Do you over-exercise?

Dan riding in the desert
Years ago, when I went to a store where herbs, supplements and various tinctures are sold the herbalist asked me how much I exercised and when I said “an hour a day,” he replied, “that’s too much.” An hour a day is ideal, but many people spend three or more hours a day exercising. Unfortunately, “intense exercise has long been known to suppress the immune system.” When I hear this, the first person who comes to mind is Lance Armstrong, an incredibly fit athlete who has accomplished amazing races in record times (despite the doping), yet battled cancer.

Exercise is good for you, but only up to a certain point; and then it becomes toxic. There is no exact number of hours of exercise where one can say one hour is good and three hours is bad. Just make sure to listen to your body. If you did squats yesterday, don’t do squats today and tomorrow. Take at least one full day off from your sport per week and eat healthy foods like oats to boost your immunity (1).

1. Source: Outside Magazine December issue, pg. 66, article titled: Post-Workout Immunity Booster

3 Comments on “Do you over-exercise?”

  1. This is an interesting discussion in relation to endurance sports. No question doing too much will impede the immune system from doing it’s job. The question is how much is too much. I have completed 11 Ironmans and understand the very fine line between pushing your body to improve and overdoing it so you become sick. I do believe the vast majority of people in this country are in no way extending themselves too much.

    One last point, I don’t do Ironman so I can live longer. I do it so I can live the life that I want and I am under no illusion that I will live one day longer because of my training. If I do, great but I am not banking on it.

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