Understanding the Dangers of Excessive Exercise
By reducing the risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and even depression, exercise provides a myriad of health benefits that promote longer, happier lives. With that said, recent studies suggest too much exercise could actually harm our health by causing excessive stress on our bodies.
According to research, extreme endurance efforts, such as long-distance triathlons, marathons and ultra-marathons, can damage a person’s long-term health by causing a hardening of the heart muscle and a buildup of calcium in the coronary arteries. While more research is needed, it seems clear that – as with most things in life – moderation is key, when it comes to improving our health through exercise.
How Much Is Too Much?
While studies suggest extreme exercise could ultimately harm our bodies, a mountain of research clearly demonstrates that moderate exercise significantly improves human health. That said, other studies have found that intense exercise generally fails to yield additional benefits. So how do you know if you’re doing too much? Often, there are some telltale signs a person is pushing his or her body too hard. These include:
- Excessive weight loss
- Menstruation problems in women
- Frequent injuries
- Reduced libido
- Isolation and weakened social relationships
Unless you have existing health problems, you shouldn’t worry about exercising regularly, as long as you don’t push your body to extremes. To reduce the risk of difficulties, be sure to stay hydrated and avoid pushing through pain and injuries. If you’re new to regular exercise, get a physical before starting a regimen to check for potential ailments of physical conditions which could increase your risk for cardiac problems.