High Intensity Exercise Can Cause Strokes

It’s time to reconsider high intensity training routines that are becoming a popular exercise trend. The theory is that short bursts of intense exercise are similar to what our ancestors experienced and are more effective at burning fat and releasing growth hormone. However, for older more sedentary weekend warriors, perhaps this strategy is not the best strategy for fitness.
Andrew Marr, journalist and BBC TV presenter, recently had a high profile stroke caused by intense exercise on a rowing machines. You can read about it here.
Apparently, Mr. Marr damaged his carotid artery during an attempt at a short, high intensity training exercise on a rowing machine. Contrast this approach with internal martial arts training. In traditional internal chinese martial arts, one is taught to hold pressure in the lower abdomen and not in the chest, neck and head. There is intense pressure on the lower half of the body, while the upper body is relaxed. One is taught to avoid “chi rising”. Obviously, I’m not saying Mr. Marr’s stroke was caused by “Chi Rising”. We’ll never know what caused it–could be a random event and it was just the time for to happen, or it was genes. diet and environment.
The point of the article about his incident is that perhaps for older people, high intensity training is probably not a good idea. Chinese internal martial arts, with it’s breathing patterns, scientific relaxation techniques, intense leg pressure and posture training is probably a great choice for fitness. Many people don’t realize how hard authentic internal chinese martial arts like taichichuan are to practice and how you can get a great core workout that rivals any pilates or yoga class.
Here’s a good example of good taichichuan. It’s an excerpt of the chen style 2nd routine that is done with more power expression and a faster tempo:

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