Exercise is not only good for the body, but also for the brain, though scientists have cautioned that too much of it would have a negative effect on mental health. A recent report revealed that a teen was hospitalized after being diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis for working out too much. There is also apparently a similar risk when it comes to mental wellness, so health buffs should hold back from exercising for too long.
Exercising Too Much is Bad For The Brain
A study that was published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal further confirmed that physical exercise leads to better mental health. The researchers from Yale University and the University of Oxford took a look at 1.2 million Americans in the study, which looked to prove the link between exercise and mental wellness.
The participants were asked to estimate the number of days over the previous month when they give their mental health a “not good” rating, due to factors such as depression, stress, and emotional issues. They were also asked how often they worked out over that time.
According to the results of the study, people who exercise report experiencing 1.5 fewer days of poor mental health per month, compared to people who do not exercise. All forms of physical activity were found to improve mental wellness, but the most effective were team sports, aerobics, cycling, and simply going to the gym.
The study determined that exercising in 45-minute sessions for three to five times per week offered the best benefits, with no visible difference even if the sessions lasted beyond 90 minutes. However, the researchers found that people who exercise for more than three hours appeared to have worse mental health, compared to even those who did not work out at all.
“I think it makes sense,” said Adam Chekroud, study author and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University. He said that people who do not exercise enough are not giving their brains much needed stimulation, while people who exercise too much are running themselves into the ground.
Exercise to Keep Your Mind and Body Healthy
A study that was recently published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society revealed that for older adults, exercising for 52 hours over a period of six months offered the biggest improvements in brain health. This further confirms that exercise is beneficial to both a person’s mind and body.
Unfortunately, data collected by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics revealed that only 23 percent of adults in the United States are getting enough exercises.