While exercise is part of any healthy diet program, it’s possible for an exercise addiction to develop through bad habits and an obsession to lose weight. While it’s rare for an exercise addiction to require professional treatment, it’s important to consider the warning signs of an exercise addiction to avoid the potential for an actual disorder or injuries to develop.
Exercise More Important than Life
The first sign you might be heading toward an exercise addiction is choosing exercise over spending time with your family or engaging in life’s normal pursuits. For example, staying out later for a longer run every once in a while is fine, especially if you have the energy to do so or want to work off a few extra slices of pizza, but doing so repeatedly might cause your daily exercise grind to turn into something much more difficult for your body to endure.
Sticking to a predetermined schedule with days marked off when you’ll be engaging in especially demanding bouts of exercise is the best way to properly prepare for putting your body through the stresses of intense working out.
Exercise is often touted as a natural way to increase the flow of endorphins in the body. Endorphins are often described as the body’s natural painkillers since these chains of amino acids exhibit the same characteristics as man-made chemical painkillers. But the effect of these natural mood enhancers can be lost in a body that is too tired and overworked to appreciate their presence.
Each time you work out and push your body to perform in increasingly difficult exercises, your body must recover from the strain placed on muscles, tendons, and bones. Exercising too frequently and for too long a duration can result in your body feeling tired all the time.
Instead of boosting your energy level and leaving you with a fresh sense of accomplishment, over-exercise can start you down the dangerous path to injury and fatigue that can, in time, become a chronic condition.
Exercising Through Injuries
While you may take every step needed to prevent injuries while working out, sometimes breaks, sprains, or less serious injuries occur during intense training. Allowing your body ample time to heal is of paramount importance so you’re able to get back into the action at 100%.
Exercising while injured is a very direct sign of an exercise addiction since the desire to exercise has overcome the will to safely recover.
If staying inactive to repair an injury to your body is interfering with your psychological well-being, most injuries do allow for some light activities during recovery. Swimming is often an option for those with injured limbs.
Exercising normally while injured will not enhance your body’s athletic ability and will instead lead to further injuries from which you might not be able to fully recover.
Listen to Your Body
The best way to avoid an addiction to exercise is to recognize whether you might have addictive tendencies and to create a structured, safe plan for a healthy exercise regimen. Taking a break can be a good way to refuel the body and the mind and days of rest should always be a part of your exercise plan.