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Exercise Addiction Counselling

Exercise addiction; who’s ever heard of one of those? Exercise is supposed to be good for you right? It’s true that exercise is good for your body and even encouraged by medical professionals, but, like everything else, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. While not currently in the DSM-IV as a psychological diagnosis, it is listed as a criteria for diagnosing bulimia nervosa.

Both men and women can suffer from exercise addiction, and of national gym users, 8% meet the criteria for an exercise addiction. Counsellors can help sufferers identify triggers, habits, thoughts, and feelings linked to their behaviour in an effort to help them live healthier and happier lives.

Characteristics of Exercise Addiction

The help of a supportive counsellor can be the push that a sufferer needs in order to regain control of their physical & mental health. If you are here hoping to determine if you are an exercise addict, congratulations, you are taking the first step to getting help.

Exercise addiction:

  • Threatens the person’s health. Due to insufficient rest the exerciser may become injured or malnourished
  • Can be paired with an eating disorder
  • The exerciser exercises for hours a day even if they are tired or sick
  •  The exerciser will become anxious if they are not able to exercise
  • The exerciser feels that exercise is the most important thing in their lives
  • They feel that they cannot stop exercising
  • There is a huge denial of the problem, pretending its healthy or good for you

Treatment Options for Exercise Addiction

Exercise is an important part of healthy living. As such, treatment of an exercise addiction can be difficult because you shouldn’t abstain from exercise completely. The first step in any treatment is admitting that there is a problem. Finding a supportive and objective counsellor can help you on your road to recovery. It is a good idea to seek professional help as your addiction could be the result of an underlying disorder or external factor.

Attending mutual aid meetings such can be a good tool. These meetings can provide you with support from people going through what you are going through. Spending time in a rehabilitation centre can also be helpful as it allows you time to focus just on you.  Whatever path you choose, make sure it is one that is right for you.

How Can Exercise Addiction Counselling or Psychotherapy Help?

An exercise addiction counsellor or psychotherapist can help you in many ways. An experienced therapist can provide you with the support you need to improve your relationship with exercise and get you on the path to healthier and happier living. A counsellor will help you:

  • Identify the underlying cause of your addiction
  • Identify other healthy coping strategies to deal with stressors both in life and related to your addiction
  • Help you identify other meaningful activities to try
  • Strike a balance between your mind and body
  • Identify and address other coexisting conditions