Too much exercise is bad for you, study suggests. Is it time to skip the gym?
Great news, you finally have a legitimate excuse to not go to that high intensity spin class class your friend has been trying to coerce you into. A new study suggests that too much exercise is actually more dangerous for your heart than not being active enough.
Obviously, a normal amount of exercise – 2.5 hours a week of moderate exercise or 1 hour 15 minutes of strenuous aerobic workouts according the U.S Department of Health – is beneficial for your health. So maybe don't cancel all your gym classes at once.
However, as with most things in life, in excess it can cause issues.
The study, which observed 3,175 men and women over 25 years, was looking into the connection between working out and atherosclerosis (the fat accumulation in arteries which can lead to heart attacks).
The investigation revealed that white men who exceeded three times the recommended guidelines of exercise were at a higher risk of fat building up on their arteries by the time they reach middle-age. So, you can have too much of a good thing.
What's more, Cardiologist Dr. Joel Jahn told CBS News that “There is a stress reaction to long distance and long duration exercise – your cortisol is up for a long time”. Cortisol is a bad guy, your stress hormone. Dr. Jahn advises that to reduce your cortisol levels after a long work out, you should practice stress-reducing meditation or yoga.
But before you gleefully melt your gym fob and burn your trainers, bear in mind that keeping fit both boosts your mood (hello endorphins) and helps to manage your weight. The study also found that people who didn't exercise enough were more likely to have type 2 diabetes and have high blood pressure.
So, maybe swap your next HIIT workout for a restorative yoga session?