Health and Healthcare

Exercising Too Hard Is Bad For You

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Exercise is supposed to be good for you. Aerobic exercise should be better. It is assumed that people who exercise often–say an hour a day–are even healthier than those who exercise lightly. However, a new study shows you can exercise too much. It says vigorous exercise can cause respiratory infections. In other cases, the consequences can be more severe.

According to the CDC’s “Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans,” people should get 150 minutes of exercise daily or 30 minutes five times a week. However, this exercise is what the CDC calls “physical activity,” which is not the same as a strenuous workout. The agency says that people who exercise hard can exercise less. For example, people who run or jog only need 75 minutes of exercise over a seven-day period. Exercise is a way for middle-aged people to take off weight. 

Some people decide to top the CDC recommendations completely. People who prepare for athletic events such as marathons and triathletes may burn nearly 700 calories an hour over several hours. Their heart rates can double their resting rate. The use of major muscle groups also surges.

UCLA recently released a study titled “No pain, no gain? Training too hard can have serious health consequences.” The authors of the study wrote, “overtraining can take a negative toll, and in some cases lead to potentially life-threatening outcomes.”

The problem described is a condition labeled rhabdomyolysis. This happens when “muscle tissue breaks down and releases proteins such as creatine kinase (CK) and myoglobin that can damage the kidneys.”

Signs of rhabdomyolysis include muscle pain, weakness, dark urine, and sometimes a urine output that falls to zero. People prone to this condition include athletes, firefighters, policemen, and some military members.

How do people avoid rhabdomyolysis? Getting adequate sleep is one method, So there are longer periods between heavy training and sufficient hydration.

The good news is that most people do not exercise enough to get rhabdomyolysis.

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