I love to exercise and share that love with friends, family, and anyone who listens. I also have a healthy social life and a world that extends beyond the gym. While enjoying exercise is healthy, having an uncontrolled desire to the point of discomfort when you can’t workout isn’t. In Calgary, Canada, some people are addicted to the gym to the exclusion of all other activities. Exercising regularly is healthy and fulfilling. It should be part of your life, not your entire life.
How do you know if you’re addicted to exercising and going to the gym?
One sign of addiction is the inability to quit or limit an activity. If your day revolves around the hours spent preparing for exercise, exercising, and recovering from exercise you may have a problem. Like any addiction, loving the high, having withdrawal symptoms if you don’t get your workout fix, and being unable to quit or reduce the time spent in the gym are signs. It’s more than just enjoying a good workout. It’s a compulsion to workout for long hours.
Intense workouts for long hours can hurt your body.
Exercising is healthy and burns off stress. It builds your body and helps keep you looking and feeling younger. While prunes are healthy to eat, if you eat too many, there are consequences. The same is true for exercise. It can stress your body, affect your immune system, cause mood changes, and reverse any physical progress you might have made. When you do strength-building workouts, it causes microtears in the muscles. When those microtears heal, which takes about 48 to 72 hours, the scar tissue makes the muscles bigger or stronger. If you don’t have rest between sessions, the muscle tissue continues to tear and never heals.
Find a happy medium or adjust your intensity.
Exercising too much is just as unhealthy as not exercising at all. If you’re addicted to the gym because you love the social aspects of it and enjoy the happy side effects of feeling stronger and healthier, that’s one thing. If you’re addicted to the gym because you have an uncontrollable urge to work your body until it succumbs to an obsession to be perfect, take a pause and rethink your position. Both lack of exercise and too much exercise are about lack of self-control. Exercising should be about being kind to your body.
- If your workout program has taken over your life to the point it’s the only thing that counts, to the exclusion of social activities, you might be addicted. A healthy life includes a good social life.
- Exercise releases endorphins, similar to drugs or eating sugar. If you can only get that high from working out, you may have a problem. Ask why you’re exercising and whether you can reduce the hours spent on the activity.
- Doing just one type of exercise is also a problem. If you run for long hours daily, you could encounter stress fractures. Do a varied workout.
- How do you know if you have an addiction? Reduce your workout time and judge by your internal response.
For more information, contact us today at Get RIPPED! by Jari Love