Doctors recommend that everyone should have at least 30 minutes of daily cardio exercise. This type of exercise elevates mood, promotes weight loss, and increases cardiovascular fitness. The recommended daily exercise is done for health reasons. However, if you take the recommended daily exercise beyond the normal amount and intensity, then it can turn into an addiction. Slowly, exercise becomes a tool for beauty and an object of obsession. However, you can avoid this unhealthy life. There are some warning signs that signal a starting or current obsession with exercise. You know you are addicted to exercise if…
1 You Exercise Even when Tired
Instead of letting the body recover, you choose to work out even when you are exhausted. You use your will power to overcome the exhaustion so you can work out and stay on schedule.
2 You Work out Even when Sick or Injured
Over-exercise makes you prone to sickness and injury. But because you have all these goals to reach, you continue to exercise even when you have sustained injury or are sick. The whole thing just turns into a destructive cycle.
3 You Feel Guilty or Angry for Missing a Workout
Exercise is not something that you are obligated to do every single day of your life. But if you have an unhealthy obsession with it, you may find yourself feeling guilty or angry over a missed workout.
4 You Make up for Missed Workouts
If you are addicted to exercise, you feel the need to make up for your missed workouts. Some driving forces for making up a missed workout could be guilt, desperation, or even anger. You double your efforts during a make up session.
5 You Use Exercise as a Form of Escape
Just like drugs and other forms of addiction, exercise can be used to escape the reality of life. Exercise can also be used to numb unpleasant feelings. If you find yourself using exercise for these purposes, then you may have an addiction.
6 You Have Unrealistic Goals and Time Frames
If you have an unhealthy body image, you could be using exercise to change the way you think you look. You set out to reach unrealistic goals within an unrealistic time frame.
7 You Follow a Strict Workout Schedule or Pattern
To achieve your goals, you come up with a workout schedule that you strictly follow. You feel like there is no room for deviation because you might not complete your goals in time.
8 You Want to Work out Alone
Because you follow a strict exercise regimen, you want and have to work out alone. Your friends won’t be able to match your will power to exercise the way you do. So yes, there is no choice but to isolate yourself and work out alone.
9 You Miss out on Your Social Life to Exercise
I think you would agree with me that if exercise becomes your whole life, then there is something wrong with you. I don’t want to be mean or anything but you need a wake up call. If you ditch your family and friends, as well as work and other obligations just to exercise, then something unhealthy is going on.
If you have one or more of these signs, then you might be addicted to exercise. It’s hard to admit that you have a problem especially when you feel like you are not doing anything wrong. However, don’t be scared. Like eating disorders, exercise addiction is just a physical manifestation of an emotional or mental problem. You can change and live a balanced and healthy life.
Top Photo Credit: Valeska E.
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