Addiction to Exercise

By: Caroline Mahoney

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Why did I choose this topic?

While exercise is one of the best things you can do to maintain a healthy body, too much of it is never a good thing. Feeling pressure to stay in shape and body image can cause you to feel the need to exercise and over work your body. I am interested in this topic because I have been addicted to exercise before. In fall 2013, at the end of my cross country season, I suffered severe shin splints. However, I refused to accept the fact that I was injured and continued to run on them because I did not want to miss my workouts or have to sit out in meets. I overworked my shin and eventually fractured it in two spots. It is important people understand the consequences before harming their bodies and risking their health.


Body image is an issue for so many people of all ages. Worrying about your body and your physical appearance is the cause for eating disorders. Eating disorders can tie into over exercise. People feel pressure to maintain a certain body image and to feel thinner they feel the need to continue to exercise excessively even when it hurts your body.

How and why do people become addicted?

Exercise can easily make me people feel good about themselves and look fit, however, sometimes people take the good feeling it gives your body for granted and overdo it which is actually bad for your body. People even feel withdrawal symptoms if they don't exercise such as anxiety, lack of sleep, and restlessness. Exercising gives your mind and body a great feeling but too much of anything is never good!


Since over exercise can lead and be part of eating disorders. Treatments include therapy, nutritional counseling, and medical monitoring.


-50% of teenage girls and 30% of teenage boys are using unhealthy ways to lose weight including over exercise

-4% will die

-35% of people get treatment

-only 1 out of 10 suffering this addiction get the help they need

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How does this affect you?

People suffering exercise addiction seem to distance themselves from their normal everyday activities so that they can make more time to do sever workouts a day. They will stop spending time with friends and family and only focus on doing intense workouts. They are usually more anxious and depressed and have a bad body image. Injuries are also at high risk as well as depression, which people who worry about their body image, are more likely to suffer from. It is very important to get at least 30 minutes physical activity in everyday to stay healthy and eat plenty of nutritious food.
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