Understandably, such competing data might leave you scratching your head. But as you ponder and await the inevitable next study on this topic, remember that endurance exercise has a host of benefits that far outweigh its dangers. If your current routine is serving you well, I see no reason to alter it.
Nevertheless, the new studies present one more reminder to remain vigilant. Keep up with annual physicals. If you experience any problems that could be related to your heart — erratic heart rhythms, chest pain or tightness — visit a doctor.
But barring such issues, don't let alarmist headlines stop you from hitting the road. Meanwhile, I'll be curled up inside with a good book. Definitely not Christopher McDougall's “Born to Run,” though. I'll leave that one to you.
Prescott, a physician and medical researcher, is president of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Cohen is a marathoner and OMRF's senior vice president and general counsel.