New studies suggest that working out too hard or for very long periods of time, may have a negative impact on your health.
Researchers say that can only occur with extremely intense exercise, such as endurance activities or training for a marathon. They advise people who want to stay healthy to only engage in moderate workouts, especially if they are not trained professionals who can endure tougher workouts.
A study was conducted by British researchers in which they analysed the levels of physical activity in one million healthy middle-aged women over a period of nine years. What they fond was that the women who lead a sedentary life were more likely to suffer strokes, heart attacks or venous thrombosis, than the women who exercised at least once a week. What came as a surprise was that the women who exercised every day were at great risk. The women who exercised two to five times a week, had lower cardiovascular risk than those who exercised daily, or those who did not exercise at all.
Another study conducted by Danish researchers had similar results. In the study, the researchers compared the mortality rates of approximately 3,900 sedentary people and about 1,100 active people who practised jogging, over a 12-year period of time. The results showed that those who ran at a moderate pace, frequency, and duration were less likely to die, compared with the sedentary people. On the flip side, the joggers who had a very fast pace and who exercised more than three times a week, had a mortality rate quite similar to the non-exercisers.
The studies were all observational, meaning that they cannot determine causation only correlation. There are many questions that remain unanswered. Also, there may have been many other factors that lead to the death of people who practised strenuous workouts, researchers say.
According to researchers, excessive endurance exercise may increase the risk of injuries, it may increase inflammatory processes, and it may lower the immune system. However, aerobic exercise and running, can actually improve body weigh, blood pressure, and cholesterol, regardless of how strenuously they are practised.
There is no way to tell what ‘too much exercise’ is, because everyone is different and it definitely depends on the person and how resistant their body is. The bottom line is that if you want to stay healthy, moderate exercise and a healthy diet are enough to do the trick.
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