Can Exercise Be As Addictive As Drugs?

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What does shopping, alcohol, drugs, gambling, exercise and overeating all have in common? They can all become a form of addiction. The media portrays alcohol, drugs and gambling addictions as the worst and foremost addictions people behave in. However, it is not the only addiction people may uncontrollably perform in. Although inevitably drug and alcohol dependence can have critical health problems to the individual, so can exercise and overeating.

Numerous magazines continuously report what the best types of exercise’ are and how exercise can have a positive impact on our health. When do you see a magazines headline stating exercising too much can cause unhealthy habits? The stigma of having an addiction to exercise doesn’t have the same impact as someone with a drug dependence problem, and yet they are both addictions and both cause negative health impacts.

When a person exercises endorphins are released causing a euphoric feeling. The continuous joyous feeling people feel after each and every exercise becomes the addiction. They crave the feeling. Unfortunately the more they exercise the less intense the endorphins are released. Therefore causing the person to need to train harder, longer and more often. And that’s when the uncontrollable loop of addiction begins. Generally, when people exercise they either lose fat or gain muscle dependent on the type of exercise they are performing. Therefore, more likely than not people including strangers are more likely to give that person positive attention. Positive reinforcement can be a powerful motivator to keep exercising.

There are numerous signs that may indicate you or someone you know is/has developed addiction to exercise.

The person may exercise to forget problems or to relax.

Unfortunately with exercise many people use this form of therapy often and therefore can be hard to differentiate between a healthy exerciser and an addicted one.

They choose to exercise over a social function that they would have normally attended.

It is not common in our society to go to the gym over your best friends birthday.

They don’t feel like themselves when they aren’t doing some form of exercise.

Addiction can cause physical signs. They may feel sick or shaky when they are not able to exercise that day.

Exercise addiction is not highly talked about in the media. The current society is not educated on the risk factors of intense exercise. The media should be informing individuals on how exercise can become addictive and the first signs to be aware of. The want to feel a sense of euphoria can be as addictive as a synthetic drug.

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