Athlete’s bodies receive a large dose of chemical endorphins following their strenuous workout session that can easily become addictive. When fitness becomes more of an addiction than a commitment to health, it can be difficult to draw the line between the two.
Exercise addiction is a real thing and should be cautiously avoided. When exercising begins as a pleasurable event and morphs into a compulsive or neurotic necessity, it may be time to seek help. Athletes may not even be aware of their troubling behaviors. Take a moment to read this short overview of a few of the most common signs and symptoms of a fitness addiction.
What is the motive for exercise
If there is cause for concern when it comes to a friend or family member’s fitness regimen, try narrowing down the person’s motive for exercise. If you, yourself are concerned, then ask yourself just why you feel the undying urge to remain fit.
When the motive for exercising shifts from staying fit, to escaping the boundaries and constraints of life, then there may be a problem. Escapism is the most common sign that there is an addiction issue.
Suffering personal relationships
The phenomenon “divorce by triathalon” may not be in the mental health books, but it is a real issue for some athletes. If your close relationships suffer due to your training schedule, it may be time to take a closer look at your priorities in life.
The ways in which we relate to the people around us matter much more than the accomplishments we achieve in life. No one wants their headstone to read, “Here lies Frank. He was a good runner.”
Training like a pro when you are not a pro
Professional athletes are paid to work out all day long. They go from strength training, to agility training, to aerobic exercise, because they get paid very well to do so. If you are constantly working out and not getting paid to train, then you may want to check your motives.
There is an influx of guilt whenever you miss a workout
Men and women who are addicted to working out will be overcome with a strong sense of guilt whenever they are forced to miss a workout. They almost instantly believe that their hard work will be ruined.
When you feel like you have to make up for the missed workout and overtrain the next time you have the chance, it is time to reconsider your conditioning habits.
Athletes who are overly competitive and self-critical
When unsportsmanlike conduct becomes a go-to behavior, there is a problem. There is a clear difference between a type-A personality trait and an overly competitive and self-critical attitude during competition.