I'm not jumping on the Michael Jackson bandwagon, but I want to take the opportunity to go over something that's been in the media since he's died. Did exercise kill Michael Jackson? I don't know. I'm not a medical professional, and even if I were I wasn't there when he died. I came across this article on msnbc.com that speaks about how individuals over the age of 50 are at a greater risk of death when suddenly engaging in exercise. While this shows that the older we get the more careful we need to be with our bodies, I think it also shows that we need to be exercising regularly starting when we're young enough to handle the stress. Then our bodies can get stronger and handle more strenuous activities as we age.
Where's the conflict here? A lot of doctors will tell you that if running has caused an injury of some kind that you should stop. What?? Stop running??? But I thought I had to lower my cholesterol/lose weight/reduce my blood pressure! Doesn't running do all three of those things? So what's a person to do? Ultimately that is your choice, but I think by gradually introducing exercise and incorporating rest days can help us avoid these problems. Don't let a freak unexplained death scare you from running or working out in general.