There’s plenty of research and evidence out there to support the fact that exercise helps maintain a healthy heart, but sometimes, it can get a little too much.
According to the American Heart Association, the recommended amount of exercise per week for adults is 150 minutes, which comes to around 2.5 hours of moderately-intense exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise. These recommendations are based on The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
While following these guidelines will ensure a healthier heart, a recent study reveals that going overboard and exercising too much can actually damage your heart, instead of strengthening it.
How excessive exercise damages your heart
In a study published on October 16 in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, researchers found that young people, who exercised well over the recommended guidelines for a long time were more likely to develop coronary heart calcification (CAC) by the time they reached middle age.
Having CAC means that calcium-containing plaques are present in the arteries of the heart, which increases your risk of developing heart disease.
The research found that people who exercised three times the recommended amount—around or more than 450 minutes per week of moderately-intense activity—had a 27% higher risk of developing CAC.
On the other hand, it was also discovered that young people who exercised less than the recommended amount, are more likely to develop high blood pressure issues and type-2 diabetes when they’re middle-aged.
Exercise and overall heart health
But does this mean that people who exercise for an hour every day—or around eight to nine hours per week—have a higher risk of developing CAC or heart disease?
According to a recent press release by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a renowned cardiologist said that high levels of exercise over a long period of time cause stress on the arteries, leading to an increased risk of CAC.
In another study, moderate joggers were found to be at a higher risk of early death than light joggers.
None of this, of course, means that you should stop exercising; in fact, a lot of Americans can use a little extra physical activity added to their routines.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only slightly more than half of US adults have exercise routines that match the recommended guidelines for aerobic activity. As for people who like to challenge their physical limits, this recent study is reason enough to put a little extra effort in taking care of your heart.
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Disclaimer: This article is not intended for the purpose of providing medical advice. All information, content, and material are for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.