It is well known that there are several benefits to regular exercise, including decreased risk of disease, cancers, mental disorders and increased physical, mental and social wellbeing.
But how much is too much?
There is a point where exercise can become excessive to a point where we become injured and experience negative psychological symptoms, like being irritable if we miss an exercise session. Exercise even has the potential to become an addiction just like any other, with all of the associated symptoms. Although this is pretty rare, extreme cases can ruin people’s lives by splitting up relationships, getting into exercise related financial debt, and even losing employment.
Am I addicted?
There are seven general symptoms that practitioners look for when diagnosing exercise addiction, which are:
– The need to exercise more and more frequently to get the desired physical or mental result
– The presence of physical or mental withdrawal symptoms if an exercise session is missed
– Wanting to cut down but not being able to
– Lack of control to not go to the gym/take rest days
– A marked reduction in other activities because we’re exercising instead
– Continuing to exercise despite injury/not wanting to
This sounds like me. Am I addicted?
Probably not. Several people exhibit one or more of these symptoms without exercise being a real problem. If you are worried, the best first option would be to see your GP.
How much research has been done in this area?
In a nutshell, not much! But Mike Trott, a Les Mills Presenter, Trainer and Assessor from the UK, is currently leading the world’s largest ever study in to exercise addiction as part of his PhD and would love for you to help!
If you can spare 10 minutes, fill out his anonymous survey exploring exercise addiction. All you need to be is a member of a health club to be eligible!
Just click here or visit: bit.ly/2Ikdjcm