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General Health Articles

Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Exercise?

The recommended amount of physical activity for the average adult is 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise. Those who choose to do strenuous exercise can get away with 75 minutes. But what if you want to do more than the recommended amount? Is there such a thing as too much exercise?

Studies show that when it comes to physical activity, the more the merrier. It was found that people who exercise 45-60 minutes per day (315-420 minutes per week) have a 30-45% decreased risk of developing chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, or heart disease.

All systems in the body seem to work better when a person is physically active. Blood flow improves, enabling more efficient delivery of oxygen to vital organs. The immune system, digestive system, and musculoskeletal system all function optimally when the body engages in regular exercise.

So what happens when a person wants to exercise for more than 60 minutes per day? The body as a whole will surely benefit. However, there are some extra measures you should take to avoid injury — sprains, breaks, joint pain, tendonitis, etc. — from acute or chronic overuse.

Tips to Avoid Injury from Overuse

Exercise is always a good thing, just take care of yourself properly when exercising a lot with the following tips to avoid injury:

  • Follow guidelines for a healthy lifestyle (eat a varied and healthy diet, quit smoking, etc.)
  • Choose a type of exercise that fits your age and general health condition (for example, choose sports that strengthen bones if you have osteoporosis)
  • Combine aerobics and strength training
  • Stretch and warm-up before every workout
  • Use appropriate and quality sporting equipment
  • Ask a professional for guidance when engaging in intense or competitive sports
  • Get annual physical checkups
  • Follow a custom workout schedule
  • Consult a dietitian who specializes in sports nutrition

Living a Healthy Lifestyle

People who exercise a lot are not immune to the negative effects of an unhealthy diet or smoking. In fact, it’s even more critical for those who are physically active to consume nutritious foods that fuel the body and aid in recovery.

A healthy diet consists of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, etc.), and lean protein. Avoid foods that increase inflammation and lack nutritional value, such as fried foods, pastries, refined sugars and carbohydrates, processed meats, artificial trans fats, and artificial flavorings.

In addition, smoking has negative effects on nerve cells and tendons, which can inhibit the body from properly recovering after a workout.

Another factor in your overall health that cannot be overlooked is sleep. If you want to be physically active, you need to be sleeping at least 7-8 hours every night to allow your body to properly recover.

Exercise is only healthy when done within the guidelines of living a healthy lifestyle. Take care of your body and you’ll be able to work out as much as you want.

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