Moderation Is The Father Of Prudence. Too much exercise can ruin your kidney. Directly or in directly.

Someone said, “if it is worth doing, then it is worth overdoing”. He obviously did not have exercise in mind when he said this. Too Much Of A Good Thing Can Be Bad. 

I came across the term Rhabdomyolysis during the 2017 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.

A friend, who works at a mostly sedentary job had been training a few weekends before the 2017 ‘mother of all treks’, and so, I was concerned for his health (He is close to 50 years old). Happily, he concluded the marathon, with no bad effect.

Extreme exercise can lead to rhabdomyolysis. When people engage in extreme exercise such as long distance marathon or weight-bearing exercises, they run the risk of causing serious damage, both to their muscles and their kidneys, because of the constraint imposed on their system by trying to maintain sufficient energy to feed the muscles.

It has become common practice to measure levels of creatine kinase in the bloodstream as a known indicator of potential damage. A person whose level  becomes alarming will probably need immediate medical attention to avoid renal [kidney] failure. The cause of kidney failure is attributable to myoglobin having been spilled into the bloodstream by muscle cells being weakened, or dead, due to rhabdomyolysis.

If too much myoglobin is released, especially when coupled with insufficient water supply, the myoglobin can block the renal filtration system causing a condition known as “acute tubular necrosis.”

The problem can be easily detected by observing the color of the urine, which will be dark brown.

In rhabdomyolysis, damage to the kidneys involves a direct interaction between myoglobin and mitochondria in renal cells. The oxidation of mitochondrial membranes leads to respiratory insufficiency and subsequent cell death.

Perhaps Samuel Okwaraji of blessed memory and Others Who Died On Football Pitches could be the indirect result of Rhabdomyolysis?

Myoglobinuria is the term used to describe the presence of myoglobin in urine, usually due to rhabdomyolysis. 15% of patients with severe myoglobinuria develop acute renal failure, and are associated with high mortality rates.

Dialysis or intravenously administered  fluids would need to be introduced fairly quickly, otherwise the person will not be able to recover.

Slow and steady may not WIN the race, but it would COMPLETE it.

The long and short of this article is to adopt moderation in everything. Always listen to your body. I can not see the benefit of exercising to the brink of complete physical exhaustion (especially if you are not a professional athlete).

Just to be able to brag to your friends on  Facebook,

I trekked 42 kilometers.


Exercise, regularly, but exercise only to keep the body in tiptop shape, not to wear the joints out, or stress your heart (especially when advanced in age).

No, I wouldn’t partake in these pointless extreme marathons. WHAT would I be proving, and who will I be proving WHAT to?

Just me.

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