The Myth of Too Much Exercise

exercise throughout life


Are you worried about exercising too much? Apart from the obvious risks associated with lifting too much or having poor form, there is no need to worry about over-exercising. Recent research in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that adults shouldn’t worry about exercising too much, but be more worried about exercising in general to improve their health.


Can You Exercise Too Much?


The research found that just small bouts of exercise – even just standing while working – is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease! On top of that, by exercising more you can reduce your risk even further. What’s more is that only 50% of U.S. adults engage in 150+ minutes of moderate weekly activity (or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise). The Editor in Chief of the journal, Dr. Valentin Fuster explained, “The greatest benefit is to simply exercise, regardless of the intensity, while the danger is two-fold: to not exercise at all or to exercise intensely, without due preparation.”


The researchers found that this mythical “upper limit” of exercise was just that – a myth. Compared to physical inactivity, this upper limit of exercise still reduced overall mortality. In fact, even for the excessive endurance athletes that have been training their whole lives, the amazing benefits of exercise still trumped the associated risks of over-exercising!


Co-chair of the ACC Sports and Exercise Cardiology Council, Dr. Michael Scott Emery explained, “The public media has embraced the idea that exercise may harm the heart and disseminated this message, thereby diverting attention away from the benefits of exercise as a potent intervention for the primary and secondary prevention of heart disease. The available evidence should prompt clinicians to recommend strongly low and moderate exercise training for the majority of our patients. Equally important are initiatives to promote population health at large through physical activity across the life span, as it modulates behavior from childhood into adult life.”


Just Get Up and Be Active


So how can you simply get started exercising more? It doesn’t have to be complex and confusing. For instance, as the study mentioned, simply standing while working at your desk (or purchase a standing/treadmill desk) is a great way to get you on your feet and improving your health. Apart from that, you can also start walking every day. Walking for 45+ minutes daily after work or during your lunch break is a low impact way to improve your exercise capacity.


Try this: Make a conscious effort to stand at your desk for a total of one hour per day and walk 30-45 minutes each day as well. This doesn’t have to be all at once either. It can be a combination of little bouts of exercise throughout the day that add up. Now is the time to get started!



Exercising too much shouldn’t even be on your radar if you are physically inactive (or ever). No matter the time of year, start improving your health by simply getting active. You don’t have to start running a 5K every day or busting out a 90 minute workout each night. Simply get up, believe in yourself, and start living the healthy life you deserve!


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