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  • Exercising is supposed to be good for you.

  • It can help you stay at a healthy weight, improve your cardiovascular health, and even ward off depression.

  • But, like most things, it's possible to over-do it.

  • And getting too much exercise can have serious consequences on your body and brain.

  • So, what exactly is too much exercising?

  • Well, it depends on factors like your age, health, and choice of workouts.

  • But, in general, adults should get about five hours a week of moderate exercise, or two and half hours or more of intense activity.

  • Or some combination of the two.

  • That's according to the CDC.

  • But research shows that going way above and beyond doesn't necessarily increase your health benefits.

  • One unsurprising study found that light to moderate runners had a lower risk of death than people who didn't exercise.

  • But in a surprising turn, some people who ran at a faster pace for more than three times a week had a similar risk of dying as non-runners.

  • So, running too much and too intensely seems to undo some of the health benefits gained from regular running.

  • Extreme endurance exercises, like ultra-marathons, may also lead to heart damage, heart rhythm disorders, and enlarged arteries in some people.

  • Experts believe that extreme endurance puts extreme demands on the cardiovascular system.

  • One study found that repeated extreme exercises can remodel the heart, thickening the muscles' walls and scarring tissue.

  • Another study showed that women were less likely to have a heart attack or stroke if they were physically active at least once a week.

  • But that risk of heart attacks and strokes shot up for women who exercise strenuously every day.

  • So, excessive exercise doesn't provide more benefits than moderate exercise, and it could be more risky.

  • Women are at a particular risk for what's known as Female Athlete Triad.

  • That includes loss of menstruation, osteoporosis, or bone mineral loss, and eating disorders.

  • These symptoms usually arrive from a combination of over-exercise and calorie restriction.

  • For men, intense exercise has been shown to decrease libido, possibly due to physical fatigue, and lower testosterone levels.

  • For both men and women, over-exercise raises the risk of over-use injuries, like tendonitis and stress fractures.

  • These injuries result from repetitive trauma.

  • Your immune system can likewise suffer.

  • While moderate exercise can improve your immune system, excessive exercise can actually suppress it.

  • There's up to a 72-hour open window of impaired immunity after intense exercise.

  • This basically means that viruses and bacteria have an easier time invading and infecting the body.

  • And athletes who over-exercised also experienced more upper-respiratory tract infections.

  • So we know excessive exercise can wreak havoc on your body, particularly your heart, tendons, ligaments, and immune system.

  • And for around one million people in the US, exercise addiction is wreaking havoc on their brains.

  • Symptoms of exercise addiction include withdrawal.

  • That's when you feel anxious or exhausted when you miss a workout.

  • Or feeling a lack of control and unable to cut down on exercise, even when you know it's hurting you.

  • Now, it's important to understand that you shouldn't just give up on exercising.

  • The key is to get the right amount.

  • So, feel free, go forth and run!

  • Just not all the time.

Exercising is supposed to be good for you.

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B2 US exercise moderate risk exercising extreme excessive

What Too Much Exercise Does To Your Body And Brain

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    Minnie posted on 2021/03/21
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