We’re all told that too much of a good thing can be hazardous to our health – and we can now add seemingly healthy exercise to the list too. According to the results of a new study, getting carried away on a weekly exercise regime can be worse for your health than doing no exercise at all.
And we’re not talking a life lived at the gym here either – more than 14 hours exercise or more per week could be doing you more harm than good.
Regular exercise is of course 100% vital to maintain a healthy body and mind, but researchers are fast reaching the conclusion that there is indeed a threshold to be aware of. The new study was carried out by a team from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, who became the first to put an actual figure to the theory for 16 to 20-year-olds – 14 hours as an upper limit.
The official recommendation for healthy teenagers is to undertake seven hours of exercise per week. During the study, those that exercised for between seven and 14 hours per week were in general found to have higher levels of self-esteem, lower stress fewer problems with anxiety than others.
However, all benefits seemed to be cancelled out when the duration of weekly exercise went further than the 14 hour mark, suggesting that overdoing it even with the best of interest can in fact be hazardous to health.
While there’s technically no medical evidence to back up the claims as such, prior studies have shown that the increased exercise can lead to inflammation which in turn can have a direct impact on both physical and mental health.
“We found that the sport practice apparently ceased to be a protective factor and became an independent risk factor for poor well-being when practicing more than twice the seven recommended hours per week,” said the team behind the study.
“These results highlight the importance for physicians, caring for adolescents, to follow-up their level of sport practice and concurrently inquire about their well-being.”