Is 2 Hours of Exercise a Day Too Much?

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A woman and man are rock climbing. (Image: View Stock/View Stock/Getty Images)

Exercising too much 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.

Expert Opinion

Experts usually recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of daily activity for overall health and well being. However, according to experts from Harvard Medical School, you need more than that in order to see results. A 2010 study by university experts showed that women need at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day in order to simply maintain weight. Those who need to lose weight might need even more. Based on that, two hours doesn’t seem like a very big stretch for most people.

Precautions

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 suffer from a heart condition or have high blood pressure, such a long workout can actually be dangerous. 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

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.

Making It Safe

A way to have a safe, effective two-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.

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