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Warning Signs of an Unhealthy Exercise Addiction

The word addiction is one that has many stereotypes attached to it, but the truth is that you can get addicted to a wide range of things. While they may seem good for you on the surface, too much of anything is generally bad. A prime example of this is exercise. It is important to exercise several times a week, but if exercise is taking over your life, you could have an unhealthy addiction. With that in mind, read on to discover the warning signs of an unhealthy exercise addiction.


  1. You feel worse after you exercise - Once you have exercised, you should feel revitalized and positive. Exercise in moderation has a number of good effects on the body. However, you can cause some serious damage if you take it too far, as you are at risk of muscle tears and sprains, joint issues, and stress fractures. Women can cause damage to their menstrual cycle, and this could impact fertility. Plus, you will lose important body fat and muscle mass.
  2. You feel isolated and depressed - If you are always preoccupied with how many calories you've burned and your exercise regime, it will consume your life. This can make you feel isolated, which will naturally result in depression.
  3. You are taking substances you shouldn’t be - If you are taking substances to enhance your performance and they aren’t healthy, this is a clear sign that you have become addicted to exercise. Moreover, you could become addicted to the substances in question too, which will cause even more harm to your body. The Recovery Village has details regarding recovery meetings and clinics that can assist with this type of addiction should you need it. It’s not uncommon for one addiction to feed another, so don’t feel like you are alone or that you’re to blame. It is an easy path to go down.
  4. You get angry when social commitments interfere with the gym - If you are unable to commit to plans or you find yourself getting angry when social plans get in the way of the gym, you could have an unhealthy relationship with exercise.
  5. Your mood is dominated by exercise - Mood modification is a symptom that is associated with all types of addictions. Do you feel that you need to exercise to stop withdrawal symptoms or negative emotions?
  6. You aren’t honest about how many times you go to the gym - If you find yourself in conversation with someone and they ask you how many times you go to the gym, and you play down your answer to cover the truth, you probably already know that you are addicted to exercising. You may even start to miss work or social events for the gym and come up with a cover story. Plus, it is not uncommon for people to alter their thinking habits in order to justify their workouts.


If any of the symptoms above sound familiar, it is important to get the help you need. Exercising too much can damage the body. It is not a trivial matter either, especially when the addiction starts to impact your emotions, your relationships, and your career.

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