How to Know If You’re Addicted to Exercise

SELF—September 16, 2014

Tara Fuller got hooked when she joined a gym in her early 20s. "I loved the feeling of pushing myself hard, and I was thrilled with the results," says the 27- year-old New York City brand strategist.

Staying fit and exercising is great for the body but like they say, too much of any good thing can be bad.

New trends are now showing the increased change in workouts for many women. Exercising is now becoming an unhealthy addiction. In addition to working their day jobs, women are seen attending various fitness classes through out each day, during their spare time. The obsession for working out has even caused many to lose touch of their social lives.

Doctor Jordan Metzl, sports medicine physician at Hospital for Special Surgery says, "Exercise is the single best thing you can do for your body and mind," but then he warns, "it is possible to take exercise too far.” Being that exercising is known to be a stress reliever and mood booster, the addiction to working out could possible a dependence for women, especially those who suffer from stress, anxiety, and depression. Exercising is an excellent resolution, but it is important to have a healthy balance as well.

Exercise dependence often does go hand in hand with eating disorders, especially for women, notes Marci Goolsby, M.D., a physician at Hospital for Special Surgery's Women's Sports Medicine Center who specializes in nutrition and exercise balance. "Some women exercise to purge calories. If they eat 500 calories for dinner, they won't get off the treadmill 'til they've burned that much or more," she says. It's fine to use fitness as part of a weight loss or maintenance effort, she explains. But that shouldn't be the only reason you go to the gym.

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