An interesting question to consider is “can you exercise too much?” Although I’ve known some people who have had issues from training too hard, people who have worn out joints from exercise, and those who have developed chronic conditions, those people have been few and far between.
Typically, the people I’ve known that some people call “workout nuts” are in amazing health and have none of the health problems that are now prevalent in the general public. But, we now have a long-term study that shows that you can even develop heart disease by working out too much.
A new trend I’ve been noticing is that people who hit a milestone lake age 50 or 60 decide it is a good idea to start running marathons or training for Ironman competitions and these people have rarely exercised in their lives. My guess is their subconscious is starting to hear the countdown clock ticking on life and their idea is that if they get in great shape, they can at least delay the inevitable. This study might put that thinking on it’s head.
In the study, “25 Year Physical Activity Trajectories and Development of Subclinical Coronary Artery Disease as Measured by Coronary Artery Calcium” in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mayocp.2017.07.016 scientists determined that people who exercised an average of nearly 3 times the physical activity recommendations per week had higher calcium levels in their arteries based on CT scans of the chest than those who merely exercised the normal physical activity guidelines.
What this means is that people who exercised regularly according to the standards set in 2008 had improved health conditions and had effectively reduced their chances for health problems but those who were extreme exercisers greatly increased their risk for heart issues.
We have seen studies in the past that show great benefits of physical activity so some people have assumed that if a bit is good, more is better! What this longitudinal study shows us is that you can get too much of a good thing when it comes to exercise. In summary, you can exercise too much!