Professor Greg Whyte, known for having trained David Walliams for his Channel swim, warns that too much physical effort and exercising can do more bad than good for one's health. This is why he is going to speak about the advantages and disadvantages of strenuous exercising at the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences' (Bases) annual conference held at the Wolverhampton University next week.
Prof. Whyte's report is entitled "Exercise: Is it really good for you?" and he is going to present mainly the negative aspects of being an exercise fanatic. He warns that physical effort taken to extremes can be extremely dangerous for an individual's health and can eventually lead to severe injuries, conditions and even death.
"I know that I am being extremely contentious by concentrating on the negative consequences of exercise but the research that has been done provides some startling findings. From club level to elite athletes, there are a lot of incidents to suggest that sport is very dangerous. You only have to go down to your local A&E to see the place packed out with 'weekend warriors' who are suffering breaks, joint injuries and trauma injuries to their head and face. If exercise is taken to extremes by people then exercise can do more harm than good," concluded Greg Whyte, who is Director of Science and Research at the English Institute of Sport in Manchester.
However, people worldwide should not get the wrong idea that sport and moderate exercise is bad for the health. Physical activity within normal limits is great for our health, keeping us fit and in shape. Previous studies also showed that physical exercise is also beneficial for the brain, not only for the body.
But we should not become sports fanatics, because this can only bring about negative outcomes. Balance and equilibrium in one's life is everything, experts say. We should also keep to this rule when it comes to physical effort: try exercising moderately, but do not overestimate the benefits of physical activity.
"The bottom line is that moderate physical activity is good for you but exercise of the kind done by elite sportsmen and women can be detrimental to your health. There is no doubt that moderate physical exercise can be beneficial and not doing any is detrimental to health," Prof. Whyte explained.
In his statement, he also gives some examples of how bad extreme exercising - like the one adopted by elite sportsmen and women - can be for one's health:
"There are cases of elite female athletes who restrict the calories they take, then lose their menstrual function and get low bone density which can have a profound effect on their health.
There are numerous examples of spinal injuries amongst rugby players, as well as data on osteoarthritis and footballers suffering problems from long periods of playing, which can later reduce their quality of life.
Then there are the incidents of sudden deaths associated with cardio-vascular problems and asthma.
The bottom line is that moderate physical activity is good for you but exercise of the kind done by elite sportsmen and women can be detrimental to your health."