Too much exercise can be just as unhealthy as not enough exercise. No one disputes the benefits of exercise (i.e., increased strength, increased flexibility, increased energy, increased endurance, increased muscle mass, decreased bodyfat, decreased blood pressure, decreased body weight, decreased cholesterol, improved mood, etc.), but there are diminishing returns when the intensity, frequency and/or duration of exercise increases too much. Push your body too hard and you'll increase wear and tear on your body. Your risk of injury (i.e., increased inflammation) goes up and your body's ability to recover (i.e., compromised immune system) goes down.
So what constitutes exercising in moderation? For most people, exercising in moderation means performing light to moderate level physical activity two to six days per week. There should be a balance between frequency, intensity and duration of exercise. For example, as intensity increases (e.g., moderate to high level), frequency and/or duration should decrease (e.g., two to three days per week for no longer than 1 hour per session). As intensity decreases (e.g., light to moderate level), frequency and/or duration should increase (e.g., three to five days per week for at least 1 hour per session).
BOTTOM LINE: There is no way to determine the right amount of exercise you should be doing. But any exercise is better than no exercise. No exercise can be just as risky for your health as too much exercise. In short, moderate exercise is the sweet spot and the way to go to be and stay healthy!
Brian Danley, CFT
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."