Humans from time immemorial have always engaged in several forms of exercise, either consciously or unconsciously. You also must have been participating in some exercise as it is very beneficial for the body and overall growth of all humans.
However, too much of everything can be detrimental to your health. This is what a compulsive exercise does. Although, you might have started with a genuine reason for a workout; probably to lose some pounds because you think you are obese, until it inadvertently becomes a form of addiction.
What Is Compulsive Exercise?
A compulsive exercise is a form of exercise often referred to as Exercise Addition. It often occurs when an individual is motivated to exercise themselves too much to the point of becoming excessive. Few things can keep such ones from getting involved in the exercise. When affected, the love for exercise becomes so strong that it becomes the strongest relationship they have.
Even severe situations like illness, injury, bad weather, or special times to spend with friends and family cannot even stop those engaging in compulsive exercise. This condition is not age limited; it affects both young and older people. Whether some of the best exercise equipment for obese seniors is feasible but extreme engagement in it is not a good habit. As important as exercise is for the body, compulsive exercise carries more danger than good.
Thousands of those engaging in exercise are affected by this disorder, the act that many don’t take note quickly makes the condition severe than it should have been.
Causes of Compulsive Exercise
Engagement in compulsive or excess exercise is not always by choice; some factors often give birth to this situation. One of the prevalent causes of this condition is an eating disorder. An individual suffering from an eating disorder may result in exercising too much to lose weight.
Many are also motivated to achieve an impossible body type; hence, they result in over exercising their body to reach their body type goal. Personal goals, coaches, teammates, and parents can also be the cause of an individual engaging in compulsive exercise.
Am I A Victim of Compulsive Exercise?
Are you suffering from this condition or studying someone that does? Here are some signs and symptoms that will help you identify the condition better;
- When exercise excessively interferes with other meaningful life’s activities. Or when exercise is done at inappropriate settings and time, even when not convenient.
- Getting anxious, depressed, distressed, irritated, and feeling guilty if unable to engage in exercise.
- Becoming uncomfortable when resting or when inactive.
- Exercise becoming the only permission to eating.
- Engaging secretly in exercise
- Maintaining exercise routine despite illness, fatigue, injury, or poor weather.
- Overtraining because of the feeling of not being good enough, fast enough, or not pushing hard enough.
- Basing self-worth on the number of hours and number of completed workout sessions, and the effort put into training.
All these symptoms even at their slightest sight signals at compulsive exercise.
Some Effects of Compulsive Exercise
It is a known fact that exercise is good for improving the overall health condition, but it gets to a point when the fun and benefit of exercise cross the line of appropriateness. At this level, exercise starts to become unhealthy with severe results like;
- Fatigue, injuries, and over injuries like stress fractures due to exercising too much.
- Social isolation due to putting workout routine first and above other activities. This affects the relationship with family members, friends, and personal assignment.
- Anxiety and depression. This often becomes the result of performance pressure or lack of interest in other activities resulting in emotional problems.
- Amenorrhea.This the distortion of the menstrual cycle in women due to excess exercise.
- Experiencing chronic joint and bone pain.
- Experiencing an altered resting heart rate, which may result in an increased frequency of illness and respiratory infections.
- In women, this often results in Female Athlete Triad. This is a condition that results in losing a lot of weight.
How To Diagnose Compulsive Exercise
Sad to say, it is very hard to diagnose this condition. This is because there is no solid agreement on the number of hours one should spend exercising, neither is there information on when an exercise becomes too much — but critically identifying the symptoms above in individuals signal the effect of compulsive exercise.
How Do I Treat Compulsive Exercise?
Compulsive exercise as a condition can be arrested and treated appropriately. You may require the help of a therapist to deal with exercise addiction. This will help you moderate the quantity of time spent exercising. It will also help you cope with a reduction in the quantity of time spent. The treatment will focus on;
- Treating all injuries suffered due to compulsive exercise
- Resting and reducing the pace and quantity of exercise
- Building an alternative exercise routine
- Undergoing nutrition counseling to help you keep a healthy weight overall.
- Taking active steps to treat conditions like an eating disorder, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
When you make use of the help of a therapist, the chances of getting rid of the condition quickly increases. Since staying away completely might not be easy and helpful, taking exercise at a reduced rate, which requires less time will be of help.
After all these steps, if you are not sure of the progress, it is best to ask friends and family members to keep strict watch of your activities to ensure that you are not going out of the designed routine.
As severe as compulsive exercise condition might be, immediately you start addressing the condition and taking steps to ensure you deal effectively with it, you will quickly start to see changes. Just keep up, and you will soon be completely free from compulsive exercise.