Running long distances may be bring about more health issues later in life than benefits, reports a new cardiovascular study. For those who enjoy participating in extended marathons, they may face the need for pacemakers in their later years. The study which was conducted on mice and funded by the British Heart Foundation, show minute changes and damage to their hearts upon extended exertion. Local Sports Cardiovascular specialist Dr. John Higgins with UT and Memorial Health says he sees the results firsthand. 

“After a certain point, it seems like that plateaus off such that you’re not getting any more bang-for-the-buck and you may be actually getting more injuries.”

Dr. Higgins doesn’t downplay the necessity for exercise

Even elderly athletes with a lifelong history of endurance training and competing are prone to heart rhythm disturbances, known as arrhythmias. This is due to molecular changes in the heart's pacemaker from the exercise training, according to scientists from the University of Manchester.

Normal adults have a resting heart beat of between 60 and 100 per minute.

But the hearts of athletes beat as slow as 30 times a minute - or even lower at night when there can be long pauses between beats. 

As with anything, exercising moderation may be the best exercise of all.