Addiction Rehab Centers

exercise addiction

Exercise Addiction: When a Good Thing Turns Bad

Standard exercise joined with smart dieting and sufficient rest can be a gainful piece of day-by-day life. Having an activity routine can help with weight reduction, increment energy levels, lessen the danger of constant infections, and just assist people with feeling more joyful. Exercise enslavement, practice reliance, habitual exercise, required exercise, or anorexia athletics are what can happen when something to be thankful for is taken excessively far.

Exercise enslavement can be hard to spot and harder to concede.

There is a barely recognizable difference between thorough preparation and enthusiastic addictive conduct. Further, it is assessed that 0.3% of the US populace has an activity reliance. Despite the fact that this reliance is uncommon, it is as yet critical to comprehend and distinguish if an activity compulsion might be impacting everything.

General Information about Exercise Addiction

There are commonly two sorts of activity dependence: essential and optional. Essential exercise fixation is the place the junkie searches out physical movement. Exercise discharges endorphins and dopamine, which causes people to feel joy and joy. In essential exercise enslavement, it is this dopamine discharge that starts to make enthusiastic exercise. In auxiliary exercise dependence, physical movement is optional to a dietary issue like anorexia or bulimia, utilized fundamentally to control weight reduction and self-perception.

Exercise addiction is difficult to diagnose: in many cases, the addict doesn’t see anything wrong with their behaviour and therefore does not seek help. It is also not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition (DSM-5) which further contributes to denial from those who have a dependency on physical activity. Mental health professionals like doctors, psychiatrists or psychologists can help diagnose exercise addiction, as it is often a behavioural cycle rather than a chemical dependency.

Exercise addiction

Comorbidity and Transference

Comorbidity is where more than one condition occurs at the same time. While eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia can be common among those who are addicted to physical activity, so can other mental issues like depression and anxiety. Physical activity is seen as a way to ‘blow off steam’, but if not dealt with appropriately, depression and anxiety can lead to further issues. Research has shown that approximately 39% – 48% of those suffering from anorexia or bulimia also suffer from exercise addiction, as they seek a way to control their body image and self-esteem.

Transference is when an addict replaces one addiction with another. Those who are in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction may turn to work out as a way to control temptation and get their minds off the possibility of relapse. While exercise can be a great way to get healthy boosts of dopamine in the body, one needs to be cognizant of why they are working out as well as how frequent and how hard the workouts are. If an addict is not actively pursuing sobriety and trying to get to the root of their behaviour, they may not experience true sobriety, but just replace one addiction for another.

Signs of Exercise Addiction

Since the DSM-5 does not officially recognize this form of addiction, identifying the red flags can be extremely difficult. Risk factors could include:

  • Extreme weight loss or weight gain
  • Irritability
  • One’s self-esteem is tied to body image or workout results
  • Tolerance: More physical activity over time.
  • Continuance: Continuing to work out despite negative consequences or injuries. Injuries could include stress fractures, extreme fatigue or exhaustion.
  • Reduction in other activities: The addict may forego vacations and time spent with family members or loved ones in order to prioritize time spent in the gym.
  • Withdrawal symptoms: In some cases, addicts can experience withdrawal symptoms similar to those who are recovering from substance abuse. These could include anxiety, irritability, restlessness and sleep problems.

more physical activity over time


Much the same as recuperation from substance misuse, no two recuperations from practice fixation will be the equivalent. Exercise itself is certifiably not an awful thing, yet the individuals who experience the ill effects of reliance may need to avoid it for a while until control can be displayed. The fanatic needs to comprehend and recognize in the event that they are reliant on the activity itself or on the off chance that it is an indication of a more profound self-perception issue like anorexia or bulimia. Likewise, with any enslavement, mindfulness is critical to recuperation and keeping away from backsliding. Understanding why there is a longing to persistently exercise or exercise is significant in recognizing if enslavement exists in any case. Keep in mind, regardless of what dependence is at play, recuperation is consistently conceivable.

Post a Comment