Exercise addiction is a characterised by compulsive and excessive engagement in any form of physical exercise, despite harmful consequences.

While regular exercise is a healthy activity, exercise addiction involves performing excessive amounts of training to the detriment of physical health, spending too much time exercising resulting in interference in personal and professional life, and exercising even when having a bodily injury.

It may also indicate dependence upon exercising, causing severe withdrawal symptoms when the individual is unable to exercise.

Differentiating between addictive and healthy exercise behaviours is sometimes tricky, but there are vital factors in determining which category a person may fall into.

What are the Signs of Exercise Addiction?

  • An increase in exercising activity that may be harmful in some way
  • A desire to feel elated while exercising and increasing the activity to feel more euphoria
  • Severe withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, guilt, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, and headaches when deprived of exercise
  • Exercising despite physical injuries

Find out more about other addictions