Getting regular exercise is always a good thing. However, one should be careful not to over-exercise, as this can create its own set of problems. There are some people who might be described as compulsive when it comes to exercising, just as people with eating disorders might also be described as compulsive. Compulsive exercise is relatively similar in its psychological motivations to eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia.
Exercising for people with an eating disorder
It can be quite difficult to tell whether or not someone is a compulsive exerciser. After all, the attitude in general is that too much exercise is never enough. If you are using exercise to purge or compensate for binge eating, it is possible that you are suffering from so-called exercise bulimia. It is important to know when one is exercising too much or too obsessively. Make sure to pay attention to what your body is telling you. If you are choosing to exercise instead of working, partying or upholding appointments, you might be considered to be a compulsive exerciser. Other indications of this might be if one works out even whilst sick or injured, or if one becomes depressed if unable to exercise.
Compulsive exercising has to do with control. Endless working out can lead to problems with self-esteem or self-confidence, if one ends up in a state where one is never satisfied with ones body or fitness levels. If you are exercising too much, you might also suffer stress fractures, strains, sprains, low body fat level, fatigue, dehydration, osteoporosis, arthritis, reproductive problems, and heart problems.
This condition is not an official diagnosis, but it is widely considered to be a companion behavior to eating disorders. In many cases, compulsive exercise is undertaken in order to perform penance or purge ones body after eating binges. Those who undertake compulsive exercise will often jeopardize their education, employment, relationships, health, and safety.
It is recommended that one exercises for about twenty to thirty minutes each day, with strength training being undertaken for about two days per week. Compulsive exercising is considered to occur when one exercises for more than four or five hours each day of the week. Those who are involved in careers that are body focused are often more vulnerable to compulsive exercising. This might be a result of external pressures placed on the individual to be fitter, stronger, and more competitive than others.