Exercise enthusiastsare known for spending hours at the gym or carving time out of their day formiles long jogs, walks, or cycling tours. While being active is essential to overall wellness, recent studies haveshown that overtraining or exercising too much can be just as harmful to thebody as remaining sedentary.
A recent studypublished in the British Medical Journal examined over 1,200 16 to 20-year-oldsin Switzerland and other areas. Theresults showed that teenagers who engaged in more than 17.5 hours of physicalactivity each week had the same wellness levels as those who did less than 3.5hours per week, but often suffered from increased anxiety, low self-esteem, andmore stress than peers in the same group.
Exercise is known tohave a positive effect on both mental and physical well-being, but this studybrought to light the pressures athletes and sport enthusiasts put on themselvesto remain in “perfect” physical form.
The group was composedof both male and female participants, with a tenth being overweight orobese. The final results showed thehighest wellbeing levels and overall life satisfaction in those who averagedaround 14 hours of activity each week. Those who did more began to feel the effects of added stress, or putmore pressure on themselves to accomplish more, and those who did less remainedat risk for developing various health issues which made them feel lessconfident and more isolated than their active peers.
While in the teenageyears physical activity revolves around sporting events and participation, thisstudy highlights the important of balance in the lives of every person. Adequate rest, nutrition, and socialinteraction is just as important as time spent in the gym. It’s important to remind each and everyperson that overtraining will not accomplish more in a shorter period of time. Moderation and consistency are the keys toaccomplishing any fitness goal.
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