Fitness and lifespan: Is too much exercise harmful?

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A new, large-scale study finds that even extreme levels of fitness increase lifespan particularly in older people. Exercise is widely considered to benefit health, but is there such a thing as too much exercise? Some recent studies suggest so.

For instance, 90 minutes of exercise every day improves mental, but anything over this threshold is actually worse for mental health than no exercise at all, a recent paper found.

Other research has suggested that there might be cardiovascular disadvantages to excessive amounts of physical exercise.

One study found higher calcification in the arteries of athletes and men who routinely engaged in sports.

So, researchers from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio set out to investigate whether large amounts of exercise have any bearing on how long a person will live.

To this end, a team led by Dr. Wael Jaber a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic analyzed the link between aerobic fitness and lifespan in 122,007 people.

“We were particularly interested in the relationship between extremely high fitness and mortality,” explains first study author Dr. Kyle Mandsager, an electrophysiology fellow from the Cleveland Clinic.–Online

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