Exercise Can Be Addictive?

by MPK | April 8th, 2010 | Cardio, Strength Training

When you think of the term addict, what do you picture?  Perhaps it is someone who is addicted to drugs, or maybe it is someone who is a chain smoker.  Regardless, you probably think of someone with an unhealthy habit, not something good for you, such as exercise.  However, some people are exercise addicts, and this addiction (like others) is unhealthy.

I am a person who works out regularly.  In fact, my family enjoys teasing my playfully about it.  So, when I did some reading and realized that for some people the desire to exercise becomes unhealthy, I decided to analyze my own regimen.  I workout six days a week, faithfully.  If we travel, I bring workout clothes.  I have a set routine that I follow all six days.  I eat a healthy diet.  I look forward to my daily workout and enjoy the feeling of completing it.  However, if we have plans that interrupt my workout routine, I will alter my schedule.  If I am injured, I will take time off to heal.

Reading research about exercise addictions, it is quite clear that I do not belong to that category.  I simply am a motivated person who enjoys exercise.  According to Jack Raglin, Ph.D., associate professor in the department of kinesiology at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, some signs that a person has an addiction to exercise include:

  • Excessive reliance on exercise
  • Continuation of exercise when injured or sick
  • Withdrawal symptoms when exercise levels are decreased or temporarily halted

While exercise is important, it should not become the focal point in a person’s life (nor does that mean that one should focus on diet or weight loss pills either).  If exercise takes prominence over one’s health or important activities, it probably is time to reassess that person’s workout regimen.  As the Greek philosopher Epictetus stated, “If one oversteps the bounds of moderation, the greatest pleasures cease to please.”

  1. […] week we published an article about how exercise can indeed become addictive. As written in that previous article, it is […]

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.