Exercising is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but too much of it can be bad for you. Exercise bulimia is a serious medical problem in which people use extreme exercising instead of vomiting to purge food excesses.
Exercise bulimia can be dangerous and take a toll on your heart, muscles and joints. It's hard to mark a firm line between working out hard and being obsessive about it. A two-hour workout daily should be OK if you're otherwise healthy and strong.
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Exercise is important for health, but exercising 2 hours a day might be too much.
Read more: The Side Effects of Excess Exercise
Working Out 2 Hours Per Day?
Experts usually recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of daily activity for overall health and well being. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise to maintain a healthy weight. Those who need to lose weight might need even more. Based on that, working out 2 hours per day might not be a very big stretch for most people.
However, if you are new to exercise, a 2 hour workout can do more harm than good. Start with 15 minute sessions, then gradually at time as your body adapts.
Dangers of Excess Exercise
People with certain medical conditions should not attempt a two-hour workout without medical approval or supervision. If you have a joint problem, working out for too long can make the pain or inflammation worse. If you have a heart condition or high blood pressure, such a long workout can actually be dangerous. According to a June 2012 article published by Mayo Clinic Proceedings, long-term excessive exercising can lead to adverse changes in the heart. If you plan on exercising for such a long time, get clearance from your doctor first and find out which exercises you should avoid, if any.
Hollywood and Exercise
TV shows and movies sometimes send the message that exercising for long hours every day is perfectly fine. When Sylvester Stallone was training for "Rocky," he would train up to five hours a day in order to get the right muscles and the right fighting moves. Other male actors, such as Brad Pitt and Ryan Reynolds, have trained just as hard for action movie roles. Movie stars can afford to train for several hours because training is part of their job. They often train under the vigilance of medical staff and with professional trainers, so long training sessions are safer.
Read more: Recommended Amount of Cardio Exercise
Making It Safe
A way to have a safe, effective 2 hour workout is to split it into different activities. Sixty minutes of running everyday may get monotonous and lead to overuse injuries. However, you could do 45 minutes on a bike, followed by 30 minutes of weight training and 45 minutes of yoga. That way you would be getting a complete workout that includes cardio, muscle resistance and stretching. This wouldn't be as strenuous in any particular area or muscle group.
- ESPN: "The Making of Rocky"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Top 10 Things to Know About the Second Edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans"
- ULifeline: "Exercise Bulimia"
- Mayo Clinic Proceedings: "Potential Adverse Cardiovascular Effects From Excessive Endurance Exercise"