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.
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.
The information provided here is intended to provide free education about certain medical conditions and certain possible treatment. It is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis, treatment, and medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. If you believe you, your child or someone you know suffers from the conditions described herein, please see your health care provider immediately. Do not attempt to treat yourself, your child, or anyone else without proper medical supervision. You acknowledge and agree that neither myUpchar nor firstpost is liable for any loss or damage which may be incurred by you as a result of the information provided here, or as a result of any reliance placed by you on the completeness, accuracy or existence of any information provided herein.
Updated Date: Nov 26, 2019 13:32:02 IST
National Handwashing Awareness Week 2019: Why was washing hands controversial in the 19th century?
National Pollution Prevention Day 2019: Where there is science, there is hope
Cyber Monday: Is it a shopping spree or a shopping addiction?
AIDS Day: Busting common misconceptions about HIV and AIDS
World AIDS Day 2019: The AIDS memorial quilt returns home
National Milk Day: Recent studies have soured the health benefits of adults consuming milk. What should we make of them?