5 exercise facts you don’t want to hear
Why exercise might be bad for you
We all think that working out is great for us, but the truth is sometimes exercise has some pretty negative consequences. Here we show you five ways that exercise can be harmful to you, your bodies and even your relationships:
Exercising a lot won’t help you lose weight
Surely if you workout a lot you should begin to lose weight, right? Well, no, it turns out that this theory is not entirely true. Scientists at the University of Copenhagen conducted an experiment on overweight Danish men. The participants were divided into three groups. The first group were told not to change either their diet or their exercise regime. The second group were asked not to change their diet, but were asked to do moderate exercise that burnt 300 calories on almost a daily basis. The third and final group were asked not to change their diet but to perform vigorous exercise that burnt 600 calories on almost a daily basis.
The study lasted for 13 weeks and revealed some intriguing results. Those men who had not changed their diet or their exercise regime had no change to their weight, yet the men who performed the more intense workouts lost, on average, two pounds less than those men who performed the moderate exercise regime. It is thought that this difference between weight loss came about because those men that worked out harder and for longer ate more to compensate. It is also thought that those men who worked out harder were more inactive in those hours when they were not exercising compared to the men who worked out less.
Therefore if you want to lose weight according to this study you should exercise moderately, so that you do not overeat. You should also try to keep active throughout the day.
Exercise can damage your relationships
Workouts and intense exercise can really take its toll on relationships. Not only do intense and regular training routines eat into the amount of time you can dedicate to seeing your partner, these routines also eat into your energy resources, so that by the time you do end up going on ‘date night’ you’re too tired to properly commit to the evening.
As more and more people dedicate themselves to sporting challenges, or strive to lead healthy, active lifestyles, this issue for couples becomes more and more common. Time once spent with loved ones is now spent at the gym. Yet for the partners of these exercise enthusiasts it’s a difficult issue to tackle because surely exercising is a good thing? Can they really begrudge their partner a challenge? If you’re spending more time in your training kit than you are at home make sure you save some space in your hectic schedule for your guy or girl – you never know, you might even perform better after a regular rest.
Exercise can make you gain weight
The pressure to fit in workouts around already busy schedules can cause lots of people to rise early and head out for a pre-breakfast training session. Although this might make you feel great, if you sacrifice your sleep for your fitness fix you could end up gaining weight.
This is because a lack of sleep leads to an increased appetite and your cravings for fatty foods and carbohydrates will also shoot up. A lack of sleep is also thought to slow down the metabolism, which means that you will burn fewer calories than you would have done had you slept for longer. A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory suggests that even a few days of sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain. The study found that when participants had just five hours sleep over five days they gained, on average, two pounds. So, if you want to maintain or lose weight make sure you get enough rest and don’t sacrifice sleep for training sessions.
Overweight people live longer
If you thought exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight would help you to live longer, you might just be mistaken. At least you will be if you believe the findings that were revealed from a recent study, which was conducted by US university researchers and the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The researchers examined 97 studies that involved a combined total of 2.88 million people and found that those people who were moderately overweight and had a BMI between 25 and 30 were six per cent less likely to die of a premature death compared to those people who were not overweight. Although interesting, the issue with this study is the fact that the conclusions are based upon BMI, which is not an accurate measurement of body fatness. So, although the study suggests that overweight people live longer it would be unwise to assume that being overweight is good for you. Instead it simply might indicate that being overweight is perhaps a little less unhealthy than originally thought.
Marathon running damages your heart
If you’ve run a marathon before you know that once you’ve done one you always want to do another. However, research suggests that training for a marathon, or taking part in other extreme endurance exercise, could cause serious damage to your heart.
One study, which researchers told to the European Health Journal, demonstrated that of their 40 participants who had extreme exercise habits the majority had stretched heart muscles as a result of their exercise routines. The researchers also suggested that this stretching of the heart could lead to heart problems, such as arrhythmia, in the future. Similarly, a study published in PLoS One examined six exercise studies and found that 7 per cent of the 1,687 participants had a greater risk of heart disease and that this increase of risk was the result of exercise.
So, what should you do if you love extreme endurance exercise? Well, in the journal Heart two US cardiologists suggest that you limit your vigorous exercise to between 30 and 50 minutes per day.