Millions of Americans suffer from some kind of addiction every year. When you think about addiction most think about drug addiction. Addiction refers to the chronic relapsing of an action that can be hazardous to your health. Individuals can be addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, and even exercising. It does seem like exercising can be viewed as dangerous to your health, but too much of anything can be dangerous. The truth is that addiction to exercise can be dangerous and have negative effects on other aspects of your life. Roughly 80% of all Americans do not achieve an adequate amount of exercise, while 3% of people get addicted to it. Research has shown that personality traits can be the cause of exercise addiction. People who are more perfectionists, narcissistic, less agreeable, more neurotic, lack self-compassion with low-self-esteem, and those who have a preoccupation with one’s appearance. Environment also plays a serious role in exercise addiction. America is ripe for such addictions because it places a huge emphasis on fitness. Fitness and health are important, but when it is driving by narcissism it can be dangerous.

More is Better?

People work out to be in shape. They continue to push themselves to be better, but better for what. It is true that working out and being in shape is good, but when is too much? America’s obsession is with excess. A popular rap song even boasts themes of doing everything big. There continues to be discussions about hard-core, intense workouts to get people prepared, but prepared for what. Tough mudders and cross fit exercises are very tough workouts and can get people into great shape. Pushing yourself harder is always good, we never truly know what we are capable of until we push, but these very activities can be detrimental to our health. What makes this issue worse is that those individuals with addictions to exercise also have eating disorders. Narcissistism combined with an obsession to look at certain way often forces individuals to combine addiction to exercise and poor eating habits. Counting calories vehemently can not only become a burden, but it could create high anxiety. Exercise is good, it is rewarding, and many should be passionate for sport or exercise. There are some who will use these positive attributes of exercise as an enablement to exercise excessively. Exercising too much, especially combined with eating disorders, can be easy to mask and are a form of self-harm.

Signs and Symptoms of Exercise Addiction

Detecting signs and symptoms of exercise addiction can be tough, but it might also seem counterproductive. Exercise is great and with so many individuals not getting any exercise at all it criticizing those getting it does not make sense. The truth is exercise addiction can be counterproductive to your health. Over activity can decrease performance, lower overall well-being, and impair relationships. Recently there has been a great increase in gym facilities and other cheap memberships the chances of the 3% of exercise addicts to grow are possible. People who are hell bent on changing their bodies significantly have more opportunities to do so now. A 21-point scale is based on substance abuse and behavioral addictions like gambling, sex, porn, and video games have been created to detect exercise addiction. Individuals who have a high tolerance that requires more and more physical activity over time; often the individual is attempting to chase a feeling or high. When someone experiences anxiety, irritability, restlessness, and sleeps problems when they are not exercises, then they could be in exercise withdrawal. Continuing to work out when it creates dangerous situations or effects health negatively are signs of exercise addiction. Exercise addiction can also be detected by: amount of time allotted to exercise, reduction in other activities, and lack of control.