When Does Exercising Become Compulsive?

Individuals who compulsively exercise generally have a constant preoccupation with exercise routines or have intrusive thoughts about exercise that interfere with their ability to focus or function. If you are concerned that your teen might be a compulsive exerciser, here are some things you should know as well as symptoms you should look out for.

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What’s Ideal?

To understand how much is too much, we first have to understand what an ideal amount of exercise is. Experts opinions vary but generally speaking around one hour of physical activity a day is ideal for teens. This can include walking to and from school, gym class, playing a sport or participating in a dance lesson.

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What are the Symptoms?

Some signs that you or someone you know is exercising too much include an elevated resting heart rate, insomnia, fatigue, missed periods for girls, forcing exercise even when tired, injured or ill, putting exercise above responsibilities or being agitated when missing a workout.

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What are the Consequences of “Too Much”?

Consequences of exercising too much can include excessive weight loss, lack of energy, increased injuries, loss of good muscle mass, troubles sleeping, eating disorders and heart problems.

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How to Recover

If you or someone you know is struggling with an exercise addiction, there are ways you can cope and recover. Options include seeking help from a mental health or medical professional, paying attention to self-talk, focusing on positive of qualities of exercising, listening to your body and taking breaks and properly balancing food intake with exercise.

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