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Ultra Endurance Exercise Vs. Endurance Exercise

1963 words - 8 pages

Since the dawn of humankind, exercise has been a part of our existence, either consciously or unconsciously. Primal beings would run, climb trees, and sling weapons in order to survive and provide food, clothing, and other lifeline necessities for themselves and their families. As they continue to hunt on a daily basis, they unconsciously would build and maintain their cardiovascular system as they travel further to survive. Approximately 400 BC, the Hippocrates mention about exercise in great detail. If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the most effective way to sustain good health. Today, we are living in a time of great ideas and new thoughts as people seriously start to study the importance and relevance of physical exercise. Dr. Kenneth Cooper from the Cooper Wellness Institute coined the word “aerobic” which means living with air. Dr. Cooper added an “s” at the end of verb, and a phenomenon has been born. There are 41 types of aerobic exercises as we know it today ranging from walking to stair climbing, swimming to cycling [1]. Society today continues to live longer. In 2009 the average human lifespan of both sexes from birth in the United States is 78.5 years, an increase from 78.1 years in 2008 [2]. This is due to society as a whole making better nutritional choices, cutting out the toxins introduced into their bodies, and establishing and maintaining an exercise program. In result, society today is living longer and healthier. The quote by Scintilla Fly saying, “more is better and too much is never enough” may work in terms of business and education, but how much is too much in regards from an endurance exercise discipline to ultra-endurance exercise? Endurance exercise and ultra-endurance exercise does have similar health benefits such as improved cardiovascular circulation, but each exercise does present different health issues. These health risks could affect the athlete from a suppressed immune system to acute cardiac problems. Therefore, the athlete must be aware of the similarities and differences between these 2 exercise disciplines in order to reap the health benefits while minimizing any potential health risks during training and competition. The duration between endurance and ultra-endurance exercise continues to be in great debate today, ranging from 4 hours up to 6 hours of continuous cardiovascular exercise for endurance activities, with ultra-endurance activity going beyond these limits. For the purpose of this essay, endurance exercise is defined as a continuous cardiovascular exercise activity lasting from 30 minutes up to 4 hours [3]. Good examples of endurance exercise activities include, but are not limited to marathon running, swimming, and cycling up to about 50 miles. The duration of ultra-endurance activity is defined as an exercises activity lasting 4 hours or more [3]. Examples of these ultra-endurance activities...

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