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Are You Addicted To Exercise?

Woman recovering on foam roller

Quick Test – Do You Have an Exercise Addiction?

Those who suffer exercise addiction are often in denial. There are a few titles it can be referred by including: Exercise addiction, compulsive exercise, obligatory exercise and anorexia athletica.Definition

Exercise addiction is “It is a self-perpetuating craving for exercise that results in uncontrollably excessive physical exertion and manifests in mental and psychological distress” –  Dr Heather. A. Hausenblasm PhD So it is destructive. They won’t hear “add a rest day”. It is a behavioral thing so need behavioral tools to change it.

Think about it, going to the gym is often commended. People refer to you as “disciplined”. Yet no one calls an alcoholic who consumes 3 bottles of wine “disciplined”. Addiction of any type is never good. Including exercise addiction.

A Grey Area

It is a slippery slope when someone moves from:

Discipline – to obsession

Healthy to harmful

Committed to addicted

Do This Screening To Find Out

Here is a non-intrusive screening test that you can do – only 1 condition. You have to answer the 6 questions with great honesty, ok?

Use a rating of 1 –strongly disagree, 2 disagree, 3 neutral, 4 agree, 5 strongly agree

  1. Exercise is currently the most important thing in my life
  2. Conflicts have arisen between me and family/partner or friends about the amount of exercise that I do
  3. I use exercise as a way of changing my mood, to get a buzz or escape?
  4. Over time I have increased the amount of exercise I do a day?
  5. If I have to miss an exercise session, I feel moody/irritable and or guilty.
  6. If I have to miss some exercise, maybe due to injury or illness, I always start back at the SAME intensity that I finished off? I don’t dial it back a few notches.

What is your score?

Here is what your score means:

24-30 – high risk

13-23 – potential risk

0-12 unlikely

Where To From Here?

If you are a personal trainer, you should gently encourage your client to see and talk to someone. And if you are a trainee, even being in the potential risk category is really problematic. I would encourage you to also seek some counselling. Even if you feel really resistant to the idea.

Good luck.


Comments ( 2 )

  • Emily Adamson

    This was a bit of a wake up call for me reading this. My score was very high.

  • Kim Davies

    My score was 24. I guess that is telling me something. A great quizz to put up Ingrid, thanks for sharing.

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