(WSIL) — Too much exercise could keep you from making good choices according to a new study.
The study in the journal ‘Current Biology’ suggests that severely overworking your body might interfere with your ability to delay self-gratification.
It found that the brain’s capacity for exertion is limited so over-exercising the body could lead to brain burn-out.
A group of elite endurance athletes were asked to over-train for three out of nine weeks. Researchers then compared them to a group who had been training normally.
The over-worked athletes didn’t do as well as their counterparts on a cycling test. And MRI scans showed more fatigue in the cognitive control part of the brain.
The findings show a link between over-exertion and the inability to resist the temptation of immediate gratification.
Athletes were asked if they’d prefer ten dollars now or fifty dollars in six months. Those who over-trained were more likely to take the ten dollars now.
But experts point out the study only looks at endurance athletes — not regular people.
Prior research shows about 4-5 hours of exercise each week can have positive affects on cognitive function, meaning the "average Joe" shouldn’t worry about brain burn-out.
CNN contributed to this report.