Exercise Versus Exercise Addiction – Blog Post

A segment from our podcast with Sarah King. 

We had the pleasure of interviewing Sarah King on our first guest episode of The Befit Movement. In this episode, we discussed all things related to hypothalamic amenorrhea, eating disorders and exercise dedication vs addiction. 

Exercise dedication is often applauded in society. And in some cases, especially amongst athletes, is completely necessary. However, as quoted but Sarah, “Where is the line between being really dedicated and being disordered?”

The addiction to exercise comes from the endorphin release associated with completing the regime. Therefore, when the individual cannot exercise, a withdrawal process to this endorphin release may occur. 

Side effects of this withdrawal may include; 

  • Increased moodiness or irritability 
  • Social withdrawal 
  • Guilt 
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches 

Exercise addiction itself, may not come down to the volume of exercise, but the psychological space the person is in when they exercise OR cannot exercise. 

Trained professionals may ask some of the following questions to understand someone’s mental state regarding their training.  

  • “How does it feel if you have to miss a workout?”
  • “How would you cope if you are sick or injured and unable to train?”
  • “How would you feel if you couldn’t train at your normal time?”
  • “How would you react to taking time off?”

It is important to remember that things can look extremely different from an outsider’s perspective. We never truly know what is going on behind the scenes in someone’s life.  

For more on this topic head to our podcast with Sarah King or visit the following Instagram pages @sarahlizking @befitphysio . 

*Please note, if you or someone you know is struggling with any of the above topics, please seek advice from a healthcare professional. 

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