Can Exercise Be Bad For Your Heart?


Exercise is good for you and your heart. Or at least that is the mantra we have been definitely told for decades. No ifs, and, or buts!

Well, I read an interesting article from the New York Times  (NYT) yesterday.

Now doctors at Louisiana State University analyzed the effects of exercise on overall health and came up with, as one of them called it, “bizarre” findings.

Out of the 1,687 people studied ten percent of them got worse on at least one measure of heart health; and another seven percent got worse on at least two measures of heart health.

The group of researchers gave a “qualified yes,” to the question could exercise be bad for some people.

However, as you can well imagine, there is controversy on the matter.

Some doctors are saying  there is no real proof that exercise is bad for some folks. The doctors are only an inferring this since the study did not follow test subjects to see if they actually had more heart attacks.

However, the national guidelines on exercise are also based on inference and no real research either.

Claude Bouchard, the lead author on theLouisiana study says, “You can’t have it both ways,” now that data are showing the opposite outcome for some people.

“We do not know whether implementing exercise programs for unfit people assures better outcomes,” said Dr. Lauer of the heart institute. “That has not been established.” And so, he said, “there is a lot of debate over how strong the guidelines should be in light of weak evidence.”

Dr. William E. Klaus, another doctor who helped write the study report says he is an, “exercise guy,” but adds you also just can’t ignore the data. 

In practical terms what does this mean for us?

Hard to say. The NYT writes:

And while the researchers would like to spare people from adverse exercise effects, Dr. Bouchard said, “It is not possible yet to make more specific recommendations because we do not understand why this is happening.”

The doctors looked and tried to find why exercise was bad for some people. They could not find anything.

Finally Dr. Michael Lauer, who was not on the study team but applauds their work says, “if nothing else, the study pointed out the need to know more about what exercise actually does.”

Ya think?

I will stick with my regimen of moderate walking one-half-to one mile a day and swim when ever I can.

I have to remark though that this reminds me an awful lot of what the “experts” thought was right as regards butter, coffee, eggs, and shellfish which were all demonized once and now we know that they are prefectly healthy in moderation.

What will you do? Leave your ideas in the Comments section below.

You can read the entire article by clicking this link: Exercise

Featured Recipe        Home Made Croutons

I love good bread. The real crusty stuff warm from the oven with butter dripping all over it.

But I might as well just glue a slice or two on each hip cause that is eventually where it will go anyways.

So I seldom buy bread. I seldom have it in the house. However, when I do buy it I have a hard time using it all up since I do not wish to be a blimp. Bread usually goes stale in my house.

Then it is one of two things: Feed the birds or make home made croutons.

This is what you will need for about 2 cups of croutons:

8-10 pieces of stale bread

¼ cup olive oil or other oil

2-4 tablespoons butter

¼ to ½ teaspoon dried herbs of your choice

½ to 1 teaspoon garlic powder

2-4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste


1. If you do not have stale bread leave it out over night or put it in the oven at 200 degrees for 10-15 minutes. That should do it.

2. You can use fresh herbs instead of dried. I used the dried since this is a budget friendly cooking site and dried herbs are less expensive.

3. Use any herb or combination of herbs and other seasonings that you like and want. I used a mixture I can get at a store here that has chervil, chives, marjoram, parsley, and tarragon.

4. You can use any kind of bread that you have. I used store bought bread as it is less expensive, again since this is a budget recipe site.

Here is what you do:

Heat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Slice the bread into even squares or as even as you can. You all know my scissor and knife issue from 5th grade. It was very traumatic flunking scissor cutting at that age. To this day I contend it was that incident that warped me for life.

Spray a very VERY light film of oil on a large baking sheet to keep the bread from sticking while baking. (This ‘ingredient’ is not listed or pictured.)

Pour the oil into a large skillet, add the butter and let it melt.

Add the herbs, garlic powder, salt and pepper  and mix well.

Add the bread cubes and gently mix into the butter. Add more butter or oil if needed to coat the bread cubes. They do not need to be soaking wet.

Sprinkle the cheese on the croutons and gently mix to make sure all pieces get some cheese.

Place the bread cubs on the baking sheet. Do not crowd them as they will not brown and crisp well if they are. I  bake the cubes in two batches for this reason.

Bake  until the bread starts to brown and crisp, about 15 minutes.

At that time remove from oven and flip the bread pieces over.

Put back in to the oven for 10-15 minutes more. Check every 5 minutes. You want the croutons to be nice and brown and crisp, but not burned and hard. This batch I took out after ten more minutes in the oven.

Let the croutons cool completely before using, about 15 minutes or so.

Use in soups, stuffing, crumbled on top of casseroles or vegetables, or in salads. Store them in air tight container or a plastic bag for up to two weeks.

Bon appétit!!!


8-10 pieces of stale bread               $0.40

¼ cup olive oil                               $0.46

2-4 tablespoons butter                    $0.32

¼ to ½ teaspoon dried herbs          $0.26

½ to 1 tspn garlic powder               $0.06

2-4 tbsn grated Parmesan               $0.77

Salt and pepper to taste

Total Cost =$2.27

Average cost for store bought ranges from a low of $2.29 for 5 ounces of croutons to a high of $2.78 for 5 ounces.

Keep in mind I am using up stale food instead of throwing it away and wasting money. So I save money right there.

Also keep in mind that I used half a loaf of bread or 8 ounces.

Quote of the Day

To keep the heart unwrinkled, to be hopeful, kindly, cheerful, reverent…
that is to triumph over old age.

Thomas Bailey Aldrich


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4 comments to Can Exercise Be Bad For Your Heart?

  • I know I need more exercise – I feel better when I move more. What I won’t do is go from sitting all day to trying to run a marathon. 🙂 I hope people don’t look at this discourse and think that more couch sitting is better.

    I make croutons all the time. I make all our bread and two people can eat only so much bread so I make croutons and breadcrumbs. I freeze the fresh breadcrumbs and put the croutons in a vacuum sealed jar. Always ready.

  • I know I should exercise to keep my muscles strong. But, I don’t. I start to, but always end up not doing it. Lazy is what I am.

    One of the reasons, I am naturally thin and I am not bragging here… I would like just a little more weight here and there so I don’t look like Olive Oyle.

    It seems though, I never sit still, I garden, I clean. So I guess that is my form of exercise.

    • Roberta

      Gardening, house cleaning and other daily activites are great ways to exercise. No need to do more formal exercises, or join an expensive health club to lose weight or just maintain good health.

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