Exercise Good? Not If Too Much

Can they ever make up their minds?  First experts told us too many kids don't get enough exercise.  Now they're saying kids can get too much exercise.

But let's clarify who we're talking about here.  A recent study says that kids who actively participate in exercise more than 14 hours a week could face negative effects on their well-being.

Let's slow down and see what's going on.  The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends that young people aged between 6 and 17 years carry out at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day, equating to 7 hours a week.  The study, done in Switzerland and Canada, found that 14 hours is optimal for good health, according to medicalnewsdaily.com.

But anything over that is where the problems supposedly begin.  Researchers surveyed over 1,000 teens between 16 and 20 in Switzerland. on their exercise regimes.  Slightly more than half were male, and about 9% of these were obese.

The teenagers with the highest and lowest scores -- those who exercised the most and those, least -- were more than twice as likely not to feel that great about themselves, or in the study's terms, their sense of well-being was lower than those in the middle.

"Physical activity has been associated with positive emotional well-being, reduced depressive,anxiety and stress disorders, and improved self-esteem and cognitive functioning in children and adolescents," study authors said, but they added that  sports practice "apparently ceased to be a protective factor and became an independent risk factor for poor well-being when practicing more than twice the 7 recommended hours per week."

While another study at the Web site notes that exercise can boost a child's grades, too much of anything can be a bad thing -- even exercise. 


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