What Too Much Exercise Does To Your Body And Brain

What Too Much Exercise Does To Your Body And Brain


– [Narrator] 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 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 rhythms 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, possible 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.