Win The Race – Ruin Your Health?

Pushing it to the limit during exercise increases ones chance of breaking down with the flu, and with Swine Flu among us this year is it worth the risk?

Individuals who take part in running races have higher flu and injury rates than their counterparts who trained for the race but did not run it according to current research.  In general healthy adults have less to fear of swine flu than children, the elderly, or individuals suffering from other illness, but an overworked athlete is an easy target for the flu.  

Overwork is not limited to exercise either, people who push the limit by long business hours, poor eating habits, lack of sleep, and high stress lifestyles are also more susceptible to Swine Flu.

 Olympic athletes have high cancer and injury rates, the extreme intensity of their training may be one of the contributing factors.  Not all exercise is focused on health promotion, so if being healthy is your goal moderation is the game plan.  The weight loss industry is a multi- billion dollar business which churns out an abundance of  crazy exercise advice, but many international health organizations such as the Cancer, Heart, Diabetes and Chiropractic societies currently recommend one hour of moderate cardiovascular exercise, on most days, as a healthy exercise plan.  For example: a one hour  walk with some stretching to start off with and when fitness levels rise, some jogging could replace some of the walking while maintaining the hour in total exercise.  

Intensity could be the key, high intensity, high health risks.   When I was a competitive scholarship funded athlete, all I cared about was winning the big event and if I got hurt or ill in the process so be it.  These days I want to do sports moderately, be healthy and have fun, without getting Swine Flu, so when that little voice in my head starts screaming “faster, faster” I tell it to shut up!


Dr Dawn Maddalone DC is a registered Chiropractor practicing and exercising for the last 20 years in Barbados.

Dr.Dawn MaddaloneDC 

TEL 435-9595, 251-4287

# 1 Kyro Rockley Terrace, Rockley Ch Ch


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