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How Much Exercise is Too Much for Mental Health?

Posted by Brian Spence on Sep 4, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Exercise, Mental HealthExercise is well known to benefit mental health in many ways. Not only does it help minimize symptoms of depression and anxiety, but it may even prevent certain mental illnesses. A recent large-scale study provided further support for the importance of exercise to mental health, but it also had one surprising finding: too much exercise might actually have the opposite effect.

How Much Exercise is Too Much?

The researchers identified two frequency measures that predicted poorer mental health: exercising more than 23 days in a month and exercising for more than 90 minutes at a time. Not only were these participants worse off than those who exercised in more moderate quantities, they actually exhibited worse mental health symptoms than those who didn't exercise at all.

The scientists speculate that this finding may not necessarily be due to the exercise itself. Instead, the results may have more to do with the attitudes that lead to such excessive exercise. For most active adults, these intense amounts of training are unnecessary and may reveal obsessive behavior or unhealthy attitudes toward health.

How Much Exercise is Ideal?

According to the researchers, participants who exercised 30-60 minutes three to five times a week showed the most reduction in mental health symptoms. Also, those who worked out two to three times a week tended to have better mental health than those who exercised more or less frequently. These findings happen to be in line with federal recommendations for exercise for physical health, giving you another reason to fit in those sweat sessions every week.

Here at Staffing Plus, we are committed to helping people achieve overall wellness, which includes mental and emotional well-being. For information on how we can connect you with jobs that make a difference to people's health, get in touch with us today.

If interested in learning more about this and related topics, visit the Mental Health or Self-Improvement sections of our blog.

 

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