US News and World Report looks at exercise addiction; is this a problem?

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US News and World Report looks at exercise addiction; is this a problem?

As a healthcare provider, many patients who have visited us are addicted to exercise and it is a huge part of their lives. Some do it for the social aspects, others for the buzz they get from endorphins while others, do it because not exercising results in a feeling of stiffness and loss of vitality.

When you are stiff from not exercising, was the lack of exercise the reason or do you have a problem you do not understand which will gradually worsen over time? Most people who are trapped in this exercise or else scenario do not fully understand why they are tight and the eventual injury that occurs from the underlying problem is like pulling the preverbal rug out from underneath them. Do those who are stiff all the time ever wonder why most of the world isn’t I always wonder when I first speak with people like this. The best thing a healthcare provider can do for someone like this is to help them understand why they are stiff, help them resolve or markedly improve the problem so the eventual injury fails to materialize and they can exercise because they want or like to, rather than do it or else the repercussions are stiffness and being uncomfortable in their own skin.

Of course, there are others who have psychological reasons for being addicted to exercise, which is why the US News article is targeting. The question is, are we digging deeply enough into why these people are so driven to exercise and why does that void in their life exist? Also, is being addicted to exercise if you are not having an underlying physical condition really a bad thing?

Check out the article here

Is Exercise Addiction Really So Bad?

Everything, even exercise, should be approached with moderation.

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The relationship between our behavior and health is often believed to be linear. We know, for instance, that drinking water, wearing sunscreen, sleeping enough and exercising all boost our well-being. So we assume that the more we engage in these behaviors, the healthier we’ll be.

Many of us, however, fail to realize that even the healthiest behaviors can become harmful if we overindulge in them.

Take sleeping: Getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night reduces our risk for diabetes, heart disease and infections (to name just a few). But oversleeping has been linked to a host of medical problems, including obesity, psychiatric issues and increased mortality.

As another example, cardiovascular disease is lower in countries where red wine is consumed in moderation. This means one glass a day for women and two glasses a day for men. However, repeatedly consuming five or more alcoholic drinks a day would indicate a pattern of binge drinking or addiction, and this excessive drinking increases our risk of developing more than 60 diseases.

Extending this same conceptualization of addiction to exercise reveals that excessive physical activity may be detrimental to one’s physical, psychological and social health. For example, the physical tolls of excessive exercise include heart abnormalities, fractures and broken bones, muscle tears and ligament strains, and even kidney failure in some extreme cases.

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