Athletes May Be At Risk
There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that athletes may be at risk of becoming seriously ill early in life or die younger than the rest of the population, despite being in peak physical condition. And while the benefits of exercising to maintain good health are well accepted by all health authorities, is there ever a time when exercise can simply be too much or too intensive?
Professional athletes living shorter than their counterparts in the business world, there is much documented evidence that intense physical exercise increases oxidative stress that may contribute to premature aging, damage to the heart, and dementia.
Given that most health professionals encourage physical exercise for good health, in what circumstances might exercise be damaging? And, more important, what can we do to reap the benefits of physical activity without putting our health at risk? The key to answering these questions seems to lie in controlling the amount of stress put on the body during exercise—more specifically, oxidative stress, which results from too many free radicals washing about our system.
Free radicals are molecules generated by the breakdown of oxygen during metabolic activity. We all create a certain amount of free radicals through the very act of breathing, but normal levels do not pose a problem since the body’s defense mechanism is able to neutralize the molecules with antioxidants such as glutathione, ubiquinone, flavonoids, and vitamins A, E, and C. But when our antioxidant defenses are overwhelmed by too many free radicals, cells can be damaged and our health adversely affected. This is what is known as oxidative stress.
Free radicals are highly reactive and attack other cells, causing damage to tissues and negatively affecting lipids, proteins, and DNA. During physical exercise we produce more free radicals than usual due to an increase in breathing and metabolism, which can lead to an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the antioxidants required to detoxify them, resulting in muscle weakness, fatigue, and overtraining. Investigations into physical training, regular aerobic exercise, marathon running, and extreme competitions have consistently found that antioxidant levels decrease after intense physical activity or extreme competition, while free radical production increases.
Oxygen Therapy Can Help
A significant bonus of the Oxygen Therapy program is that it can be performed during rest does not require an athlete to be injury-free. Some of the benefits of high-intensity exercise can even be obtained. Improving the way you breathe during rest and exercise will have positive repercussions on your general health as well as your athletic performance, reducing the risk of injury and enabling you to perform beyond your previous limits.