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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1

    could i be physically addicted to exercise?

    hello. this is my first post here. im 39 years of age. ive been going to the gym 5 to 6 days a week now for the past 8 years. i run, i do martial arts classes, circuits, etc.

    after about the first year id gotten fit, i found that if i missed even one day at the gym (i used to go 7 days a week, before my son was born in 2003), id feel crap. depressed, frumpy, irritable, etc.

    does anyone know for a fact is it possible to be physically addicted to exercise so that u actually have withdrawal symptoms like i mentioned above? perhaps it hasnt been proven scientifically yet, i dont know. but it sure feels like this is what i have.

    also, now i find that when i work out, i dont get the same high i used to. i do feel less down if i went in down, i come out better, but its not as strong as it used to be, its like ive built up a tolerance of sorts. but im nearly 40 now, and i cant really work out harder than i am already - i feel quite tired after a hard work out these days.

    any advice or knowledge about exercise addiction please reply if u can. thanks

    oh, one last question, ive never done spinning. is it true it raises your bum up a bit if its saggy? people swear by it but i just wondered what u thought.

  2.  
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  4. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    California
    Posts
    119
    Quote Originally Posted by bwhiskey
    does anyone know for a fact is it possible to be physically addicted to exercise so that u actually have withdrawal symptoms like i mentioned above? perhaps it hasnt been proven scientifically yet, i dont know. but it sure feels like this is what i have.
    Short answer:

    Yes.

    It is easy to be addicted.....TO ANYTHING. Wehn you exercise, you have adrenaline and endorphines causing an energetic but euphoric state. I get heavily into this myself. When this is not present, you feel lower.

    Think caffeine and sugar.

    It is the same basic process.


    also, now i find that when i work out, i dont get the same high i used to. i do feel less down if i went in down, i come out better, but its not as strong as it used to be, its like ive built up a tolerance of sorts. but im nearly 40 now, and i cant really work out harder than i am already - i feel quite tired after a hard work out these days.
    This is because along with the effects from above, working out will cause more oxygen to hit all internal organs more efficiently as well as doing the same with the brain. -Hence a better thought process as well as better health. Taking the oxygen away really changes things.

    Also, when we get older, it takes LONGER to heal. Depending what you have done to yourself in the past, those organs and lungs may not be as good as they once were. What may have been an easy workout 10 years ago, may be overworking now. On top of all of this, if your stress is greater now, it amplifies this effect.

  5. #3
    Lillian Guest
    the only thing i can add or share with you is that i too feel like crap when i miss a day of exercising. me and my sister were just talking about that yesterday on the phone b/c i thought i was the only one, but i guess there r more of us out there...lol!

  6. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Memphis TN
    Posts
    20

    aging & working out

    I could add a lot but will keep it minimal. I'm 46; been running and generally doing fit things since HS (although I didn't do much in the late 80s - when my waist started maxing out 32" pants I hit the trail again - long story-but started out slow to get fit again, from walking a mile to run a marathon).
    The 'high' you mention is something I've never really noticed. It's more a sense of satisfaction. But you can get bogged down in routine, which is why it's good to have a variety (I vary running routes, driving routes to/from work, etc). But it sounds like you have a good variety. As mentioned already as we age recovery takes longer. So it's good to alternate weight (circuit?) days with cardio (running, martial arts?). And it's good to work one part of the body on different days of the week and not do the same circuit machines several times a week. If I'm not making sense ask for more info. One more thing: when doing weights/machines - make sure the 'drop' side of the rep is slow (if you're not already) - that'll give you some burn and maybe add some 'high' to the routine?

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Memphis TN
    Posts
    20
    p.s. the feelling like crap, or low - if missing a day. I know the feeling - but it's usually, for me, been more like not biking or running for several days maybe a week - then I'll start to feel lethargic and then I'll know it's time to get some cardio in somehow, somewhere.

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    3
    oh God! i so know what you mean. I feel AWFUL when i dont go to the gym.Very guilty. I ve been going regularly for the past four years and tried all kinds of workouts.from circuit to strength . I also feel kinda tired after the workout.not as fresh as i used to be. i think one thing you could try is changing the kind of workout you are doing.maybe,yoga combined with weight training.or hiring a personal trainer for a bit,just to give you a new plan.I've started working out with a trainer and its helped me feel more motivated since he is relentless about my attending everyday. he 's also told me NOT to workout more than 5 days a week so the muscles get a chance to recover. He's said that over exercising can result in a decrease in motivation. hope this helps you

  9. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    333
    Yep, I feel like crap if I miss a workout, which is why I never miss any

    I hear some friends say that they felt fat when they didn't workout (when they should have) occasionally as well O_o

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    33
    Hey bwhiskey
    I can totally relate to your workout issues...first off even if you are addicted to it then look at the bright side, your not drinking your money away or doing drugs atleast I hope not There are many other things that I think could relate to your issues but dont give up bro! If you have fallen into a schedule of workouts like upper body one day and lower body next and cardio third day and do all over again the 4th day then this can become a rut that you slip into....IMO you should mix it up alot...start throwing things into your workout schedule that you have never done before....be bold and outgoing, meet new ppl and workout w/them...play raquetball for the 1st time, throw a frisbee w/your dog. Go to a baseball game or better yet join a baseball/softball team. I think everyone thinks that they dont have time to do anything but 30min - 1hr of workout everyday and their schedules are laid out like a robot....the more you mix it up the better you will be fitwise, as well as excitement....there is way too much kewl stuff and ppl out there to spin your wheels in one spot. Also Im about your age too (38) some guys go through a mid-life crisis and if you have had any prob's recently then that could add to the situation...just hang in there bro and mix it up a bit...HTH

    Rocky

  11. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    on the edge
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    4,505
    yep! and I don't even care if its an "addiction" or not. It is healthy and if "feels" good.

    So for me the challenge is not what it is, but how to stay on that "high" as much as possible.

    You and I have quite a bit in common, my log is "performance is not enough."

    KEEP raising the bar! then change games! then find an event! then compete in an activity you have never tried. Keep going man!

    Live, and Live strong.

    FF

  12. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Sydney
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    1,717
    There certainly are things relating to an addiction, exercise dependence syndrome is one type of case where it is a craving for leisure time physical activity resulting in uncontrollable excessive exercise that manifests in physiological (tolerance/withdrawal) and or psychological symptoms (anxiety/depression)...

    Have to totally disagree with flyingfree that there comes a point in time where you can cross the line where you are obtaining more negative effects that the other, whether the actual phsyiological stress on the body or your relationship with other people..

  13. #11
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    on the edge
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    very good point made there. If the activity were taking away from other people i would change it. If i was getting hurt all the time, or suffering mentally i would change it. I do it because i enjoy it. Even in the realm of fitness, when an activity becomes a grind, i ditch it fast.

    Very good point.

  14. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Toronto
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    1,661
    Quote Originally Posted by matt182 View Post
    There certainly are things relating to an addiction, exercise dependence syndrome is one type of case where it is a craving for leisure time physical activity resulting in uncontrollable excessive exercise that manifests in physiological (tolerance/withdrawal) and or psychological symptoms (anxiety/depression)...

    Have to totally disagree with flyingfree that there comes a point in time where you can cross the line where you are obtaining more negative effects that the other, whether the actual phsyiological stress on the body or your relationship with other people..
    Well said. Couldn't agree more.

    Sadly, I don't think most people who are exercise addicts realize that they are- in fact - " addicted " to exercise.

    When missing a workout or 2 or a day or 2 of exercise triggers ' inappropriate feeling of guilt ' , or when exercise is more important than or interferes with, other otherwise ' normal ' activities and commitments like work, social & community outings, spending time with your spouse, kids family etc. etc. ....you're taking exercise way too seriously IMO.

  15. #13
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1,816
    I dont care either. Over analyze doesnt sanatize..........addicted to exercise..........and married 24 years BROTHA!

    Im addicted and chillen right in it.

    body loves every minute i give it

    and keep ROCKEN ON IN IT!
    Last edited by Chillen; Jul. 17/07 at 06:48 AM.

  16. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    1,661
    Quote Originally Posted by Chillen View Post
    I dont care either. Over analyze doesnt santitize..........addicted to exercise..........and married 24 years BROTHA!

    Im addicted and chillen right in it.

    body loves every minute i give it

    and keep ROCKEN ON IN IT!
    I used to be ' addicted ' to exercise a long time ago - then I ' saw the light '.

    The key to healthy and happy life is to strive for a ' balanced ' lifestyle IMO.

    Exercise should be an important part of that balance, however you should exercise to live .....and not live to exercise. I've been training close to 30 years now and learned that hard lesson very early on. I used to be obsessed and addicted to exercise. I still have a passion for exercise - but now the exercise obsession is gone and it doesn't control my life - I control my exercise.

    In my view, you have to balance and allocate your time for exercise along with work, time for your family and home activities, time to nurture relationships not only with your immediate family - especially if you have kids - but with some of your close friends, neighbors and other relatives etc. I think you should also spend time to get involved as a productive part of the community as part of a balanced lifestyle - i.e coaching your kids' sports teams, doing volunteer work to help those less fortunate than yourself etc. as well as time for your mental health to just ' relax ' and do nothing once in a while.... like reading.

    Being an addicted to / obsessed with anything be it work, money, shopping, smoking, booze, gambling, the internet, eating - exercise included - is simply a sign you have other problems in your life that need to be addressed IMO.

    But, the simple fact you have admitted you're an exercise addict is an important first step IMO.
    Last edited by Wrangell; Jul. 17/07 at 06:08 AM.

  17. #15
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1,816
    Wrangell: (This entire post and its entire contents are directed to you, not OP, but you didnt "get" that)

    When one over analyze they cannablize.

    A defective infective perspective, and there's always an exception to this posts' self-deception, and requires one post of interception in this misconception.

    But, one wont understand this concept, the correct way as the subsequent post will reflect. (I was right--I sure was, had your thought pegged).

    No further explaination needed, and there will be none.

    Have a wonderful day.

    Peace, Bro., and now I go train and try to grow because I know when to go.

    Last edited by Chillen; Jul. 17/07 at 08:18 AM.

  18.  
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