Too much of anything is bound to backfire. Although healthy diet and fitness choices are critical for a wholesome life, getting too attached to them can turn distressful in the long run. Exercise, despite its several benefits, is an addiction to many across the world. Many a time, it co-exists with a compulsive eating disorder too. Here are 5 signs that indicate that you are overdoing exercise.
1. You Feel Hopeless On Skipping A Workout
Indulging in any form of exercise will leave your body and mind feeling thoroughly re-energized. The rush of endorphins that happen after a workout makes you feel happy and excited. It’s natural for almost anyone with a fitness routine to feel good after exercising. On the days you miss a session, it’s pretty obvious that the body will crave the surge of happy hormones too but you are less likely to beat yourself up for it.
On the other hand, if you are addicted to exercise, you will feel irritable and lethargic on missing it. You would also make up for the missed session by overtraining and overloading your body. This is because you are overridden by feelings of guilt.
2. Your Entire Life Revolves Around Exercising
Your social life has become non-existent. Your priorities at work and personal life have taken a backseat in comparison to your workout schedules. Near and dear ones have started to complain about your absence in family gatherings and get-togethers. Even if you do attend a handful, you end up talking about exercise and fitness usually.
3. You Don’t Take Rest Days Despite Injuries
Your body needs enough time to adapt to a strain and recover from it. When you keep exercising 7 days a week and multiple times in a day, you are burdening your body. This causes injury and nagging pain which doesn’t seem to go away due to lack of rest days. You are also more likely to develop a habit of popping painkillers to manage the pain so that you can exercise.1
4. You Are Hiding An Eating Disorder
Many addicts of exercise use their fitness routine as a way to purge the calories they have binged upon. People who are addicted to exercise could either be suffering from orthorexia or anorexia athletica. Orthorexics are more likely to eat only healthy foods and don’t eat anything that’s junk or not healthy enough. They could also be compulsive fitness freaks to compliment their diet pattern.2
On the other hand, people suffering from anorexia athletica tend to eat nothing or everything but throw themselves into excessive and rigorous training. You may even adopt various harmful shortcuts to maintain a lean physique like using water pills and laxatives.3
5. You Are Obsessed With Your Physique
Having extreme levels of insecurity and disappointment about the way one looks is a major trigger for spurring a compulsive exercise habit. Body dysmorphic disorder, wherein you have a distorted perception about the way you look, is present in many addicts. Your incessant need to compare your body with others make you feel miserable and adds fuel to your addiction to exercise.4
If you feel you have any of the above signs, seek help without delay. Understand that achieving a balance between your fitness regime, diet and lifestyle is of paramount significance. This will not only give you a healthier physique but will also boost your sense of personal and social wellbeing.
|↑1||Lichtenstein, Mia Beck, Cecilie Juul Hinze, Bolette Emborg, Freja Thomsen, and Simone Daugaard Hemmingsen. “Compulsive exercise: links, risks and challenges facedent.” Psychology research and behavior management 10 (2017): 85.|
|↑2||Sundgot-Borgen, Jorunn. “Eating disorders in female athletes.” Sports Medicine 17, no. 3 (1994): 176-188.|
|↑3||Nazem, Taraneh Gharib, and Kathryn E. Ackerman. “The female athlete triad.” Sports Health 4, no. 4 (2012): 302-311.|
|↑4||Nieuwoudt, Johanna E., Shi Zhou, Rosanne A. Coutts, and Ray Booker. “Symptoms of muscle dysmorphia, body dysmorphic disorder, and eating disorders in a nonclinical population of adult male weightlifters in Australia.” The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 29, no. 5 (2015): 1406-1414.|