How Much Exercise Is Too Much Per Day?
Professional health organizations like the American College of Sports Medicine, the
Surgeon General’s Office, and the National Institutes of Health recommend moderate-
intensity regular exercises for healthy adults. Such a widely-accepted recommendation
is made on several scientific studies that discuss the benefits of moderate exercise
including lower risks for heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, certain cancers,
osteoporosis, depression and anxiety, among others.
When we speak of moderate-intensity exercises, we are referring to approximately 30
minutes of cardio, strength training and fitness exercises per day for 3 to 5 days in
a week. The actual number of minutes spent on exercises will obviously vary depending
on several factors including age, physical condition, and fitness goals. The following article sums
it up quite well http://men.webmd.com/guide/exercise-addiction
When Exercise Becomes an Obsession
However, studies have shown that individuals can also suffer from so-called exercise
disorders, which can be likened to eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia. We
hear of compulsive exercisers who obsessively exercise beyond their normal physical
capacities, beyond safe limits, and beyond the requirements of good health. These
individuals view exercise as a way to conform to distorted societal standards of
physical beauty, fitness and lifestyle.
Exercise becomes an obsession. Such is their obsession that exercising becomes a
necessity despite their injuries and illnesses, their failed relationships, and their
neglected social lives. If you have experienced any of these symptoms, then you may
well suffer from compulsive exercising and, thus, you may want to seek professional
Many experts have termed the exercise disorder as anorexia athletica, a condition
that requires a multi-disciplinary, long-term and systematic treatment similar to the
eating disorder for which it was named after. The exercise disorder is seen as
another way to hide from the mental pain of unrealistic expectations, to purge the
body, and to relive personal guilt of being less than slender.
When Exercise Becomes a Healthy Activity
With that being said, we always recommend compliance with the existing
recommendations from health experts where exercise is concerned. For relatively
healthy adults and teenagers, 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per day for
most days of the week should be sufficient to reap the benefits of exercise. For
bodybuilders, athletes and other individuals with higher demands on their bodies,
experts agree that 90 minutes is considered as still within the safe and yet
If you exercise longer than 90 minutes, your body will start to suffer from the
effects of too much physical stress. The general rule of thumb then is to exercise
only within your physical capacity before pushing your limits.
Effects of Too Much Exercise
What then are the physiological effects of too much exercise? We can mention the
• Extreme Fatigue – This is common sense logic since the more you exercise, the more
likely you are to get extremely tired. In the physiological sense, your body uses up
its glycogen stores after 90 minutes and then your muscles start to burn its protein
stores for energy. You will hit the wall, so to speak, and you will be unable to do
any more physical activity.
• Decrease in Bone Density – Regular strength training exercises boost bone strength
and density. However, prolonged exercising can actually lessen bone density while
increasing the risks for bone fractures, among other injuries.
• Decrease in Estrogen Production – This is true for women who over-exercise. Low
levels of estrogen can lead to amenorrhea and osteoporosis.
The bottom line: Listen to your body when you are exercising. Eat a healthy diet,
adopt healthy lifestyle habits, and accept your body shape for as long as it healthy.