Too much exercise can be poor for your health, study says

Photo: Associated Press

Working out is one of the best things you can do for your overall health, but a new Columbia University study confirms the idea that too much of a good thing can actually be bad.

According to researchers, working out too much can cause depression, anxiety and a weakened immune system, making you more susceptible to getting sick. In fact, the wheelhouse for working out, according to the study, is between 2.5 and 7.5 hours per week.

Personal trainer Lisa Lynn agrees with the study, saying that moderation is the key with any fitness plan.

"We set ourselves up for overuse injuries, which could take you out of the game for a month or a month and a half," Lynn said.

The Columbia study also says that roughly 65 percent of people who worked out for more than four hours per week had poorer mental health than those who worked out less than that.

Lynn suggests that an hour a day is a good target to set.

"The goal is to come in an hour each day," she said. "One hour equals seen hours in a week."

The goal for most people who exercise on a regular basis is to lose weight, and Lynn suggests a diet that's packed with lean protein, fruits and vegetables. She says moderate exercise and a balanced diet are the real key to seeing results.

"If you feel like (seven hours) is not enough because you're not losing weight, what that really means if your food is out of whack," she said.

You can check out the full Columbia study here.