Regular exercise saves you from a sedentary lifestyle, giving you energy and power to move ahead. Does that mean if you exercise more, you will be able to reap more benefits? Well, it does not work that way. Long-term excessive exercise may invite physical harm, health issues, and mental problems. It is true that you can put yourself at risk without any physical activity. But at the same time, too much of exercise may negate its benefits. Read on to know more.
1. Hurts Your Heart Muscles
Lifelong vigorous exercisers may face changes in the structure and function of the heart and its vessels. Athletes in sports such as marathon or ultramarathon running or professional cycling are at higher risk of developing abnormal heart rhythms. Intense endurance exercise may lead to coronary artery calcification, diastolic dysfunction, and large-artery wall stiffening.1 Thus, compared to normal heart functioning, they will be less efficient at pumping blood and delivering oxygen.
2. Affects Your Mental Health
Surprised? Yes, too much of exercise may be associated with poor mental health, according to a research team led by professors at Teachers College, Columbia University. Those who exercise 2.5 hrs to 7.5 hrs per week have better mental health than average. But exercising more than that may be linked to diminished mental health. 2 Symptoms of depression and anxiety increased in those people who pushed their limits, irrespective of gender, age or physical health status. Another aspect of this finding is that sometimes people who are more prone to depression or anxiety may be more attracted to extreme levels of exercise.
3. Becomes Addictive
Are you firm on going ahead with your exercise regime even when your health is not quite at its peak? Do you tend to increase the amount of exercise till you feel the desired effect? Do you cut down your social or recreational activities to continue your exercise? Well, these are all red flags! It shows that more than an everyday gym enthusiast you have become someone who is addicted to exercise. Organizing your life around your exercise is not a good sign. If you feel so, then it’s time to keep your workouts within limits.
4. Harms The Joints
People who push their bodies too hard may damage their knees and develop a high risk for arthritis. A study conducted by the University of California, San Francisco, found that the prevalence of knee abnormalities increased with the level of physical activity. Long-term high impact, weight-bearing activities like jumping and running are
5. Leads To Premature Aging
Definitely not good news! When you don’t take a break from your physical activity programs, you deny your body enough time to heal. And it can age you. The high-intensity workouts often mean there is more wear and tear of your body. In a similar way, extensive endurance cardio induces inflammatory mechanisms that could prematurely age your heart. All these factors will just accelerate your aging.
How Much Exercise Is Enough?
This is a widely debated topic. Yet, there is no conclusive, definitive answer. The right amount of exercise should keep your heart healthy, burn off those extra calories, boost your mental health, and take care of your overall health and well-being. The
|↑1||O’keefe, James H., Harshal R. Patil, Carl J. Lavie, Anthony Magalski, Robert A. Vogel, and Peter A. McCullough. “Potential adverse cardiovascular effects from excessive endurance
|↑2||Study Pinpoints Just How Much Exercise Is Good for Mental Health. Columbia University.|