Exercise Addiction

Exercise addiction

As we are constantly bombarded with images of body perfection, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to hear that addiction to exercise is now on the increase. It is also thought that endorphins play an important part in the exercise addiction cycle, this is because the endorphins provide a soothing affect and boost your mood. An addiction is an addiction when it starts to impact on the person’s life and makes them feel depressed or angry, or they beat themselves up if they miss a class or workout.

Exercise addiction may be linked to eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia, as a way to control a person’s body weight and to have a feeling of being in control. It is also thought that exercise addiction is a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), in that the exercise is a way of relieving negative emotions.

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The cause of exercise addiction is thought to develop in childhood and is usually linked to low self-esteem.  Some people seek out high-achieving behaviours as a way to feel better.  Being exposed to prolonged stress, neglect or a traumatic incident may be factors that are in play. This means that when seeking treatment it is not just about working with the addiction, but also about addressing what is causing it and finding alternative ways of coping and managing.

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