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Should You Quit Exercising?

Get-Fit Guy has reached a milestone: this is episode number 200!  He is celebrating this momentous occasion by telling you to...stop exercising? Read on to find out!

 

By
Ben Greenfield,
August 26, 2014
Episode #200

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Get-Fit Guy has reached a milestone: this is episode number 200! So I figured why not celebrate this momentous occasion by telling you to...stop exercising.

At least, that’s what I was tempted to do!

Why? Well, in the past week, I’ve been randomly exposed to snippets of research showing how bad exercise can be for you.

First, I read a new study that found that female triathletes are at risk of pelvic floor disorders, such as urinary or bowel incontinence, as well as female athlete triad syndrome--the symptoms of which include reduced energy as a result of eating patterns, menstrual problems and abnormal bone density. Yikes!

Next, a report this week on a cluster of studies on osteoarthritis showed that there seems to be a high prevalence of excessive joint breakdown and arthritis, especially in the lower limbs, among former elite athletes from team and individual sports, compared to those from the general population and other occupational sectors.

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And finally, the icing on the cake occurred while I was (ironically) driving to a Spartan race. I was listening to a Ted Talks presentation by Dr. James O’ Keefe entitled, “Run for your life! At a Comfortable Pace, and Not Too Far." In the presentation (which I’ve mentioned before, in the episode, Is Running Bad For You?), Dr. O’ Keefe points out some pretty compelling research that shows that many of us may really be overdoing our extreme fitness sessions.

Accroding to the talks, "the fitness patterns for conferring longevity and robust lifelong cardiovascular health are distinctly different from the patterns that develop peak performance and marathon/superhuman endurance. Extreme endurance training and racing can take a toll on your long-term cardiovascular health. For the daily workout, it may be best to have more fun (and) endure less suffering in order to attain ideal heart health."

Now if you’re like me, you certainly like to look for the silver lining in such clouds of exercise doom. The fact is, exercise can certainly make you happier, make you healthier, and make your life longer. The trick is simply not to overdo it.

So what are some practical methods you can use to ensure you’re not overdoing exercise?

Here are five quick and dirty tips:

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