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Lecture Evening and Body Worlds Exhibit a Resounding Success!!

Over 150 enjoyed the private showing of the Body Worlds & The Story of the Heart Exhibit and Dr. Jack Goodman’s educational lecture on “Exercise and the Heart- How Much is TOO Much ?” at the Ontario Science on October 16th, 2009. (Click on the link below to get the synopsis as prepared by Dr. Goodman for our website) . In addition, three volunteer recognition awards were given out to Patti Mackellar, Susan Marzolini and Kerseri Naidoo. Many thanks to Universal Workers Union LIUNA Local 183 for their kind sponsorship of the evening.


  • There is a well-established relationship between participation in vigorous exercise and cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality: those who are physically active have a lower risk of death, or developing chronic diseases. This lowered risk may be anywhere from 10-40%.
  • this relationship appears to have a dose-response relationship: low to moderate exercise lowers risk, but not as much as vigorous exercise will; there is a point at which no further gains in this ‘risk reduction’ are realized.
  • Healthy individuals, those with risk factors and those with documented heart disease enjoy a similar risk-reduction benefit from being regularly active, but those with heart disease are at a higher risk level
  • Exercise itself is associated with an increased risk for having an &adverse event& such as a myocardial infarction (heart attack), or even death (typically called sudden cardiac death)
  • the risks of exercise seem to increase with the intensity of exercise, and vigorous exercise raises your chances of having a heart attack during (or immediately after) exercise anywhere from 5-50 fold, depending on the research studies cited;
  • on the other hand, the benefits of long-term participation in vigorous exercise (as mentioned above) is very significant.
  • the presence of both a long-term benefit of exercise in reducing overall risk, and the transient or 'acute' risk of exercise has been termed the risk-benefit paradox of exercise. In other words, in the long run, you are much better to participate in vigorous exercise, but each time you exercise, during that exercise session the risk of having a heart attack or dying suddenly is much greater than it would be at rest
  • most younger people (<35) who die during exercise have underlying conditions that are concealed, including pathologies of the heart muscle, inherited conditions related to the electrical system of the heart or congenital abnormalities; in people over 35 years of age, the most common cause of death is atherosclerosis (heart disease). The detection of these conditions is very difficult and in a significant number of cases, sudden cardiac death is the first symptom of disease.
  • The cases of sudden death or non-fatal cardiovascular events are rare: about 0.2 to 0.8 deaths/10,000 people, and about 1/200,000 marathon runners; these are very low risk rates
  • How do you decide if exercise is risky? Consider the risk-benefit analysis: the chances of dying with vigorous exercise are extremely low, but the benefits of regular exercise lower your overall risks substantially. It is not just the risk reduction of exercise that counts; you're ability to perform tasks from recreational to occupational, is improved, you feel better, and some research indicate you might live longer. More importantly, there is plenty of research to show that your quality of life will be improved significantly. Those who are recovering from heart attacks and exercise regularly have a lower mortality rate than those who don't, so there is compelling evidence to exercise if you are healthy or have heart disease. There is also evidence that the lowered risk that exercise confers is seen even if one begins a regular exercise program quite late in life, so it's not too late even if you are well into, or past, middle-age.
  • the bottom line: there are far more risks associated with physical inactivity which outweigh the risks of exercise. Think of physical inactivity as the sedentary-death syndrome!

Jack Goodman, PhD University of Toronto

Leo DelZotto - President ,
Susan Marzolini - Volunteer recognition award,
Barbara Kennedy - Executive Director

Durval Terceira - Event Sponsor,
Leo DelZotto, Barb Kennedy

Harvey Fruitman - Treasurer & Guest

Guests at Body Worlds Exhibit

Guests at Body Worlds Exhibit

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