Too Much Of A Good Thing? Potential Link Between Excessive Exercise & Heart Disease Risks?

Sounds ludicrous, but when you consider the strain you place on your body when exercising, this really isn’t beyond the realms of possibility... is it? Granted, it is unlikely based on the thousands of previous studies that support the application of a regular exercise regime in staving off heart disease risk. However, new research led by Dr Nikola Drca of the Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden suggests that too much exercise i.e. more than 5 hours per week, by men in their 30’s increased their risk of atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat) compared to men who exercise a little less. However, this study contradicted itself a few times in that it also noticed that older adults who walked or rode an hour a day had a significantly lower risk of atrial fibrillation compared to those who didn’t perform such activity…so what do we believe, does it come down to the type and intensity of physical activity then?

This may well be one of those studies that instils fear into society, as well as giving less active people an excuse not to get out and exercise. Of course exercise has its place, there is little doubt that physical activity in some form is beneficial to the mind and body, but maybe this study raises new questions as to what is the ideal activity level and type for us humans. Whatever the verdict, I for one would find it practically impossible to limit the amount that I exercise a week, so lets hope this isn’t the case!



Medscape Multispeciality, (2014). Too Much Exercise: Studies Report J-Shaped Link Between Exercise and CVD Risks. Retrieved 20th May, 2014, from



About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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