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Why People Become Addicted to Exercise

Are You Addicted to Exercise?

If you're feeling tired, down, or otherwise out of sorts, exercise can do wonders to help you feel better. That's because exercising releases endorphins, chemicals that tap into your brain's feel-good center.

It's no wonder, then, that exercising is on the list of activities, from eating dessert to sex, that people can become addicted to. In fact, in a recent New York Times article, researchers said that compulsive exercisers act much like drug addicts in regards to their daily workout: "tolerance, craving, withdrawal, and the need to exercise 'just to feel normal.'"

Of course, like any addiction, being addicted to exercise is no joke; it can cause anything from headaches to injuries to a weakened immune system — here are more signs that you are exercising too much. But many people profess to feeling out of sorts if they miss a workout, or how much they love experiencing that "runner's high." Are you one of them? Have you ever been addicted to exercise?

Image Source: Thinkstock
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Giasbash6260 Giasbash6260 4 years
Totally addicted! Although I am not constantly suffering from muscle sores, heart heart rate is actually very low, I'm not ALWAYS tired, I haven't gotten sick in a long time (knock on wood), and my mood is stable. So maybe I am not? But really I am because I cannot go a DAY without working out!
imLissy imLissy 4 years
I guess it depends on how you define addiction. I'm certainly not as bad as the previous poster, but if I don't exercise for a couple of days I turn into a crazy person. I get very, very moody and then depressed.
karynstepien karynstepien 4 years
was exercise addicted for about a year... would range between 3-6 hours every day. Took a real toll on my body, ended up with very weak bone density, muscle weakness, depression, anxiety, chronic colds, anemia, loss of hair, etc... Very dangerous.
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