Believe it or not there is such a thing as getting too much exercise. People who are obsessed with physical activity are often diagnosed with a condition known as obligatory exercise and anorexia athletica.
The results of such behavior can cause physical and psychological harm in a number of ways, including:
Studies show excessive exercise can damage tendons, ligaments, bones, cartilage, and joints. In addition, when minor injuries aren’t allowed to heal, they often result in long-term damage. Too much exercise actually destroys muscle mass, instead of building it up, especially if the body isn’t getting enough nutrition and the body is forced to break down muscle for energy.
Amenorrhea occurs when a girl stops menstruating. Girls who exercise compulsively may disrupt the balance of hormones in their bodies causing a change in their menstrual cycles. When this happens she increases the risk of premature bone loss.
Excessive exercise can place severe strain on your heart, particularly if you are also engaging in unhealthy weight loss behaviors such as not eating, purging or taking diet pills or supplements. In extreme cases, the combination of anorexia and compulsive exercise can be fatal.
To prevent this from happening to someone you love it’s important to recognize the warning signs of compulsive exercising. If someone you know displays the following signs you should seek help for them immediately:
· Won’t skip a workout, even if tired, sick, or injured.
· No longer enjoys exercise sessions, but feels obligated to do them.
· Seems anxious or guilty when missing even one workout.
· Is constantly preoccupied with his or her weight and exercise routine.
· Doesn’t like to sit still or relax because of worry that not enough calories are being burnt.
· Has lost a significant amount of weight.
· No longer hangs out with friends, gives up activities, and abandons responsibilities to make more time for exercise.
· Is never satisfied with his or her own physical achievements.