Ultra-endurance sport training can hurt your heart health

There are currently a record number of middle-aged Canadians taking part in high endurance sports. The long-term physiological changes associated with this type of training, however, can be unhealthy and even dangerous.

CBC's Kim Brunhuber reports on the hardcore athletes who push heart health to the extreme

Ultra-endurance exercises

The National

6 years agoVideo
CBC's Kim Brunhuber looks at the cardiovascular benefits and risks of endurance sports 2:33

There are currently a record number of middle-aged Canadians taking part in high endurance sports, like ultra-marathons and long-distance cycling.

Training for these kinds of events, however, often results in long-term physiological changes for athletes, and new research suggests that some of these changes can be unhealthy – even dangerous.

About five per cent of middle-aged people who significantly exceed the recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise experience side effects such as irregular heart rhythm, which can lead to blood clots and strokes.

Interestingly, conditions related to ultra-endurance training appear to be more common among men.

Check out the report from CBC’s Kim Brunhuber to learn more about the athletic craze gaining popularity across the country, and what it means for athletes’ bodies.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.