Ever felt like you were exercising too much? If the term "exercise addiction" sounds familiar, you're not alone. Millions of Americans are exercising excessively, and it's interfering with their relationships, sleep patterns, work performance—even their health.
While exercise has many health benefits, these can be overshadowed by the risks associated with compulsive exercise.
Before we get into the risks of compulsive exercise, let's begin with a definition. When your physical activity begins to interfere with your daily routine, and you feel unable to stop yourself from exercising for long periods, you may be suffering from exercise addiction.
This article will help you understand why so many people feel compelled to exercise excessively and how you can prevent yourself from falling into this pattern.
Perhaps the most significant risk of compulsive exercising is that it can become addictive, both mentally and physically. When people tell their friends and family members about their excessive workout habits, they're often met with surprise—after all, most of us live in a culture that values exercise as a means to better health.
But when your exercise routine interferes with your work, school, relationships, and overall well-being, it's no longer a healthy activity.
At MPower Fitness Coaching, a trusted Chino Hills Gym, we tell our clients that exercise addiction can be psychologically addictive—that is, compulsive exercisers derive pleasure from their workouts just as they would from other activities that are psychologically addictive. Just like compulsive gamblers, for example, compulsive exercisers will put in hours:
When this happens, exercise becomes the goal, and you no longer feel happy about all of your hard work. Rather than achieving a sense of accomplishment from meeting fitness goals, at Chino Hills Gym compulsive exercisers begin to focus on how much they can do or lift. As a result, they'll attempt to push their bodies past the point of exhaustion.
Compulsive exercisers will go to great lengths to work out, even if it means damaging their bodies in the process. For example, it's not uncommon for compulsive exercisers to develop stress fractures or muscle tears. Others will lose their appetite and become dangerously underweight as a result of overexercising.
While exercise addiction can cause serious physical harm, the psychological effects are equally troubling. Compulsive exercisers experience guilt or shame after a workout and attempt to work out again to relieve these feelings. However, the guilt only worsens after each episode of compulsive exercising—and so, the cycle continues.
Exercise addiction can also result in dangerous changes to your sleeping patterns, which can have serious consequences. "When [a compulsive exerciser] begins to experience sleep deprivation, it can lead her to take more risks when she exercises," says Stephanie Rostan, a personal trainer and wellness coach who works with women struggling with exercise addiction.
With compulsive exercising, it's easy for exercise addicts to become fixated on monitoring their heart rates. This fixation may start with the desire to maintain an optimal intensity during workouts, but it can quickly escalate into a habit of checking your pulse every few minutes. This can set you up for a dangerous heart condition, known as tachycardia, caused by an abnormally fast resting pulse.
The good news? While your workout routine may be dangerous, MPower Fitness Coaching at Chino Hills Gym helps break the cycle of compulsive exercising. If you recognize some of the warning signs in your workout behaviors, there are a few things you can do:
• Set concrete goals for yourself—and then reward yourself for reaching them.
• Study up on the latest fitness trends—and resist the urge to try out every new exercise class or program.
• Create a support network of friends and family who will encourage you to stay healthy, not just become thin.
• Remember that health is not purely physical—it's essential to maintain strong relationships with others.
• Above all, remember that your workout routine doesn't define you.
• Get help from a professional if your exercise habits are negatively affecting your life.
Overexercising means putting too much stress on your body through exercise or physical activity, which can lead to injuries and overtraining syndrome. When training at the highest level, there is an individual amount of stress your body can handle. Overexercising is the constant training of an athlete beyond what their body can take before it breaks down and becomes injured or over-trained syndrome sets in.
Compulsive exercising is when someone believes they need to do more than average to maintain their weight. This person may become fixated on checking their pulse or watching the calories they are consuming. This person may become obsessed with exercising. They may need to do more exercise than most people can handle, even if they are injured, overtrained, or otherwise not feeling well enough to work out.
Overexercising is when you're getting too much exercise, leading to injuries and overtraining syndrome. If you're training at the highest level, there's an individualized amount of stress your body can handle before it breaks down or becomes injured.
Overexercising is when someone becomes fixated on exercising and believes they need to do more than average. This person may become obsessed with exercise and need to do more than others can handle, even if injured or do not feel well enough to work out.
Compulsive exercising is when someone believes they need to do more than average to maintain their weight and becomes fixated on checking their pulse, calories consumed, and the amount of exercise they do. They may become obsessed with exercising and need to do more than others can handle, even if they are injured or do not feel well enough to work out.
An expert wants people to remember that exercising is excellent; you can take it too far and hurt yourself. Overexercising, or putting too much stress on your body through exercise or physical activity, can lead to injuries or overtraining syndrome.
Training at the highest level means an individual amount of stress your body can handle before it breaks down and becomes injured. If you're constantly exercising, you may become fixated on checking your pulse, watching the calories consumed, and doing more exercise than most people can handle, even if you're injured, overtrained, or not feeling well enough to work out.
Compulsive exercising is the constant training of an athlete beyond what their body can take before it breaks down and becomes injured or over-trained syndrome sets in. Overexercising means putting too much stress on your body through exercise or physical activity, which can lead to injuries and overtraining syndrome.
When training at the highest level, there is an individual amount of stress your body can handle. A person may become obsessed with exercise and need to do more than others can handle, even if injured or do not feel well enough to work out.
Remember that your workout routine doesn't define you, so get help from a professional at MPower Fitness Coaching at Chino Hills Gym!