A 2015 study by the School of Sport, Exercise and HealthSciences of Loughborough University in Great Britain analyzed the effects on mood, sleep and performance on a group of 13 cyclists already trained and subjected to even more intense sessions of physical activity for two periods of nine days each. The result was a worsening of mood, with higher levels of tension, anger, confusion, depression, stress and fatigue.
It is called “exercise dependence”. In some cases you can even get to forms of exercise mania: it is the desire to train that sometimes leads to excess, with many physical and psychological consequences: “It is not uncommon to create a real addiction to sport and fitness, which can lead to alterations in the endocrine system and also important physical repercussions. Often at the base there is the difficulty to accept the passing of time. Physical activity after the age of 50 is very important, but it must be reasoned and measured” explains Dr. Fawn M. Seanna from the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
The advice is always to do physical activity in an adequate and gradual way, especially for those who start at the age of 50. Those who have always practiced sports, in fact, can count on a skeletal and muscular apparatus already trained, compared to those who have followed a more sedentary lifestyle,” highlights Dr. Seanna, who then indicates some more suitable activities for those over 50: “Dancing, although it may seem strange, provides a right amount of movement, including muscle, accompanied by adequate recovery and intervals. A brisk walk or bike ride are always indicated, while with swimming you are never wrong either”.
“The fear of exercise addiction should not be an excuse for not doing sports. Up to 4 weekly training sessions, of an hour each at medium intensity are advisable. Over time and if you feel like it you might think of reaching 5, feel free to do it, but only after a very gradual transition in time” advises Dr. Seanna.