Exercise Addiction

Preoccupation With Maintaining a Low Weight Can Result in Self-Destructive Behavior

For most people, exercise is a good thing. In fact, all people need some exercise. For approximately three percent of the population, the approximate number of people living with an exercise addiction, these attempts to achieve a higher level of fitness may do far more harm than good.

Exercise addiction is not as uncommon as society would like to believe. It is most common among a certain population, including the following:

  • Triathletes
  • Runners
  • People living with eating disorders

It is fairly common for people to have coexisting conditions, like bulimia nervosa and exercise addiction in which they become obsessed with measuring all aspects of their intake, exercise, body fat percentage, etc. Some may even experience strong urges to purge to enhance their efforts to meet ambitious weight loss objectives.

What to Look For

The symptoms of excessive exercise range in severity according to the severity of the addiction. Many times, the symptoms start out somewhat mild, and include things like:

  • Shin splints
  • Muscle sprains
  • Fatigue

Prolonged exposure to over exercising, though, may lead to more severe symptoms along the lines of irregular heartbeats, scarring of the heart tissue, heart attacks, enlargement of the heart, and similar health problems.

Identifying the problem is half the battle. The problem with diagnosing someone as one who is addicted to exercise is that exercise is something that is good for you, if only in moderation.

Individuals with a workout addiction are often obsessed with working out and attaining “physical perfection.” If they aren’t actually in the gym for several hours each day they are planning their next visit to the gym, researching exercise routines online, or lining up new challenges to incorporate into their own routines.

In fact, when someone is addicted to working out, that person may make attempts to hide exactly how much time he or she spends at the gym or exercising. He or she may vary exercise routines and opportunities so that it looks as if they are only exercising moderately. Some people who are addicted to working out will continue exercising to and beyond the point of exhaustion despite muscle soreness, blisters, fatigue, and other signs that over-exercising is having negative impacts on their health.

The Connection Between Exercise Addiction and Eating Disorders

For people living with an exercise addiction disorder, exercise may be their way of coping with things in life that feel overwhelming. The same things may contribute to the onset of various eating disorders. Strict control over calories provides individuals with a sense of empowerment and order, giving them something they can control when they feel the world, their emotions, or their weight is far beyond their control.

Monte Nido is committed to helping people living with eating disorders and those who are addicted to exercise find their healthy selves by offering individualized treatment options for each patient. This allows for the treatment of coexisting conditions, mental health concerns, and physical healing from the damage over working out can do to the body over time.

A Truthful Yet Non-Judgmental Approach to Treatment

Carolyn Costin, the founder of Monte Nido, has overcame her own eating disorder and created Monte Nido) to help others attain a life fully recovered from eating disorders, exercise addiction, and other mental health conditions.

We do this by offering a variety of programs, including residential programs that serve adult women and day programs that serve adult and adolescent females and males.

The Monte Nido staff offer thorough medical and psychiatric management for patients, providing the highest level of care they can receive outside of a hospital environment while offering a homelike setting where patients can feel safe and comfortable throughout their recoveries.

All our recovered staff believe it’s important to help individuals own their feelings and equally important to challenge their thought patterns with the goal of self-improvement and self-acceptance. The staff at Monte Nido is professional, compassionate, empathic, and loving; but they are not afraid to push and challenge when necessary.

Contact Monte Nido today to learn more about the variety of programs available to help individuals overcome eating disorders and exercise addictions so they can uncover their healthiest, happiest selves.