Exercise Addiction: When the Cure Becomes the Problem
When it comes to exercise, most people feel like it is a great replacement for other types of addiction that people deal with on a daily basis. While there are many people who become addicted to drugs, alcohol, poor eating habits or other problematic activities, not many people would probably say that exercising too often or working too hard is really a problem. After all, replacing an addiction to drugs with an exercise addiction is probably a good thing, right? People can get addicted to the strangest things, and the fact of the matter is that any form of addiction can turn into a problem in someone's life, even an exercise or running addiction.
Defining an Addiction
The first thing that must be done to determine whether becoming addicted to exercise is a bad thing is to define what an addiction is in the first place. Most health experts would define an addiction as a poor habit or compulsion that has become so prevalent that it has begun to affect other aspects of one's life. For example, drinking too much beer or liquor really only becomes a problem if it starts to affect someone's ability to work at their job or get along with others. Another key element of any addiction is the isolation that goes along with it.
When Healthy Exercise Becomes a Problem
Most people are concerned about not getting enough exercise during the day, but the people who suffer from exersise addiction should actually be concerned with not getting enough recovery time during the day. Most health professionals recommend that people get around two and half hours of exercise per week, and it does not matter how this time is broken up.
Unless someone is training for a marathon or is a professional athlete, then there is really no need for them to exercise more than three hours per week. In fact, even people who depend on their athletic build can exercise too often because one of the most important aspects of any exercise routine is the recovery phase.
One of the main reasons that people get addicted to running is that there are literally endorphins released by the body to reward it for its hard work after a long jog. When it comes to running addiction, there is actually a case to be made for a chemical addiction as part of the overall equation. When someone is able to get high by simply taking a jog, an individual could end up over using that high to make themselves feel good about themselves.
There is nothing wrong with going for a morning jog, but it becomes a problem when that morning jog turns into a daily marathon. Running addiction is a real problem, and the fact that there is a chemical factor to it means that there is not much difference between this kind of addiction and the addiction to drugs or alcohol.
The Source of the Addiction
As mentioned before, people can get addicted to basically anything if they are put in a certain situation. The main reason people become addicted to anything is due to problems in their life that they struggle to handle their way. The addiction is an escape that allows the person not to think about their problems for that brief moment in time. It is hard to think about all the debt over one's head or the family problems in one's life when they are high on drugs. The same concept can apply to anything else that takes one's mind off life's problems. An addiction is basically a tool that people use to avoid their problems and take their minds off the issues that they need to deal with today.
It is hard to think about one's problems when dealing with a large amount of weight in the weight room or becoming extremely tired after a long jog. The best way to deal with an addiction is to get to the source of the problem and deal with that instead of ending up with an addiction.
Getting Over an Addiction
The way to help an addict is to deal with the problems in that person's life outside of the addiction. The addiction is usually just a symptom of the other problems in that person's life. If a person is happy with their state in life and does not have any real problems, then there is really no reason for them to become addicted to video games, the Internet, bad food or exercise. In short, dealing with the stresses in life is a much better solution than turning to addiction. Dealing with those problems faced could be the solution to that addiction. The best way to figure out how to get over any kind of addiction is to try to figure out why that addiction started in the first place. If there is something in that person’s personal life that can be linked to the addiction, then fixing that problem could pave the path towards recovery.