Exercise is an enjoyable way to relieve stress and increase energy
levels, however, when participation becomes extreme, exercise can turn
into an addiction that must be performed every day. If an exercise-addicted
person cannot exercise, he or she will experience a great deal of guilt
and anxiety over the inactivity.
Symptoms and signs:
Exercising to the detriment of every other element of their lives
Exercising despite serious physical injuries
Missing work, school, and time with loved ones in order to exercise
Depression, low self-esteem, repressed anger
No matter how much they exercise or achieve in other areas of their
lives, they believe they should do more.
Because some sports demand a certain body type (such as gymnastics or
ice skating) or depend on the weight of the athlete (such as wrestling
or horse racing), exercise addiction often develops in elite athletes
like dancers, ice skaters, gymnasts, jockeys, and wrestlers, in their
mission to excel at their sport.
Exercise addiction is common in anorectics and bulimics, since they
think that excessive exercise can help them get thin. Bulimics will
often use compulsive exercise as a method of purging.
Compulsive exercise can cause many painful injuries, such as stress
fractures, damaged bones and joints, and torn muscles, ligaments, and
The injuries may become more serious as many compulsive exercises will
continue their routines despite their injuries.