Strenuous Exercise May Be Unhealthy

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 03/16/2015 | 11:45 AM EDT

Study says over doing it in the gym can lead to cardiovascular issues

For all you exercise fanatics, you may want to tone it down in the gym.

A new study from the American Heart Association found that exercising strenuously four to seven days a week extends to an increased risk of vascular disease, compared with two to three days a week of strenuous exercise, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The study, “Physical Activity: Can There Be Too Much of a Good Thing?” was published in the publication, Circulation.


But examining 1.1 British women over a decade, the study doesn’t measure exercise as much as it does rest.

The “Million Women” study tracked for nine years the vascular health of subjects. Starting out, the women, ranging in age from 50 to 64, completed surveys about how often they exercised and how strenuously.

WSJ reports:

Like nearly all physical-activity studies, this research found that exercisers experienced dramatically fewer adverse vascular events compared with non-exercisers. But for those involved in strenuous exercise--defined as “any work or exercise causing sweating or a fast heartbeat”—that advantage disappeared after two or three sessions a week.

At four to seven strenuous sessions a week, the exercisers experienced an uptick in adverse vascular effects, the study found. For women doing any kind of exercise, including gardening and housework, four to six days a week was optimal. Seven days was associated with a rise in vascular troubles.

Still, other physicians discount the study’s findings and say that for every study that says extreme physical activity leads to an uptick in disease, there are just as many other studies that suggest otherwise.

But what seems to be a reasonable consensus is to maintain a certain balance in your physical activity. No doubt exercising is good for the body--just don’t over do it. It may save you a life of health troubles.

(Photo: Paul Simcock/Corbis)

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