Endurance Exercise and the Heart: Friend or Foe?

Sports Med. 2016 Apr;46(4):459-66. doi: 10.1007/s40279-015-0434-4.


Although low- to moderate-intensity exercise has well-known cardiovascular benefits, it has been increasingly suggested that prolonged strenuous endurance exercise (SEE) could have potential deleterious cardiac effects. In effect, the term 'cardiac overuse injury' (or 'over-exercise') has been recently reported to group all the possible deleterious cardiac consequences of repeated exposure to SEE or 'over-exercise'. In this article, we provide a balanced overview of the current state of knowledge regarding the 'pros' and 'cons' of SEE from a cardiological point of view.

MeSH terms

  • Athletes
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Heart / physiopathology*
  • Heart Diseases / etiology*
  • Heart Diseases / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*