by Lachmi Deb Roy on  October 28, 2010 at 7:41 PM Health Watch
Exercise Addiction
Addiction of any kind is unhealthy for the body- be it even exercise. Exercise addiction is a disorder, often working in conjunction with a more familiar eating disorder, such as anorexia or bulimia. Working out at the gym everyday could lead to a physical addiction to exercise, according to a study. This flip side to good intention is also called 'exercise obsession'.


While most of us are concerned with obesity and a sedentary lifestyle it is important that we pay some attention to exercise addiction as well. Running on a treadmill for hours, running up and down countless number of stairs, jogging for miles together can have an adverse effect on your health.

To the common eye it may appear that these people have a lot of commitment to good health, but actually the scene is completely different. These people have a fear of putting on weight and hence they push themselves too hard and end up injuring themselves. Amita Agnihotri, Director Communications of Fitness One India limited says, "When you exercise, your happy hormones get released so you tend to get addicted to it. So more than half an hour to 45 minutes of exercise, four to five times a week is not recommended. The human body does not respond beyond forty five minutes. Overdoing of weight training leads to muscle pulls and rupture of ligaments."


The exercise addict needs exercise. Unfortunately this can affect both physical and emotional health of a person.  Too much exercise makes you more prone to cold and the bones also suffer badly. "I have seen many ladies whose menstrual cycle has become irregular because of over-exercising. But this is just temporary. Once you lower the impact of exercising, the cycle becomes normal. Similarly, more than 15 to 20 per cent of body mass index is bad for health just as  less than 15 to 20 per cent of weight is equally harmful," says renowned gynecologist from Mumbai, Dr. Ambarish Warty.

High intensity exercise if done on a regular basis can lead to severe damage. It can lead to permanent soreness in various parts of the body. Instead of energizing you it can lead to constant lethargy or fatigue. Over exercising can lead  to stress and hormonal imbalance as well.


Most of the fanatics are women and men in the age group of thirty-five to sixty. All are scared of aging in a beauty oriented society. They are basically people who are unhappy about their physical appearance and their life. They push themselves hard to look good and most importantly to look young.

"Exercise addiction is addiction like eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. Exercise addicts are not willing to compromise on their workout schedule be it what ever exercise comes their way. I had a couple who came to me and the husband had to say that his wife works out for at least three to four hours a day without fail and has absolutely no time to even talk to him. She even constantly pushes her husband to workout. Her fitness schedule is affecting their marital life," says Psychologist Dr. Anjali Chabria. These kinds of people are emotionally consumed with the thought of exercising and a feeling that he or she is not doing enough.

Dr. Chabria adds, "Exercise obsession is getting so severe these days that there was a young girl who came to me saying that she is so upset with her mother's recent behavior. Everyday when she wakes up in the morning  she sees  her mother taking out all her dresses from the wardrobe and tries to fit into them. She had to say that her mother spends at least three to four hours in the gym, so that she remains slim and youthful."


Renowned fitness expert from Mumbai Deanne Pandey says, "In urban cities exercise addiction is a big problem which needs to be treated. The young crowd is hooked up to Bollywood and Hollywood stars and the cities are also flooded with gyms. Over-exercising can lead to osteoporosis, dehydration, bone and joint problems, and your immunity goes down, you become more prone to cough and cold and even low hemoglobin count. One needs to put a stop to this addiction."

 Pandey further adds that one needs to come out of denial and overcome it by saying that there is a problem. "The best is to consult a psychologist and your fitness instructor. I have heard my students saying  'let's do this again'. It is a killer.  I say just put a stop to this obsession and do not stretch yourself too much. One needs to accept that it is a disease of the mind and hence it needs to be treated immediately because for your addiction you cannot make others around you suffer. People don't even know how much is too much and where should one stop."

Source: Medindia

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