9 Warning Signs of Exercise Addiction

Posted on July 1, 2017

Exercise, when done in a moderate amount can bring about a whole lot of benefits, but too much of exercise can also bring about negative consequences. Exercise addiction is something that impacts many, and it’s not a formal clinical diagnosis, but rather a behavioral condition that is often rooted within other issues — such as distorted body image or eating disorders.

Here are some universal signs to look out for:

1. Feeling irritable, anxious, or depressed from missing a workout.
If you notice yourself or someone you know becoming clearly agitated or uncomfortable after missing a workout, even after a long string of consecutive days of exercising, it could be a warning sign.

2. You work out when you're sick, injured or exhausted.
It is important to listen to your body’s cues. Those who have an addiction to exercise push themselves through a pulled muscle, the flu or even a stress fracture, failing to rest even when rest is clearly needed.

3. Exercise becomes a way to escape.
The primary goal is no longer balancing the mind or reducing stress. Exercise becomes a way to withdraw from certain life situations and the emotions that are brought up because of them.

4. Workouts start to impact relationships. When you notice that you are spending more time training than you spend on your relationships, or opt to stay at the gym instead of attending gatherings with friends, it could be indicative of an unhealthy relationship with exercise. As with any eating disorder, exercise addicts tend to withdraw and isolate themselves from their friends and family in order to continue unhealthy behaviors.

5. Other priorities suffer.
When exercise is viewed as more significant in the grand scheme of things, resulting in missing work deadlines or an important event, this is a sign of exercise addiction.

6. Happiness is re-defined.
For those who are exercise addicts, mood or happiness may be dictated solely by the outcome of the latest workout, how their body looks on that given day or how fit they currently perceive themselves to be.

7. Continually extend workouts.
It is quite common for someone struggling with an exercise addiction to add on workouts wherever they can.

8. Excessive workouts.
Excessive workouts — without any specific training goal and without being monitored by a medical professional — could result in negative mental and physical ramifications.

9. Exercise loses the element of play and fun. Exercise needs to be fun, not viewed as a chore or “must-do” when you simply don’t feel up to it.


Source material from PsychCentral

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