Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Exercise?

Can exercise really do more harm than good? Well, let’s explain. According to research, James O’Keefe, a cardiologist at Mid America Heart Institute of St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas, MO, found that if exercise is overdone, it actually can be harmful.  O’Keefe says, “As great as exercise is, it’s like a powerful drug. More is better up to a certain dose, but after that, there is a point of diminishing returns, and it may actually detract from your longevity.”

This study was based off people we could call “extreme athletes,” who participated in triathlons, marathons, and ultra marathons on a regular basis.  While people who exercise regularly (15minutes -1 hour per day several days a week), reap extreme physical and mental benefits, the “extreme athletes” were found to have a higher dose of an enzyme called troponin, which is the same thing that happens to those who are undergoing a heart attack.  This enzyme is released when the heart muscle is in distress, which could be in an intense exercise session.  Overall, this enzyme can cause scar tissue making the heart more vulnerable to abnormal heart rhythms.

From all this, let me clarify that this doesn’t give us free reign to be couch potatoes! As stated, getting a low to moderate amount of exercise in several days a week is still essential to optimal health.  A lesson from this can be that it doesn’t take extreme measures to benefit from exercise.