Exercise addiction

Exercising daily and staying fit is an excellent step towards a long, healthy life. However, some people become too addicted to this physical activity placing it before their social, school, work and family life. Most of these extremists are women aged 35 to 60 who are worried about their growing age, their physical appearance and how it will affect their life. They walk on treadmills for hours, run for miles, climb stairs that almost lead up to nowhere neglecting other activities.

There are several names for exercise addition including exercise dependence, obligatory exercise, compulsive athleticism and exercise abuse. At present, the American Psychiatric Association does not recognize exercise addiction as a disorder. However, it does recognize it as a symptom of bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa. This is because individuals who suffer from bulimia or anorexia usually engage in excessive exercise in order to control their body weight or lose weight.

If you know some who exercises excessively, look for warning signs.

  • Watch out for people who exercise alone and those who avoid interaction from others especially trainers and staff.
  • Be on the lookout for people who are exercising even though they are sick or injured.
  • Watch for people who skip class or work and other important duties to exercise.
  • Be aware of people who follow the same exercise routine and those who have increased their exercise time.

So, how can we solve this problem? How can we wean women as well as men off this addiction?

Well, like any addiction, this type of addition needs motivation and encouragement to quit. If you are addicted to exercise or suffer from the above symptoms, talk to someone you trust. Take a break for aerobics and weights for some time. Instead, meditate or take nature walks with family and friends. Take time to do other activities that interest you and spend time with those you have neglected over the years and rebuild these relationships. Finally, keep a journal about your recovery and in it, write your thoughts and your feelings and increase your attention. If you follow these suggestions, you should be on your road to recovery.

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