Drugs, booze, fags…and exercise?
Regular exercise is key to a healthy lifestyle and makes you feel good. But what happens when that enjoyment loses all perspective and becomes a dependence? Anna Ellis and Tiago Villanueva consider the alarming consequences
Exercising can be called addictive when it takes over your life. According to the BBC's One Life website, tell tale signs include getting depressed or irritable when you cannot exercise, feeling that your job or relationships get in the way of exercise, and ignoring your friends' and family's concerns. Continuing to pound the pavement when injured or ill means exercise is likely to have become a compulsion.1
You cannot look at one person's exercise regime and diagnose them as doing too much. But by definition the situation is thought to be a dependence once exercise starts taking control of a person's life.2
Defining what gives one person a sense of wellbeing and what causes the other harm is difficult. But if a person has recurrent injuries, severe menstrual irregularities, or drops well below the ideal weight, there might be problem.
Eneko Larumbe Zabala, a Spanish sport psychologist and editor of