In a journal published by The Lancet Psychiatry, a study on over 1.2 million Americans over 5 years found that people who did extreme amounts of exercise may have obsessive characteristics that could place them under greater risk of poor mental health.
We all know that exercise can help alleviate the risk of cardiovascular diseases, control blood pressure, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, etc. Yet researchers have found that exercising more than 90 minutes per session is associated with worse mental health. They found that people who exercised more than 90 minutes per session were found to suffer up to one day extra of poor mental health a month as compared to those who exercised only 45 minutes per session.
While researchers are trying to understand the relation between the the duration of exercise to the state of mental health, they have deduced that this could be a possibility of over-stressing the body, causing it to become physically run down and mentally burn up. In short, under recovery.
So what does this mean for you?
- As per my previous post, attending one class a day is more than ample for your health benefits.
- If you are looking to burn calories, your goal should be to get more lean muscle mass so that you burn more calories through the day. Exercise doesn't do much in terms of burning calories. Exercise is for health and fitness benefits.
- If you die die want to do 2 classes a day, then split the sessions up with at least 3 hours in-between for your body to refuel and recover. 2 classes in a row is detrimental to your health, mental health and fitness.
- Have a rest day every week. Go for a walk at the park. Go for a hike at MacRitchie. Swim. Take it easy. Your body is not a machine.
The study also showed that people who worked out for 45 minutes three to five times a week showed the greatest improvement in mental health. In fact, the study showed they a reduction of 43% of feeling depressed as compared to those who don't exercise. No exercise, no good. Too much exercise also no good.