Exercising too much for too long can cut short your life span: Study

We have always heard about the good side of exercising but this study reveals the flip side of working out. P.s. It’s scary.
Strenuous exercise might affect your health negatively. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Team Health Shots Published: 19 Jun 2020, 11:56 am IST
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We have been hearing about the benefits of exercising daily since forever. It has always been advised that everyone should do some kind of physical activity for at least 30-minutes daily. This will not just keep you active, but healthy too. Not to mention, exercise also has cardiovascular benefits. 

But when it comes to working out, at times we tend to overdo it—especially when we get obsessed with weight loss or muscle gain, without paying heed to how it will impact our body. Unfortunately, this impact can be so immense that it can cut short your life span, according to this study.  

According to the findings published in the journal Palgrave Communications, doing strenuous exercise daily and throughout your life may not help you live longer, especially if it is job-related.

Vigorous movements are the main culprit
In this study, the researchers analysed the longevity data for professional Japanese traditional artists and found that Kabuki (classical Japanese dance-drama) actors, known for their vigorous movements, surprisingly had shorter lifespans compared with other traditional arts performers who lead mostly sedentary lifestyles.

A fitness expert points out the signs that indicate you need to go easy on your cardio sessions. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

A few studies have delved into comparisons in longevity between those who partake in vigorous physical activity and those who lead mostly sedentary lifestyles as a result of their occupation throughout their lives.

Now, Naoyuki Hayashi and Kazuhiro Kezuka of Tokyo Tech’s Institute of Liberal Arts have conducted a study that calls into question the idea that vigorous daily exercise positively correlates with longevity.

Earlier researchers have always thought that more movement means healthier life but after analyzing the lifespan of these Japanese artists they touted this to be a wrong notion. They compared the lifespans of four different groups of Japanese traditional arts performers by examining data from a total of 699 professional male artists, both living and dead, whose birth and death records are all publicly available.

They hypothesized that Kabuki actors would lead longer lives owing to the high-level physical activity involved in their theatrical performances, compared with Sado, Rakugo and Nagauta practitioners, who are known to perform tea ceremonies, recount comic stories and play musical instruments while sitting, respectively.

Keep yourself healthy, physically, and mentally, with yoga! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

They found that the lifespan of Kabuki actors was shorter than that of the other three types of traditional artists.

Optimum exercise is the key to better health, according to researchers
How much exercise you need depends on person to person, even as researchers try to figure out an optimum number. But they also say that over-exerting your body is never a good idea. The possible beneficial effects of “non-exercise” activities such as speaking, singing, and playing musical instruments would also need further exploration.

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Overall, the researchers say their study represents “a novel way of extracting information from publicly available data” and “contributes to the global trend in addressing reproducibility in science.”

Impact of vigorous exercising can be seen in the longer run
When we are young we don’t pay much heed to our joints and tissues. But in the longer run, the impact is clearly visible when your joints start paining and your muscles become fragile due to the extreme wear and tear. 

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Therefore, it is always advisable to opt for low-impact exercises like yoga. It will not just preserve your joints but it is not that exhaustive in nature. Another thing that we should always keep in mind while exercising is doing it correctly. 

The bottom line is that you should exercise the right way and in moderation if you want to reap its benefits. 

(With inputs from ANI)

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