What Is Exercise Addiction?

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Hi, this Dr. Julie Alice, and thanks for asking what is exercise addiction. That's one of those psychological addictions or obsessions that are highly debated. People don't like us calling them addiction, but from the people that I've seen in treatment centers, it definitely is an addiction.

The first and actually feels withdrawals, when they can't exercise. In hospital units, we used to have our staff have to play exercise police and with strict exercisers from actually exercising. In fact, we did something that might sound a little mean but was a very very good treatment tool, and that is that they have the over eaters and the people who need it to exercise, get up and do their exercise and require the addicts to watch them and not do the exercise.

Just so that they could experience the feeling that they have not being allowed to do exercise. There's a physical component to this, in that when you exercise it does stress the body and causes the body to release endorphines which actually in the system creates a morphine like effect a kind of euphoria.

So, many people miss that feeling. They also want to feel sweaty and in touch with their bodies and into their animal cells, which I actually promote and think it's a good idea. I think we're too divorced form our animal cells and I addressed this in the sexuality book, half and heavy about how we're so much into our brains in the society that we don't let our animal roam.

And the only place we allow our animals are in the bedroom or at the table. And of course by the exercises also in a gym. But if you're worried about your degree of exercise it's usually recommended that you do at least three times a week for a half hour as minimum and maximum six hours a week for an hour, six days a week for an hour.

And that actually doing more than that might be moving you toward obsession and addiction. It's important to talk to a professional counsellor about this because you live in a culture that does strongly promote exercise addiction, at the same time that we're a fat lens in most of this culture in the world other than some Samoan islands.

So it's not easy to figure this out, but thanks for your question.