Five signs you may be addicted to exercise

A no-pain-no-gain mindset can have serious consequences if you're going full-steam ahead when you should really be slowing down.

Myupchar November 26, 2019 13:32:02 IST
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Five signs you may be addicted to exercise

Exercise is the miracle cure we've always had! People who exercise regularly are at a lower risk of developing many long-term (chronic) conditions, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and even some cancers.

But the saying "Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing!" holds true here as well. A no-pain-no-gain mindset can have serious consequences if you're going full-steam ahead when you should really be slowing down.

Five signs you may be addicted to exercise

Representational image.
Image by Ichigo121212 from Pixabay.

If you find that you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, perhaps it is time to listen to your body, slow down, and give yourself the rest you deserve by doing something that is not as strenuous.

1. Constant muscle soreness

People who indulge in a lot of physical strain often experience constant muscle soreness. Overuse of muscles can lead to pain in the joints, bones and limbs.

People who are addicted to exercise may continue to work out even through the pain. An obvious sign: if someone continues to workout despite intense pain in one shoulder after a full shoulder workout, this could be a sign of exercise addiction.

Extremely vigorous exercise can also result in serious muscles injuries like rhabdomyolysis, a life-threatening condition that may cause kidney failure.

Make sure you give your body enough time to rest and revive before your next session of exercise.

2. Difficulty sleeping

Strenuous exercise, beyond the usual, can activate the body's stress-response systems. For example, the body may release cortisol and adrenaline hormones that may lead to sleeping problems like insomnia. When the muscles are overworked, the body becomes restless and there is a state of constant hyperexcitability which could also cause insomnia.

3. Decreased involvement in other activities

Exercise addicts tend to withdraw and isolate themselves from their friends and family to continue with their exercise regime. They cancel plans and get-togethers to spend more time training in a gym. A research found that if a person is exercising for more than 7.5 hours a week, it could lead to confusion, irritability, anger, mood swings, anxiety and even depression.

4. Increased risk of eating disorders

Doctors at the Loughborough University, UK, found that exercise addiction lowers the levels of a hormone called ghrelin that stimulates appetite and raises the levels of peptide YY which is responsible for the suppression of appetite.

Compulsive exercise may also lead to an eating disorder that is medically known as anorexia athletica. According to a study done by the American College of Sports Medicine in 1992, 62% of athletes had eating disorders.

Eating disorders in athletes make them more prone to arrhythmias (irregular heart rate), osteoporosis (lowering of bone mass) and other physical injuries.

5. Breathlessness with exertion or even at rest

When the heart experiences extreme physical stress over and over, the heart undergoes damage. The damage includes thicker heart walls and scarring of the heart - this is called remodelling of the heart. An exercise addict with this condition experiences breathlessness and rapid pounding heartbeat even at rest.

If the strain is not relieved, scarring of the heart may lead to sudden cardiac arrest.

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health. For more information, please read our article on Insomnia: Symptoms, Causes, Prevention.

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