The Dangers of Working Out Too Much

good healthPeople start working out for many different reasons; some begin working out in an attempt to achieve good health while others start working out for quick weight loss. But, could working out excessively be causing your body harm? A new report published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings reviewed previous literature on exercise and heart health and the findings suggest that working out too much may actually harm your heart health.

Working Out too Much Isn’t Good For Your Health


The researchers suggest that excessive working out and training for events such as marathons, iron man triathlon competitions and endurance cycling events may lead to structural changes in the heart and large arteries which can eventually lead to heart damage. The literature suggests that excessive working out can cause temporary changes in the heart, which over months and years of repetitive injury can lead to serious, permanent heart damage.

According to previous research, high endurance athletes such as those that compete in marathons or distance cycling have been shown to have a 5-fold increase in the diagnosis of atrial fibrillation. Additionally, the literature shows that excessive working out over time may also be associated with other heart conditions including: coronary artery calcification, diastolic dysfunction and large artery wall stiffening. The lead author of the current study, James H. O’Keefe, MD, states that while physical activity isn’t a drug, it still has many traits of a powerful drug. As a result of this, a safe upper dose limit possibly exists with regards to exercise. Once this level is passed, adverse effects of physical activity such as trauma to muscles and cardiovascular stress may outweigh the good health benefits.

What are the Good Health Benefits?

Dr. O’Keefe points out that in general, individuals who have been working out vigorously for their entire life are in good health and have lower mortality and disability rates as well as excellent function capacity. He recommends that further research should look at ways to identify individuals at risk of heart damage and how to formulate exercise programs that will support optimal cardiovascular health and longevity for these at-risk individuals.


While this new article suggests that extreme working out may negatively affect your heart, the researchers stress the importance of regular, moderate (30-60 minutes per day) exercise for good health. It is widely accepted that working out regularly is an important component of a healthy lifestyle which is essential for good health. Regular exercise can help to prevent and treat many chronic diseases, can improve cardiovascular health and can increase your lifespan. Regular exercising can also aid in quick weight loss which will help to fight obesity which has become wide-spread in our society. By helping with quick weight loss and conquering obesity, chronic conditions such as diabetes will also be minimized.

Whether you’re looking to achieve quick weight loss or are looking to experience good health benefits, adding a moderate amount of exercise to your daily routine is a good start. However, be aware that over-doing it and working out excessively can potentially have a negative effect on your heart.



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