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Risk of Exercise Addiction and Treatment Programs

 In Addiction, Addiction Recovery, Mental Health

Exercise addiction in itself is an addiction and unhealthy obsession with exercising and physical activity. The addicted person will typically exercise excessively, regardless of any negative effect on their body. It is often related to poor body image or eating disorders. While regular exercise is good to have in your daily routine, in excess, compulsive exercise can be damaging both physically and mentally. If you are battling an exercise addiction, reach out to an addiction resource center to begin recovery. 

Symptoms and Signs of Exercise Addiction 

  • Common symptoms of compulsive exercise include the following:
  • Feeling buzzed after exercising 
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms after not exercising for long periods 
  • Uncontrollable desire to exercise 
  • Reducing activities in other areas of life to make time for exercise 
  • Spending extended periods preparing for and recovering from exercise
  • Inability to stick with a reduced exercise routine 
  • Fitness obsession 
  • Lack of self-control 

This addiction can be overwhelming and intrude on a person’s daily life. If you are suffering from an addiction to exercise or any compulsive behavior, seek help. Many addiction treatment facilities are ready to help get you back on your feet. 

Co-occurring Disorders

When diagnosed with an exercise addiction, the person is also battling a co-occurring disorder. Some of those may include the following:

  • An eating disorder such as anorexia, binge eating, or bulimia 
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Body dysmorphic disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder 
  • Anxiety 
  • Personality disorder
  • Other mental disorders 

Treatment Programs for Exercise Addiction 

Treating exercise addiction is typically treated by attempting to discern the root of the problem. People can sometimes do this through cognitive behavioral therapy. Alternative treatments include inpatient or outpatient rehab, family therapy, art therapy, support groups, and other types of addiction treatment. Rehabilitation provides time away from the outside world while you learn healthy coping mechanisms, how to overcome behavioral addictions, and relapse prevention strategies. If you or a loved one are addicted to exercising, contact a trusted behavioral health professional to discuss the best course of action for you. Recovery is challenging but not impossible.

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