Saturday, February 7, 2015

Working Out Too Much Is as Dangerous as Never Working Out

Headline: Everything is bad for you. (But don't stress out about that—stress is bad for you!) Seriously though, a new report says that running at a quick pace for more than four hours a week heightens your mortality risk. Whaaaat?!

A 12-year Danish study followed runners who really put in the work, more moderate runners, and sedentary people who did just about nothing, and found that the runners who ran the most were about as likely as the lazy folks to die during the study. Time reports, "In fact, those with the lowest risk of dying during the study period were people who ran less than three times a week for 1 to 2.4 hours at a slow to moderate pace. Even people who ran slightly more, for 2.5 to 4 hours a week at an average pace less than three times a week, showed slightly higher mortality risk, at 66%, something that came as a surprise to the authors." Yeah, I'd say a six-minute difference between living and dying is pretty shocking. The theory here is that too much high-impact running is too taxing on the body.

This study made me feel a little better about an icy-weather-related lapse in my running schedule. (Staying in and watching Black Mirror on Netflix is saving my life!) But I'm also really bummed out because running is the only exercise I enjoy, and when I'm putting in four hours a week, I feel great. Hearing that it isn't doing only great things for me is violins-playing sad.

Will these study results change how you work out?

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PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES


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