Can too much exercise be bad for you?

Can too much exercise be bad for you?

We’re always being told that exercise is good, that it helps keep us healthy and diseases at bay. Is there ever a time though when it becomes too much and we should slow down?

When you take part in an extreme workout like running a marathon, the heart is pumping five times more blood around the body than when you are at rest. This brings about short term changes in the heart and arteries.

Negative effects of exercising this vigorously could include alterations in the function of the heart, possibly leading to abnormal heart rhythms, and enlarged hearts which are less effective at pumping blood and removing waste than normal sized organs.

Active people on average live around three to four years longer than unfit people, so it definitely pays to do exercise. However, too much exercise and you could start to see those benefits dipping  - putting your life expectancy on par with someone who does no exercise.

High intensity workouts - which can be just a minute long - may actually be better for us than prolonged bouts of exercise, tying in with the notion that too much can be bad for you.

There is a “Goldilocks” amount of exercise, which is not too little, and not too much. This ensures people get the optimal benefits. According to some researchers, the 'right amount' means jogging one to four hours a week, for no more than three days a week, at a slow to moderate pace.

What do you think? Does that sound like enough exercise to you?

 


The Author

Laura Briggs

Laura loves running, Pilates and Yoga, and is forever trying to find the time to fit these activities into her life around a busy family. When she's got time to herself you might find her knitting, or in the kitchen trying out an elaborate recipe - healthy of course!.

Comments

Sasha B.
26 October 2015

Sasha B.

I read in the news this year that too much running can be as bad as no running at all. Now that really scared me! You really can do too much, which is quite nice to know actually. So we really don't have to slog it out, just be active in a sensible way.

Matthew C.
26 October 2015

Matthew C.

It's the same as everything else - moderation is key. You can wear out your joints as well as your heart with too much exercise, so pay attention to those painful niggles too.

Tom D.
26 October 2015

Tom D.

Burning out can be a serious problem and your body not being allowed to recover can result in injury - it's gotta be a balanced thing, like everything else in life right?

Nicholas W.
24 October 2015

Nicholas W.

I tend to think balance in all things. Do what you enjoy, which for most people will involve both the healthy and the unhealthy, and be mindful of how you look and feel so you get that balance right.

Phillip H.
24 October 2015

Phillip H.

not, I fear, an issue I've ever faced! But it looks like it 'is too much too fast' rather than 'too much'. We may have to moderate as we get older but that doesn't mean stopping, just changes.

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