very basically (Energy in - Energy out = Weight change). If you carry on any type of exercise at all it will assist on the Energy Out side of that equation.
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Tubaski wrote:
EarthWindandWater wrote:

I use 1 x Berocca, I x aspirin, 1 x Ibuprofen and 1 x espresso each morning as a preemptive remedy, and the bonus is it also helps with the night before Laughing


I thought it wasn't advisable to mix Asprin and Ibuprofen ?


Yes, meant paracetamol, not aspirin. I use that for my rough hands.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@mini_mo, you’re obviously generally fit but say you have to rest those burning thigh muscles,every minute or two, on black and red pistes.

Our Pilates instructors reckon specific exercises to strengthen the biggest muscle in the body, glutes, takes a lot of workload off thighs and quads. They say many regular gym goers need to do more to strengthen glutes.

Also, speculatively, maybe over-tensing of leg muscles on steeper stuff? Would be understandable if so. Where there’s space, wider, slower, fully completed turns, consciously trying to relax leg muscles may help (easy to say I know). Stick more to reds until muscle fatigue improves? Bit of a leg shake out and flex at end of long run?

Apols if you’re doing all that already!
snowHead
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Another thumbs up for walking

Fostering a dog at the moment.

Walk him 4 times a day for 3 x 30-40 mins, 1 x 15 mins

Lost 5kg in 5 weeks, legs and core feel great.

Quite hilly where I am, and we go at a good lick. He's a greyhound.

Walking up and down grassy mountainsides is the best movement which replicates the skiing action IMHO

Oh and skipping for cardio and foot speed.
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@Mosha Marc, this is an age old argument. I have read a lot and tried to train (and eat) by certain rules over the years. While I entirely accept I may be partly or fully wrong, my approach has worked for me.

Firstly, the amount of exercise required to consume significant calories to make some impact is large. Secondly, the type of exercise carried out , for someone needing to shed fat, is often inappropriate.

Virtually everyone you see straining away at the gym relying on your equation will be operating above their aerobic threshold, and possibly above their anaerobic threshold. They will be feeling good about being sweaty, but the fuel for their muscles will be drawn almost entirely from glycogen reserves, not fat.
OK, that is still calories burned. But it will inevitably leave them very hungry. Few, if any of us, have the willpower to not eat in these circumstances.

It appears that to exercise in a long term consistent way to make any inroads into fat, the rate of that exercise should be below ones aerobic threshold. At that rate the bulk of muscular energy is derived from fat reserves. Not only will this have a longer term metabolic effect on turning the body into a fat burning machine, it will help by not excessively stimulating appetite.

If one combines this approach to exercise, complemented by a sympathetic eating regime, then gradual loss of fat will occur. But, as I opined in my original post, the real fat loss benefits are from what is consumed, and how that complements fat burning. Much of this stuff is covered in the primal/paleo literature (the approach to training is spelled out in terrific detail in Training for the New Alpinism by Steve House and Scott Anderson - the mountain fitness bible)
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Losing weight is more important than fitness.

Weight first.
Fitness second.
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I am a regular gym goer and have found that exercise in itself doesn't make you lose weight loss its all about diet ...my regular routine include Bulgarian squats ..squat thrusts ..kneeling planks ..for the lower abs ..weighted squats and holding my bodyweight at right angles on the leg press ...plus a few others for the upper body ..and sometimes I cycle there ...but all that doesn't make me lose weight ..its the diet ..I am one of those unfortunate people that if I look at a Mars bar I put a pound on ..if I actually eat it its three
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Lots of lower body workouts/advice, I see. Fine. Great. But, alas................, and sadly not surprisingly no mention of upper body. Can any of you say lots of SLOW pull ups and chin ups.........? I do.
I also recommend "dumb"bells........... Incredible benefit can be realized with dumbbells amounting to "no more" than a total of combined (2) 14/15 kilo (25/30 pounds) and numerous upper and lower body routines. I never use barbell, just dumbell instead.

One of the niftier dumbbell routines........ Starting at standing/standing at attention stance with bells at side........, Count......... 1 - raise to shoulder, 2 - full overhead, 3 - return to shoulder, 4 - full squat and simultaneous full arm forward extension, 5 - return to upright standing position simultaneously pull bells back to chest, 6 - raise bells full overhead, 7 - return to shoulders, 8 - return to bells at side, repeat to your comfort level.................. This does SO many things. Try it.
If you have access at a gym to parallel bars, employ them for dips, hand walks, swings - swing out dismount left and right.

Of course you're pursuing some form of strong aerobic exercise, too.......... Too bad ice skating is beyond a rarity in England. Cannot speak adequately enough for this activity.

ps: Wobble cushion are not a joke......................................


http://youtube.com/v/YYI-QbSXD9I


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Sun 18-11-18 19:28; edited 3 times in total
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I did say that I was doing upper body too....and I do go to the gym 4/5 times a week so I vary the exercises ..if I cycle there I don't do many leg exercises ..my legs have to take me home..and where I live is very hilly! Confused
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I've recently started going to Crossfit, and I reckon that it's going to really help by the time I get to go skiing in Jan. As well as general strength and fitness, the emphasis on correct form when lifting weights, kettlebells etc means that I'm having to work on the exact same muscles that tend to let me down when I ski and contribute to the dreaded knock-knee stance... Plus, it's really good fun. The other thing I'd recommend is something like yoga or pilates which challenges your balance and requires precise movements of your body.
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@maireadoconnor thank you for the response and for welcoming to SnowHeads. Went to spin for the 3rd time yesterday and found I had already built up a bit of knee strength which made me feel great and it motivated me to push that bit harder in and out of the saddle. Today my hubby ( @Poshprop )is taking me to the gym to go through his weights routine.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Farry wrote:
Hello there. Anyone recommend an app, gym program or similar for ski fit training?


probably depends on your initial fitnesslevel.
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@arcsinice, ice skating.

Yep. Roller blading also excellent both for fitness and dynamic balance.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=138408
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Got to slightly disagree with Hammond. Smashing away in the gym builds muscles and requires energy for muscle repair.

Completely agree about slow efforts as well, for me the best is a bit of both. Just going slowly will help with weight loss but not aid with joint stabilisation as much as ragging it. Having larger muscles than I used to I can get through 800 calories in an hour pretty easily (below aerobic threshold by a way) and feel pretty boss.

Fat comes from diet. In my opinion, from excess carbs (including alcohol).
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Just saw the latest Crystal Ski Holidays advert in the latest Fall Line magazine.

A series of 8 images showing a typical ski day from 9am to 10pm

This is something which is often ignored and underestimated IMHO

When was the last time you / recreational skier walked in ski gear from your accommodation to the lifts; skied all day; walked back to your accommodation; then went out for dinner and/or drinks until 9-10pm.

6 days in a row.

Often at high altitude.

That takes its toll.
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@Mike Pow, I am a strictly recreational skier in my mid seventies. I do not do any special fitness training before my annual ski holiday but rely on the fitness I have from my lifestyle which involves mucking out horses and doggy walking. So far I have not had any problems following the schedule you set out in your post. OK last year I had to miss the last two days skiing because of a torn ankle ligament but that was the first significant injury I have had. Any minor injuries just mean I have to apply Rule 5.

In my youth I found I weighed more during the rugby season than in the summer when I was definitely carrying a bit more fat. Muscle is denser than fat so exercise does not always lead to weight loss but does IMO make you healthier.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Rabbie wrote:
@Mike Pow, I am a strictly recreational skier in my mid seventies. I do not do any special fitness training before my annual ski holiday but rely on the fitness I have from my lifestyle which involves mucking out horses and doggy walking. So far I have not had any problems following the schedule you set out in your post. OK last year I had to miss the last two days skiing because of a torn ankle ligament but that was the first significant injury I have had. Any minor injuries just mean I have to apply Rule 5.

In my youth I found I weighed more during the rugby season than in the summer when I was definitely carrying a bit more fat. Muscle is denser than fat so exercise does not always lead to weight loss but does IMO make you healthier.


Hope to be skiing when I'm your age.

Agree wholeheartedly about lifestyle fitness.
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I've typically ran, gone to the gym, done HIIT workouts (insanity, insanity max 30 - after starting out with T-25) -- but the biggest thing for me is the repetition and boredom. I get bored fast.

I also hate running (literally, every time I do it, I settle into my usual jogging pace and often think why am I doing this)...

So, to try and combat this I've been to a crossfit gym / class for the past month and half-ish now. It is a killer. I'm not a fan of the "cult-y" cliques that go on there, but it suprised me as I expected it to be all poor form, and big bar stewards showing off. I was wrong, loads of different shapes, sizes and ages -- coming towards my 37th birthday I was suprised that I was one of the younger people in the class. Can't speak to every class/location but my local one concentrates on form, they'll blow out any macho cr@p instantly, and apart from the aforementioned cliques everyone is really nice... basically there to get fit.

I started when it was mid way through a squat programme, and have been suprised at the difference in my leg shape and strength over the past month.

All that being said, I'm not sure how good it is for you long term.. there's been a few times when I've been close to throwing up due to pushing myself too hard. My plan is to keep it up until I go skiing to compare my fitness to how I have been in the past years. I'm not sure if I'll keep it up when I'm back from skiing and the season is over (for me, anyway) - but so far, so good.
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marksymoo wrote:
I've typically ran, gone to the gym, done HIIT workouts (insanity, insanity max 30 - after starting out with T-25) -- but the biggest thing for me is the repetition and boredom. I get bored fast.

I also hate running (literally, every time I do it, I settle into my usual jogging pace and often think why am I doing this)...

So, to try and combat this I've been to a crossfit gym / class for the past month and half-ish now. It is a killer. I'm not a fan of the "cult-y" cliques that go on there, but it suprised me as I expected it to be all poor form, and big bar stewards showing off. I was wrong, loads of different shapes, sizes and ages -- coming towards my 37th birthday I was suprised that I was one of the younger people in the class. Can't speak to every class/location but my local one concentrates on form, they'll blow out any macho cr@p instantly, and apart from the aforementioned cliques everyone is really nice... basically there to get fit.

I started when it was mid way through a squat programme, and have been suprised at the difference in my leg shape and strength over the past month.

All that being said, I'm not sure how good it is for you long term.. there's been a few times when I've been close to throwing up due to pushing myself too hard. My plan is to keep it up until I go skiing to compare my fitness to how I have been in the past years. I'm not sure if I'll keep it up when I'm back from skiing and the season is over (for me, anyway) - but so far, so good.


I love running. I get totally lost in the music from my MP3 player when I run. Generally, I do not think much when I am running, especially when I am warmed up and my muscles feel strong. On the way back I do HIIT, sprint for 30 seconds then jog for a while, and do it again. If I am suffering any injuries I avoid the HIIT, but when I am on the ball like today running is like a drug! Laughing
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I wish I could enjoy it.. I've tried music, running in a group, pushing myself hard - I just don't seem to be able to click with it!
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@Bennyboy1,

There are several 7 minute apps on App store -- which one are you using ???
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I always think of ski fitness as being a combination of strength (i.e. the ability of your legs to push your bodyweight effectively away from the snow), endurance (so you can keep doing that all day), balance (obvious!) and agility/quickness (so you can instantly shift what you're doing should the conditions require it). Lots of the exercises above do lots of those things, but what I've found works well is combining lots of different types of training to get all the benefits. E.g. squats/lunges/gym for leg/bum strength, running for endurance and agility and yoga for strength and balance.
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BlueSky wrote:
I always think of ski fitness as being a combination of strength (i.e. the ability of your legs to push your bodyweight effectively away from the snow), endurance (so you can keep doing that all day), balance (obvious!) and agility/quickness (so you can instantly shift what you're doing should the conditions require it). Lots of the exercises above do lots of those things, but what I've found works well is combining lots of different types of training to get all the benefits. E.g. squats/lunges/gym for leg/bum strength, running for endurance and agility and yoga for strength and balance.

Add in Flexibility.....and I think that is exactly the right approach.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
No one has mentioned swimming. I ran 5k every three days last year before the ski season to help with my cardio. This year I have had some ‘running repairs’ done to my knees so have taken up swimming as part of my 6month rehab. I do 30 or so lengths of crawl every three days.

Early view (only skied one week so far)is that my cardio is much stronger this year. Swimming seems to have done more good than the running...


I also do all the gym/weights stuff for strength and Pilates for flexibility and core. Lots of Bozu ball work. It seems to keep me going for 10 weeks skiing. I’m 62.
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Advice please.
I had a pre-S15BB session at Hemel yesterday and this morning was reminded that I suffer with sore/stiff muscles behind both knees for the first few days of each ski trip so I am looking for exercises to minimise the discomfort.
I hit the gym 3 times a week with cardio, stretching/flex and weights and particularly concentrate on legs pre-sking, my favourite and most affective being the reverse escalator.
Whilst mentioning that kit another question.
I am currently 'climbing' to the 50th floor (800 steps) which takes around 13 minutes, 10 of which my heart rate is at 160 bpm.
Using the 220 minus age (71) as a base my 'maximum' rate is 149.
Am I overdoing it?
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You know it makes sense.
codyaitch wrote:
Advice please.
I had a pre-S15BB session at Hemel yesterday and this morning was reminded that I suffer with sore/stiff muscles behind both knees for the first few days of each ski trip so I am looking for exercises to minimise the discomfort.
I hit the gym 3 times a week with cardio, stretching/flex and weights and particularly concentrate on legs pre-sking, my favourite and most affective being the reverse escalator.
Whilst mentioning that kit another question.
I am currently 'climbing' to the 50th floor (800 steps) which takes around 13 minutes, 10 of which my heart rate is at 160 bpm.
Using the 220 minus age (71) as a base my 'maximum' rate is 149.
Am I overdoing it?

You "may" be overdoing it....it depends what your actual max heart rate is.....rather than the theoretical 220 minus your age.

So if you can safely measure your max rate....don't go over 80% of that.

Listen to your body and be guided by what it tells you.

Muscle stiffness (DOMS): https://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2018/01/26/what-causes-delayed-onset-muscle-soreness.aspx

IMO. For skiing, one of the best ways to help stiffness, are Lunges (Side/Front/Jumping - check out Leg Blasters); squats and static "Leg Sits" against a wall or Swiss Ball (against a wall). Body weight is fine for conditioning.

Exercises that concentrate on the "Eccentric" phase of the muscle contraction (ie. lowering the weight, having lifted it - lifting is the "Concentric" phase), is good for skiing and helps prevent DOMS.

It is my understanding that the Eccentric phase is a major factor in causing DOMS.


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Fri 11-01-19 22:55; edited 3 times in total
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I race track cycling and found the weight training conditioning very applicable to build strength and muscle endurance required for skiing.Cardio fitness is also essential and running / cycling should also help.

You’ll need to invest in a kettle bell weight.

https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/knowledge/training/off-the-bike/article/izn20160113-Ask-the-experts-How-to--Beginner-strength-exercises-for-cyclists-0
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It's all well and good having a training schedule, as did I, but I'm just shaking off my second cold in 3 weeks and what with being away over christmas haven't been near my rower in ages, the dog hasn't even had any good long hillwalks.

Leaving for the alps tomorrow and hoping I'm fitter than I feel!
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codyaitch wrote:

Advice please.
I hit the gym 3 times a week with cardio, stretching/flex and weights and particularly concentrate on legs pre-sking, my favourite and most affective being the reverse escalator.
I am currently 'climbing' to the 50th floor (800 steps) which takes around 13 minutes, 10 of which my heart rate is at 160 bpm.
Using the 220 minus age (71) as a base my 'maximum' rate is 149.
Am I overdoing it?


Update

I have continued the same regime for several months, but around 6 weeks ago I started getting ectopic heart beats (missed or extra beats), often as frequently as 2 a minute, which is quite disconcerting at 3 o'clock in the morning.

I eliminated the usual suspects, alcohol, caffeine and sugar from my diet but no change so visited the doc who suggested over-vigorous exercise may have kicked the heart beat out of sync.

He suggested I cut exercise back so that my maximum heart rate is no more than twice resting heart rate (2 x 60 = 120) which is 80% of max rather than 105%.

Heart rate is back to normal, thankfully. !
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@codyaitch, a couple of observations from a layman:

1) A healthy person engaging in vigorous exercise cannot achieve a heart rate above maximum. By definition the highest you can achieve is your maximum.
2) Formulas for establishing maximum heart rates are cobblers and at best provide a rough guide. They are based on statistical averages. According to the formula at age 60 my maximum heart rate should be 160. It is actually 182. I suspect if you properly tested yours it could be in excess of 160.
3) Actually reaching maximum heart rate during exercise is a pretty unpleasant thing. If you were looking to establish actual thresholds/rates in order to engage in a long term programme of endurance training it is probably worth doing. Just to make reasonable preparation for a ski trip or two I would give it a miss.
4) Your Doc seems spot on. You appear to have been in a real training black hole. Much better served with the gentle aerobic activity and targeted strength training (as many have suggested above).
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@codyaitch, a couple of observations from a layman:

1) A healthy person engaging in vigorous exercise cannot achieve a heart rate above maximum. By definition the highest you can achieve is your maximum.
2) Formulas for establishing maximum heart rates are cobblers and at best provide a rough guide. They are based on statistical averages. According to the formula at age 60 my maximum heart rate should be 160. It is actually 182. I suspect if you properly tested yours it could be in excess of 160.
3) Actually reaching maximum heart rate during exercise is a pretty unpleasant thing. If you were looking to establish actual thresholds/rates in order to engage in a long term programme of endurance training it is probably worth doing. Just to make reasonable preparation for a ski trip or two I would give it a miss.
4) Your Doc seems spot on. You appear to have been in a real training black hole. Much better served with the gentle aerobic activity and targeted strength training (as many have suggested above).
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@HammondR,

I understand the concept of maximum heart rate - my comparison was within the 220 minus age formula (220 - 71 =149) which establishes a so called 'maximum'

I wasn't exercising to set any thresholds or achieve targets but at a level that was comfortable which happened to generate a heart rate of 160 and hardly raised a sweat.

My initial question was 'am I overdoing it' at that rate and it appears I was !
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A high maximum heart rate compared to an average formula for the general population is not unusual in people who are on average more active than the general population. (this is not difficult, as the general population is pretty inactive) However, a high maximum heart rate is more of a genetic issue than one which you can modify by exercise.

To test your maximum heart rate you have to really push yourself to exhaustion. It is a fairly high stress scenario, which is not really suitable for people above age 60 as it is unecessary.

My heart rate peaked during sprints after long runs at over 200 10 years ago. (the monitor said it reached that level for short periods)

Since that time I have not bothered with testing maximum heart rate. During a normal run, my heart rate averages about 135-140 and will peak about 170. This is still the case today as it was 10 years ago. If anything my heart appears to be healthier than it was 10 years ago. Again this is mainly because I am more active than the average population, and adopt a healthier lifestyle.



I stopped running in 2010 because of a build up of overuse injuries, probably from running, but also related to some other activities. I started again in 2014 and decided to research into safe levels of running. It seems that there are some studies which show that the optimal level of jogging is 2-3 runs per week. Those who do more are at higher risk of mortality, as are those who do less. Seems perverse, but I decided to stick within this band of activity (or jogging) as this suited my overuse problem.

As time has gone on since 2014, I have found that my overuse injuries were nothing to do with running or cycling. They actually appear to be related to activities which involve bending or kneeling. (which overstretch my gluteal muscles). So that is the main reason of the rising number of jogs per week, as well as doing more in winter and running in the rain more often.

160 heart beats per minute for me is easily achieved within a run when I do short sprints. My heart rate will easily go up to 170 before I have to slow down.

Aged 50 now!

Perhaps more significant with regards to your fitness level, is your resting heart rate. This is something which gets lower as you get fitter, so you can influence it. My resting heart rate is below 50 and at times can be below 40, like when I lie down and get ready for sleep. (takes less effort for the body to pump blood when you lie horizontally).


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Mon 24-06-19 12:39; edited 4 times in total
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Loads of ski workout routines on youtube, .. just finding one that suits you and is fun to do
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
www.dcscience.net/Lee-2015--running-comment-JACC.pdf

I do not know how credible this study is regarding mortality, but it suggests I am in the correct zone. It is consistent with other studies I have seen. It seems from this study that coronary heart disease is the main reason for the excess mortality in people who do more than 3 jogs a week.

I initially thought it was people were more likely to get knocked over by a car from road running, but it seems this is not the cause of the extra mortality. It is actually worse for your heart to do too much than just enough!!
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I feel much fitter since I was given a cocker spaniel for Christmas last year. My clothes have stopped shrinking and some have even stretched a bit! Laughing
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A quote from the above pdf file where cross country skiers were studied:

"In a recent long-distance (90-km) cross-country ski marathon study of 52,755 participants (3), the investigators found a higher risk of developing arrhythmias in those who had completed more races. In marathon runners, frequent marathon running and its required training also appeared to be correlated with myocardial damage (4,5)"

Which suggests more is not always better in terms of fitness health. You need to be gentle on yourself, and build in sufficient rest periods.

I do not compete in running with other people. I do not run marathons. I stop running if my body says it has had enough. This is particularly relevant to people who are in the second half of their century!

My actions are probably more of a reaction to what I experienced when I was running too frequently, too long, and pushing my heart too much. Experience is useful in pacing yourself.

An arrhythmia can be a precursor to a stroke. Not all arrhythmias are in themsleves a problem, however some are. An ECG is one way to get an arrhythmia diagnosed. A heart rate monitor might highlight changes in your normal heart beats, and as exercise can cause arrhythmias they are useful with this regard when worn during exercise. Being aware of your own normal range of heart rates allows you to see if there are any unusual arrhythmias.
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