Are You Addicted to Exercise?

Exercising is good for the body and for your health. Medical professionals advise that exercise is one of the best ways to keep you fit and healthy, both mentally and physically. Normally, people find it difficult to get some exercise. They think that doing housework or chores is just like exercising, which is not the case at all. Exercising is all about doing physical movements for longer than 10 minutes. This increases your heart rate, which helps to burn calories and fat. While exercising more than 10 minutes on a weekly basis is good, did you know that there is such a thing as exercise addiction?

What is exercise addiction?

Exercise addiction is when people get addicted to exercise. Come rain or shine, they will exercise. Even if they are not feeling well or have a broken bone, they will still go out there and exercise. While exercising, in general, is good, it is not healthy to get hooked on exercise. Being addicted to exercise does more harm than good to the body. Despite the emotional, physical, and social consequences, an exercise addict will persist in pursuing physical activities. Addiction to exercise is considered a disorder that needs to be treated.

Who can suffer from Exercise Addiction?

This legitimate problem is said to be the highest among athletes, runners, triathletes, and those who suffer from eating disorders. Usually, those who want to exercise more than it is needed, are the ones who want to achieve the benefits or effects of exercise. However, since there is an addiction to exercise, the same results might not be achieved compared to the first few times. When a person starts exercising, he or she gets to see the good after-effects of their workouts. The feelings of an increase in self-esteem, a reduction in anxiety and lesser negative thoughts or feelings are the results of a good workout session. Perhaps, an exercise addict is hungry for these after-effects and it’s why they never give up on exercising. There is a fear that something bad will happen if the body does not go through an exercise routine.

Signs of Exercise Addiction

There are many signs of exercise addiction, including muscle strains, fatigue, irregular heartbeats, stiffening and many more pathological issues that can be dangerous. An addiction to exercise makes the occurring of heart attacks common, which is why some athletes suffer heart attacks or strokes without warning. Other signs of being an exercise addict are:

  • Feeling extremely annoyed when you can’t exercise
  • Far too much time spent on exercising
  • Not being able to stop thinking about exercising on a daily basis
  • A decreased interest in other activities to prioritise fitness
  • An uncontrollable urge to exercise despite having an injury or illness

How to know if you are addicted to exercise?

You might feel that you have some of the signs of addiction to exercise. That might not be the case unless these symptoms are severely affecting your life. If these signs are still minor problems, then you might not have an addiction to exercise yet. Despite having these signs, some people can still go about their daily lives in a normal way. It becomes an addiction when you can no longer control the urge to exercise. It also becomes a problem when you realise that the need to exercise has toppled over everything else in your life. When you realise that you want more, in terms of exercising, and especially, when you are not even enjoying it, that’s a big red flag.

What are the effects of exercise addiction?

An addiction to exercise will make you go to the gym more than you should. As a result, you can end up getting injured and hurting yourself. When exercise is overdone, your body and mind suffer the most as you are bound to make yourself tired with all that exercising. Unfortunately, you are unable to see or feel it and as a result, you are going to end up suffering physically, mentally and emotionally.

How to deal with exercise addiction?

An addiction, like the other addictions, causes problems to the addict and their closed ones. Similarly, exercise addiction might cause a rift between you and your loved ones. If any of your family or friends has remarked that you are addicted to exercise or you prioritise exercising too much, it’s time to take a step back and look into it more seriously. Exercise in moderation, preferably less than 17 hours per week. Remember that if any exercising routine infringes your life and makes it harder for you to be present in your daily life, it’s not worth it.

Photo Credit: Funzing and Unsplash 


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