You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Why too much exercise can be bad for your mental health

Red (UK) logo Red (UK) 12/08/2018 Harper's Bazaar Staff

a man holding a phone © Martin Novak - Getty Images The link between exercise and a healthy, happy mind is well known, but researchers have now revealed that too much physical activity could have a negative impact on mental health. 

Being active for 30 to 60 minutes every second day is the optimum amount, according to a extensive US study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry Journal. Although team sports, cycling and aerobics were found to have the greatest positive impact on mental health, all types of physical activity - from housework to looking after children - had favourable effects on the mind. People who did no physical activity said that they had "bad days" 3.4 days of the month, while those who worked out regularly said that they only felt low two days of the month - a 43 per cent disparity. 

Related: 20 Exercises That Show Results After One Workout (Provided by Women's Health)

However, overdoing exercise could be detrimental to your mental health. People who exercised more than 90 minutes at a time suffered on average an extra one poor mental health day a month than those who did 45 minute sessions.

Dr Adam Chekroud, study author and assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale University, said: "Previously, people have believed that the more exercise you do, the better your mental health, but our study suggests that this is not the case.

"Doing exercise more than 23 times a month, or exercising for longer than 90-minute sessions is associated with worse mental health."

Chekroud says that, while it's difficult to ascertain the reasons for this, it is "easy to imagine why someone might have poor mental health if they are exercising six or seven days per week. They could be getting run down (physically exhausted) or burned out (mentally), both of which might make them feel stressed or depleted.”

Related: What too much exercise does to your body and brain (Provided by Business Insider)


More from Red

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon