A new study has found that women who habitually take strenuous exercise might be at risk of damaging their cognitive skills later in life.
Too much exercise raises the levels of oestrogen in a woman's body and lead to irregular menstruation cycles, reports New Scientist.
And low levels of oestrogen in premenopausal women has been linked to impaired mental function in earlier studies.
Mary Tierney at the University of Toronto, Canada, conducted a study amongst 90 healthy post-menopausal women, who reported their life-long exercise habits, and then tested their cognitive ability.
She found that in women who practiced much too heavy exercise, there was a decrease in performance in various cognitive tasks.
Tierney said that although exercising is beneficial in general, too much exercising can lead to a negative impact and this possibility should be investigated further.
The results will be reported in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.