Although it might not sound like a negative factor to anyone, addiction to exercise may lead to serious problems. After all, several studies have shown that routine exercise has physical and mental health benefits. Health gurus, countless advertisements, social media posts, and even our GP – they encourage us to exercise more. The thing is one can get addicted to exercise and the results are not that healthy at all.
Exercise addiction is something that affects thousands of individuals and can be conceived like other substance addictions. It is not a formal psychiatric diagnosis, but instead a pattern of conduct that is often rooted in other problems, such as altered body perception or body dysmorphia or eating disorders.
Risks And Causes Of Exercise Addiction
When you exercise, the brain releases endorphins and dopamine. They are the same neurotransmitters that are released when using drugs. When addicted to exercise, one feels pleasure. And when they stop exercising, these neurotransmitters dissipate. Therefore, an addict feels inclined to exercise more to experience the exhilaration.
Anyone may develop an exercise addiction but certain individuals may be more prone to having an issue. A person with an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa may have a chance to exercise obsessively in pursuit of caloric restriction targets. Those with extreme weight loss goals— especially those suffering from obesity— are also at risk. Persons who were once mocked for weight or appearance are at risk, as are those who once had alcohol or drug abuse.
Orthorexia nervosa is also popular among exercise-addicted individuals. Orthorexia is an unhealthy diet and exercise addiction that frequently results in injury, fatigue, anxiety, loneliness, depression as well as changes in menstrual pattern. A person with orthorexia grows obsessed with healthy eating habits and may adamantly refuse artificial foods. These people go to lengths to ensure that certain foods are never eaten, so they may feel superior to those who make less restrictive dietary choices.
When Is Exercise Considered Too Much?
Exercise addiction is maladaptive because it creates more struggles instead of enhancing a person's life. Exercise addiction may endanger health, cause injury, physical harm due to insufficient rest, and in some cases (especially when co-occurring with an eating disorder), malnutrition and other issues.
Exercises allow certain chemicals to be released into the nervous system. Those chemicals produce a feeling of pleasure or reward. To some, exercise addiction may be a dependency on this response of pleasure.
Although symptoms can sometimes vary from one person to another, there are universal signs to look for, this includes:
Exercising is a perfect way to deal with tension and resolve negative emotions. If the desire for exercise is greater than the ability to control your relationships and emotions, you may need more support, both in overcoming your addiction and in seeking healthy ways to cope.
The Arden Centre believes and provides a treatment that will achieve better balance through multidisciplinary approaches. The Arden Centre guides exercise addicts to recognise the underlying causes of addiction and learn to cope with psychotherapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy. The health professionals at The Arden Centre will help you begin recovery for the correctly diagnosed and prioritized issues.
Contact us now and so we can begin reverting and establishing healthy habits.
I am an energetic and committed Senior Health Care Manager with a passion for developing staff through education and mentoring.