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Active Voice: Can Exercise Be Bad For You?

from By Stephen M. Roth, Ph.D., FACSM

Viewpoints presented in SMB commentaries reflect opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM.

Stephen M. Roth, Ph.D., FACSM, is associate professor and associate chair in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Maryland. His research is focused broadly on the interaction of DNA and exercise, including studies examining the genetic influences on exercise-related traits and also the role of chronic exercise on DNA structure. He is a co-author of the regularly published “Advances in Exercise Genomics” articles in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise® and Associate Editor-in-Chief of Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews.

The media jumped all over a scientific article published a few months ago by Bouchard and colleagues in PLoS ONE that described adverse metabolic responses to aerobic exercise training in some subjects. As can be expected in an article having both the words “adverse” and “exercise” in the title, the natural reaction from the media was to question whether exercise was bad for some people. That is an overly simple interpretation to draw and not the most complete or thoughtful conclusion that should be made from the work. more

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