Have you ever heard of the quote that says, “Too much of a good thing is bad?” Well, while regular exercise is a healthy activity to keep one’s body at tip-top shape, excessive workout or exercise addiction can be detrimental to one’s physical health.
Exercise addiction is a compulsive behavioral disorder where the person feels this uncontrollable need to exercise. Sadly, it’s not being recognized as a mental health condition.
Exercise addicts display similar traits to other addiction and substance reliance. Here are other symptoms you might want to know.
Symptoms of exercise addiction
Here are behaviors that indicate an exercise addiction:
Spending more time
If a person spent more time planning, engaging, and recovering from exercise that leads to a reduction in other social or occupational activities, it can be a sign of addiction.
There’s a fine line between planning when and what to exercise to simply ditching other activities just so you can exercise.
Increase and continuance
When a person increases their exercise routine and continues to execute them despite having injuries, physical problems, and interpersonal issues, then that’s addiction.
Even if a person is physically unable to exercise, addicts will try to find ways to workout - even if it means hurting themselves.
Desire for euphoria
Exercise releases chemicals and happy hormones in your body. It can be a sense of pleasure and reward that they are highly addicted of. People who are anxious or depressed might become hooked to this feeling and mode of pleasure response.
Although excessive exercise is no mental disorder, a certain psychological condition happens to be the reason for this addiction.
Feelings of withdrawal
If the person stops exercising, there will be withdrawal symptoms like restlessness, guilt, depression, discomfort, and sleeplessness. This sudden withdrawal can also happen after taking a break off from exercise just after a few hours.
Also, not participating in any physical activity will bring about fits and dysfunction in one’s life.
Loss of control
A person will lose the ability to control their urge and would continue to exercise without meaning to do so. They find it difficult to control their habitual behaviors and would be even doing it at home, work, or social interactions without thinking about it.
It’s not about lifting weights or running on a treadmill. It can also be a means of running up and down the stairs, casual body shaking or even jumping continuously.
What causes exercise addiction?
Exercise addiction usually is caused by mental and eating disorders. There are following factors that have caused this condition. For example:
Some people handle stress by turning to exercise. Since it triggers the happy hormones, people get hooked to the feeling. This feel-good sensation is what keeps an exercise addict coming back for more.
Naturally, people suffering from depression, anxiety, and neuroticism are highly to become exercise addicts.
Also, those people suffering from eating disorders and a desire to become physically fit will have an unhealthy obsession with exercise. Eating disorders like anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and body image disorders are the top three reasons why many people have excessive exercise routines.
What is the treatment for exercise addiction?
Self-control is important to curb exercise addiction. However, one can visit a psychiatrist for treating depression and image disorders. One should also seek professional help when treating eating disorders.
A person should take a break from exercise and let his body rest for the week. Gradually limit his routines to jumping or sit-ups. If the person becomes too obsessed with thinking about exercise, distract him with something else.
A mental and physical preparation is needed to end exercise addiction. This condition will only further harm one’s body instead of helping it in tip-top shape.