>> Exercise Addiction
To the common eye, it appears as if these people have
a deep commitment to exercise, and they are often
admired by their friends. However, the underlying
root of their motivation is fear-based and unhealthy.
The exercise addict needs exercise. Unfortunately,
there can be costs to both physical and emotional
health. Too much exercise and the body breaks down
physically. Bones suffer, as do tendons, ligaments,
even muscles. People become more susceptible to colds
and flu. Osteoporosis may set in. In extreme cases,
the menstrual cycle may cease.
Emotionally, the person is consumed with thoughts
of exercise–always feeling he or she isn’t
doing enough. Exercise becomes the number one priority.
Eventually, other areas of life begin to crumble–relationship,
intimacy, work, school, family and friends. With exercise
always on the mind, exercise addicts constantly calculate
when they’re going to the gym, how hard they
worked out, how many calories they burned and what
that allows them to eat. Even when they’re sick
or injured, they cannot stop working out.
In cases of exercise obsession, there are two aspects
to getting hooked: 1) the visual stimulant and 2)
the chemical stimulant. For good or bad, the body
changes as a result of exercise. Thinner thighs, smaller
midriffs, bigger biceps–exercise-obsessed people
get hooked on the changes they see in the mirror and
want more. The chemical hook is a result of the release
of endorphins that produce a feeling of euphoria,
the so-called “runner’s high” to
which people can become addicted. Does this sound
Symptoms of Over-Exercising
Take this Test…
- Elevated resting heart rate
- Elevated body temperature
- Overall sense of fatigue or run-down
- Achy muscles and joints
- General feeling of malaise/loss of interest
in exercise or other activities
- Sleep disturbances
Check all that apply.
If you answered “yes” to one or
more of these questions, you may be exercise obsessed,
in which case there are several things you can do.
- Are you consumed with your weight or
becoming fat, no matter how thin you are?
- Is working out your number one priority?
- Do you feel compelled to put everything
else aside to exercise?
- Does working out justify your eating?
- Do you avoid food when you haven’t
done your workout?
- Do you panic when you cannot work out?
- Do you feel guilty when you eat?
- Do you exercise even when you aren’t
feeling well, have an injury or are exhausted?
- Do you take painkillers before a workout?
- Do you criticize your body?
- Do your friends and/or family comment
on how much you exercise?
- Do you need to push yourself 100 per
cent for every workout in order to feel
like it was worthwhile?
- Do you constantly compare yourself to
others in the gym or magazines?
- Incorporate rest into your routine. Take the day
off or do a "light" workout every other
day. This way you will reduce your chance of injury
and improve your performance and appearance. Rest
repairs the body from the wear and tear of exercise
and everyday life.
- Talk to someone who is familiar with exercise addiction.
Sometimes we need help to move forward. At times,
we get so immersed in our “stuff” that
we need help sorting things out. Seek help from a
- Journal your thoughts and feelings daily. Connect
with your emotions. Exercise is filling a void in
your life. It is helping you control something with
which you feel out of control. Journaling helps you
get in touch with what this is.
Adapted from article written by Michelle Biton www.mbcoaching.com