Excessive exercise disorder is simply a type of exercise that brings distress when one misses a session. Also, it is a kind of continuous exercising done in a less conducive place, at a sometimes inconvenient period with no effort to stop. The individual involved continues exercising regardless of his/her state of health, whether good or bad.
Facts About Excessive Exercise Disorder
Some studies suggest that excessive exercise disorders are related to a symptom of an eating disorder. This case is typical with patients diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, muscle dysmorphia, and bulimia nervosa. Also, other specified feeding and eating disorder (OSFED) relates to this. For cases like restrictive eating disorders, which are a form of anorexia, some believe that exercise disorder may be the main biological reaction.
Anorexia nervosa is a type of mental illness in which an individual does not eat enough food that will sustain the body and thus begin to have fears relating to weight gain or getting fat.
Bulima nervosa, on the other hand, involves the eating of a large chunk of food within a short space of time to avoid weight gain. The individual then results in excessive exercising and vomiting.
Although exercise disorder can be evident in people without an eating disorder, it is more prevalent in people with eating disorders. This disorder affects the quality of life or how an individual generally functions when it couples with an eating disorder.
Exercise disorder can also be termed as exercise addiction because it sometimes comes with a positive feeling that an individual attaches to working out.
According to a Dr. Colin O’Banion (a doctor of physical therapy), he said he sees series of individuals who have the belief that if they don’t work out daily, they will gain weight and this allows them to push themselves beyond their breaking point.
He further stated that some of them are inclined to continue exercising even when they are injured. Healing is not an option for most of these people because they can’t help themselves. This is why they come down with both short and long term health problems or possibly death.
What is the role of the society?
The society also contributes to this disorder. This is because of the subtle messages in the media about exercising and how much you should do to have the best shape.
Some self acclaimed trainers even go as far as suggesting several hours of daily exercise to people. This is a compulsive type of exercise which is more like a punishment.
The media lectures about the number of calories to lose per day, how to eat and lifestyle. You see phrases like -always carry on, don’t stop, display no weakness, and many others. All of these have a role to play in having excessive exercise disorder.
However, individuals have to pay attention to their bodies and know just when to stop or what to do when their body is showing any sign of weakness.
Effects of Excessive Exercise Disorder
Excessive exercise disorder can result in a series of health challenges from physical issues to dehydration, chronic pain in the back or knee, fatigue, etc. This can also result in injuries like tendinitis of the elbow, shoulder, knee or hip, sprain, and shin splints. Also, one could get fractures from too much stress.
Some other long term health challenges that could surface as a result of exercise disorder include; imbalance period in females, challenges related to reproduction, and problems with the heart.
How Do I Identify Excessive Exercise Disorders?
It may be difficult to detect individuals suffering from this disorder. This is because of the accolades given to working out and how it helps to promote wellness in humans.
Exercise disorder does not point the number of exercises an individual has in a day, but the imbalance that comes with it and knowing when it has gotten to this stage.
Also, you should be able to tell when you keep on getting the urge to exercise regardless of where you are or conditions surrounding you at the time.
Having said all of these, the pointers to look out for will be listed below.
- Exercising with injury and less care about one’s health or state.
- Feeling the need to use any free time you have to exercise.
- Depression or feeling of guilt, when you are in a place that does not allow you to exercise.
- Exercising for several hours beyond your rational body limit.
- Fewer regards to resting in between exercising.
- The need to exercise when there is no food in place to eat.
- Trying to enjoy things one does not readily like because they serve as a good exercise.
- The amount of obsession an individual puts on burnt calories.
- Defensive behavior in the wake of being challenged to having excessive exercise disorder.
The good news about this is that exercise disorders are treatable, but require intensive treatment. You will have to work intentionally to recover from this sickness.
Studies have shown that individuals who have shown great zeal in dealing with this ailment have the best of times with exercising and how they feed.
Treatment for this disorder is prepared from one individual to the other because the level is different from individuals to individuals.
Moreover, the best form of first aid treatment for this is to pay adequate attention to your body and know what it means to understand messages being relayed by your body easily.
You are advised not to use working out as a means of dealing with your daily life stress. Instead, consciously deal with your daily life stress or ups and downs before you go on to exercise.
Also, you are not to count the number of times you are exercising, instead you should check for the balance in your body and how healthy you are with the little exercise you have done.
Finally, take proper rests in between exercises for a healthy lifestyle and your safety.