The way to tell if your gym habit is coming out of an unhealthy place.
Dr. Charlie Seltzer says he had to hit rock bottom before he could observe the tiring cycle of exercise addiction he was in.
At one stage, Seltzer was averaging 75 minutes of cardiovascular exercise each day, six days a week, and living on minimal calories. But like any other addictive behavior, Seltzer immediately realized he desired more and more to find exactly the exact same effect.
“It negatively influenced my entire life to the point at which I’d panic if I needed to cut a workout short by even five minutes or go out to supper at which I couldn’t restrain my food,” he tells Healthline. The cycle, explains Seltzer, broke when he”burnt out.” It has been a trip, but he states exercise today is about enjoyment and the process — not because he feels compelled to perform it.
Exercise addiction isn’t an official mental disorder. On the other hand, the connection between disordered exercise and disordered eating often go together. In fact, the link is so strong that some researchers state they can not exist independently from one another whatsoever.
Even though the continuum of compulsive exercise is broad, being able to spot indications early may help you stop the cycle before it reaches the level of addiction.
7 signs your gym habit is coming out of an unhealthy Place
1. You workout to make up for foods or body parts you don’t like
The biggest sign that your exercise habit is actually unhealthy is if you’re exercising too often and intensely in order to punish or compensate yourself for your daily food intake, or that which you perceive to be true about your entire body.
2. You’re always at the gym
In the event the front desk staff at your gym know more about you than your co-workers, then you may be spending too much time.
“While gym rats may devote a couple of hours a week in the fitness center, like an hour a day, individuals who are obsessed with the gym and exercising may spend three or four hours there each day, or frequent the gym a few times a day,” explains Dr. Candice Seti, PsyD.
3. You feel tired the Majority of the time
Unhealthy gym habits frequently cause fatigue and exhaustion from spending too much time working out and not enough time taking care of the body.
Seti says this may place stress on your body and your body’s systems, leading you to become ill or sick from spending too much time in the gym.
4. You change plans to accommodate your workout program
Can you cancel plans at the last minute or make adjustments in your schedule to accommodate your workouts?
“Individuals obsessed with the gym frequently find themselves altering their aims or planning activities and social engagements all over the time that they usually would spend at the fitness center,” Seti explains.
For instance, someone who has exercise addiction might turn down to get dinner with friends because it interferes with all the hours they had spent in the gym.
5. Your feelings of exercise include words such as compulsory, guilt, anxiety, and rigid
If it comes to exercise, the goal is to feel better — not worse — while you’re doing this. Matt Stranberg, MS, RDN, in Walden Behavioral Care, states that the following signs indicate a Wholesome relationship with physical activity might be committing to an unhealthy dependence, obsession, or harmful compulsion:
- You keep up a rigid exercise regime regardless of unsafe weather conditions or threats to physical health, psychological health, or both.
- Your primary goal is to burn calories or lose weight.
- You experience persistent fear, anxiety, or anxiety regarding negative body changes in the event that you can’t exercise.
- The idea of not exercising makes you feel anxious.
- You feel guilty if you overlook or don’t finish an exercise session.
6. Your results are decreasing
Too much time at the gym frequently equates to diminished results.
By way of example, certified fitness trainer Jeff Bell states if you discover yourself constantly bypassing rest days to match workouts seven days a week, you are in the overtraining zone.
“You may become irritable, lose sleep and your desire,” he explains. Too much of a great thing could go wrong very quickly in this case.
7. You have a negative body image
Countless hours working out won’t fix your body image. In fact, there’s a good chance it may make it worse.
“A lot of people who are gym-obsessed find that they have a bad body image” Seti states. “They view an unrealistic version of these and try to perfect it if it’s not beneficial for them to maintain giggling in”
An unrealistic body image can result in eating disorders in addition to overexercising.
Next steps to take for a healthy relationship with workout
Maintain a workout journal
A workout journal can help you identify feelings and patterns linked to exercise. Include in your journal:
- The times you exercise
- The activities you do
- How you feel while exercising
- How Long you devote to fitness that day
- How you feel (both mentally and physically) if you’re not exercising and in your rest days
As soon as you determine those feelings, registered dietician and yoga teacher Claire Chewning, RD, says you can work to find ways to shift the mindset around the movement to “liberty” and “freedom” rather than “punishment.” She says this is imperative to the success of a sustainable wellbeing journey.
Change things up. If some of the warning signals sound familiar, it may be time for a switch. Ideally, you should allow your body some time to rest and recover, but all of us know how difficult that can be.
If the thought of complete relaxation sends your nervousness into overdrive, consider swapping out some of your workouts to get active rest days. Engaging in actions like yoga, walking, tai chi, and swimming give your body and your brain a much-needed break.
Seek Expert assistance
Sometimes, the search to obtain the balance between obsessive and healthy exercise is hard to do by yourself.
Seeking skilled help via your doctor or a mental health expert who specializes in exercise dependence or sports psychology might be the best place to get started.
They can help you determine the patterns and behaviors that result in your unhealthy connection with exercise and work toward finding ways to make fitness a balanced portion of your life.