Physical exercise certainly has a long list of benefits, but too much exercise may lead to heart problems, according to a new study.
Making the discovery more interesting is that, apparently, the connection between too much physical exercise and the increased risk to developing a heart disease was only found within white men.
Too Much Exercise Can Kill You
According to a new study by a team of researchers from the University of Illinois, Chicago, white men who exercise three times more than the national guidelines of working out, which is 150 minutes per week, are more likely to have plaque buildup inside their hearts.
The researchers studied coronary artery calcification, or CAC, of more than 3,000 white and black men with ages of 18 years old to 30 years old from Birmingham, Alabama; Chicago; Minneapolis; and Oakland, California over a period of 25 years. CAC is the measurement of calcium and plaque in the arteries of the heart, and the detection of its presence through methods such as a simple CT scan is a warning that the person is at risk of developing a heart disease.
The men were grouped according to how many minutes they worked out weekly. The first group did not meet the recommended time of 150 minutes, the second group reached that number, and the third group worked out excessively, at 450 minutes per week.
"We expected to see that higher levels of physical activity over time would be associated with lower levels of CAC," said assistant professor Deepika Laddu from the Applied Health Sciences department of UIC.
The results, however, were surprising. The researchers discovered that the third group of men, those who exercised too much, were 27 percent more likely to suffer from CAC by the time they reached 43 years old to 55 years old compared to the people in the first group. Also surprising is the fact that the white men who work out too much are 86 percent more like to see CAC compared to black men.
It was suggested that the intense dedication to exercise resulted in stress on the arteries, leading to the higher risk of CAC.
Don't Stop Exercising!
The researchers, however, warned that people should not stop doing exercise, but should instead make sure that they do so at recommended levels.
Appropriate amounts of exercise are capable of slowing down aging to add extra years to our lifespan. Researchers have also found that the best time to work out is at about 6:30 p.m., after grabbing a drink and before going to bed.