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The Weekly Bite – August 24 2018 – Issue 2291

Hi All

See the article here on “Too much exercise puts mental health at risk”.

Thank you to member, Bruce Carter, for bringing this in for our attention.  It gives me the opportunity to respond to the message that people may read into articles like this.

Actually, most people who exercise don’t meet the criteria for exercise prescription weekly.  Most people do not do 2 sessions of progressive resistance exercise e.g. FOREVER ACTIVE for thirty minutes, or any prescribed strength exercises for 30 minutes 2 x weekly.

Also, most people who exercise actually don’t usually meet the “quantity” requirements of cardiovascular exercise weekly, or reach the intensity of exercise that will give the best results.

The truth is, in this busy modern life, if we can get people to exercise regularly, we are winners and grinners!

In research like the one mentioned in this article, the people meeting the criteria of “at risk of mental health problems” because they “exercise too much” are already, in many cases, struggling with mental health problems caused by doing things to extreme.

To give an example, many people with eating disorders (and these can rate on the mental health scale from mild to extreme) use exercise to help manage their eating problems.  They can “exercise too much”.

So, if you exercise 5 days a week or more and it is at a sensible level and it is tailored to your needs, you will find it almost impossible to overdose.  I know that, for me at 70 years, I need to do something daily just to keep my body physiologically young, flexible and as mobile as possible.  I do my strength work to avoid losing muscle (because of the “ageing” process).  It all helps me feel good!  So keep on doing what you feel is the right level for you.  Just doing enough is more of a problem than “too much”.

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Too much exercise puts mental health at risk

Moderate exercise improves mental health, but overdoing it does more harm that good, researchers say.

A study of 1.2 million people found those who exercised were – on average – stressed and depressed on fewer days that those who did not.

But experts also discovered a threshold beyond which the benefits began to be reversed.

Those who did the most exercise – more than five times a week or more than three hours a day – actually had worse mental health than those who did nothing at all.

The scientists, led by experts at Yale and Oxford universities, found that exercising for 45 minutes three to five times a week, was associated with the biggest benefits.  Doing more that this saw the benefits decline.

The researchers, whose findings are published in the Lancet Psychiatry journal, believe excessive exercise may be linked to obsessive behaviour.

But they stressed that more moderate exercise was definitely beneficial.  Even doing chores around the house or pottering in the garden cut the time spent depressed by 10 per cent, they found.

Yale Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Adam Chekroud said depression was the leading cause of disability worldwide.

Courier Mail Friday 10/8/18




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