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Exercise Addiction: When You've Crossed the Line

Exercise is a great way to stay healthy and fit, but it is possible to take it too far. Exercise addiction, or compulsive exercise, is a phenomenon that can be difficult to recognize.

The idea that something as physically beneficial as exercise could become a negative force in a person’s life may sound ludicrous. Enjoying fitness is encouraged pretty much across the board in society. It’s what doctors tell individuals to do on a regular basis. Therapists even advise using exercise as a means of controlling anxiety, boosting a sense of self-worth, and enhancing mood.

How can there be such a thing as too much exercise? As is the case with pretty much everything in the world, there is always the potential for too much of a good thing.

What Is Exercise Addiction?

People who are addicted to exercise may become so consumed with it that it begins to affect their mental and physical well-being. It is important to be aware of the warning signs of exercise addiction and know when to draw the line. A few key indicators can help identify when exercise has become an unhealthy obsession.

The Effects of Exercise Addiction

Exercise addiction leads to social isolation. Maintaining an extremely demanding fitness regimen ensures that exercise will receive priority above all other activities. In the end, this can cost a person their friends, family, and even job performance.

Too much exercise can also be bad for individuals. It can even destroy the body. When a person is addicted to exercise, they won’t acknowledge the body’s need to heal and will continue the destructive cycle.

Signs of an Exercise Addiction

Exercise addiction isn’t easy to spot at first. It is often accompanied by other self-defeating behaviors that typically present themselves first. For example, exercise addiction and substance abuse often occur together. The only way to negate the addiction to exercise is to drown it in drugs or alcohol. In addition, the comorbidity of exercise addiction and disordered eating has been widely studied and proven.

Another sign of addiction to exercise is feeling guilty about missing just one piece of an exercise regimen. Those addicted to exercise feel a compulsive need to meet the standards they have established in their minds. When they fail to do that even a little bit, it disrupts their entire day and makes it nearly impossible to focus on the rest of their lives.

Studies have also shown that those who are addicted to exercise are more likely to continue working out even when they have an injury. When someone still maintains their exercise rituals even when it’s harmful to them, it is a cause for concern.

Finding Help

Exercise should be fun, and something individuals are in control of. When someone finds themselves no longer in control, it is a sign that they need help. Thankfully, help is out there.

Exercise is a great option for combatting the effects of stress, feeling healthy, and improving self-esteem. It can even help improve your mood. However, too much exercise can lead to an addiction that can end up costing you your health and relationships. The Guest House can help you learn healthy tools to cope. If you or someone you know is exhibiting any of the warning signs of exercise addiction, it is important to seek help. Call The Guest House at (855) 483-7800 for more information.