Does exercise addiction exist?
Exercise addiction may not necessarily sound like a bad thing to everyone. After all, numerous studies have demonstrated the physical and emotional health benefits of regular exercise — it is essential to our well-being. Unlike other addictive behaviors, we are encouraged to exercise more. However, there is such a thing as exercise addiction — and it can have harmful consequences.
I have come across many such people who are absolutely obsessed with exercise. These people feel depressed if they did not train enough that day, missed a workout and did not burn enough calories on the treadmill.
Exercise addiction is probably the most contradictory of all the addictions as it is widely promoted as an effective part of treatment for most mental health problems. It is even promoted as part of a complete program of recovery from other addictions.
I came across this brilliant article By Janice Utley about a confessed exercise addict:
I’m addicted to exercise. It ruined my holidays, my socal life and my marriage, but I can’t stop
A few weeks ago, I went out for a meal with some girlfriends. As soon as I walked through the front door I felt restless, obsessing about the fact that I hadn’t done enough exercise that day to burn off all the calories I’d just eaten.
It was gone midnight but it didn’t matter. I began to run up and down on the spot.
I calculated that I’d need to do this for at least an hour before I could allow myself to go to bed.
Afterwards, I was so hyper that I couldn’t sleep. That’s what life as an exercise addict is like.
Every day I must jog, weight-train or swim for several hours (a minimum of three to four) or I feel ratty and unable to concentrate.
Exercise gives me such a high that it feels like I’m floating. Read more…
How to recognize exercise addiction
Recognizing exercise addiction is not based entirely on the quantity of your workouts. World-class athletes often train for long periods every day and they would not necessarily be labeled as addicts. Compulsive exercise is more about a person’s feelings toward exercise and how compulsive exercising affects their life. Here are some questions to ask yourself regarding exercise addiction:
- Have I missed a social event because I felt the need to exercise instead?
- Do friends and family feel neglected because I am frequently exercising instead of spending time with them?
- Do I feel guilty when I miss a planned workout?
- Does missing a workout make me feel irritable and ruin my day?
- Do I feel anxious when I think something with interfere with scheduled workouts?
- Do I feel that my physical condition will be compromised if I don’t exercise for one day?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, it could be a sign that you have developed an unhealthy relationship with exercise. If this sounds like you, I would recommend seeking help. I would try finding a counselor or therapist that specializes in body image issues or eating disorders since there is often a lot of a similarity between these disorders.
Article Source: fitsugar