Compulsive Exercising and Addiction

Compulsive Exercising and AddictionWhen you think about exercising, you think about fitness and doing something constructive for your body and your mind. With a controlled exercise as a part of a daily routine, you can receive benefits of greater cardiovascular capability, body tone, and weight management. However, if exercise becomes compulsive you could actual experience signs of addiction. Excessive exercise that is extreme in frequency affects every other part of your life. When exercise becomes the focus of your life at the expense of your other obligations, you are experiencing a psychological addiction. If you ignore your responsibilities to family, work, school, or other social activities, you may be experience exercise addiction.

What Does Exercise Addiction Look Like?

The warning signs that a person may be engaging in exercise addiction include the following:

  • Maintaining a very rigid fitness schedule; making no exceptions
  • Exercising alone to avoid scrutiny of others
  • Exercise even when sick or injured
  • Being fixated on calories burned and weight management
  • Exercise even when they should be at work or school

These behaviors are observable, but there are other internal motivators that drive a person to this addictive behavior.

Causes of Exercise Addiction

Each person is driven to exercise addiction for different underlying reasons but a pattern of typical behaviors includes the following:

  • Desire to control their body weight or shape
  • Anxiousness should they not exercise
  • Desire to achieve the endorphin-driven high that exercise provides

There are a myriad of issues that a person with an exercise addiction has not resolved that feeds their desire to exercise.

Compulsive Exercising and Addiction

People who engage in compulsive exercise are at risk for several reasons. Often, a compulsive exerciser is also dealing with additional issues such as an eating disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, or an anxiety disorder.

The core problem with compulsive exercising is that it can lead to other compulsive behavior, which can cause a person to more critically evaluate everything about themselves, making them prone to negative thinking and low self-esteem.

Treatment for Compulsive Behaviors

By catching the warning signs of compulsive exercise early, a person may be able to benefit from talk therapy. This therapy gives a person the forum to explore their thoughts and feelings associated with their compulsive behavior. The hope is that by understanding what is motivating the person to exercise obsessively, that the person will find healthier and more productive ways to deal with these motivators.

However, if a person has been acting in a compulsive manner for an extended period of time, they are at risk for other addictive behaviors that may lead to confusion, destruction, and isolation. When a person reaches this stage, he is at significant risk for substance abuse as a temporary relief mechanism to deal with their compulsive behaviors.

Get Help for Compulsive Exercise and Addiction

One compulsive behavior has a tendency to encourage other compulsive behaviors. You need to break the cycle and we have the resources available to help you succeed. Call our toll-free number today any time of day. Our counselors want to help you get back in control of your life in a healthy manner.