Gymorexia

News
Wednesday, September 15, 2010 - 10:11am

More men are finding themselves addicted to working out.

Nothing beats a good workout.

You burn some calories, you burn off some steam.

You feel better, you sleep better.

Unfortunately, more and more men are pushing their workout to the extreme.

Carlos Bradley is a personal trainer who sees a lot of guys slip into exercise compulsion.

"They are an overachiever already and they want to do and they want to keep working and they figure more is better, but more is not always better," he says.

Exercise dependency, or "gymorexia", is a relatively new disorder.

It's brought on by the spread of the fitness club culture and the increasing pressure on young men to look both lean and muscular.

Sports psychologist Dr. Joel Fish says part of it relates to control, and part of it is physical.

"When you exercise physiologically endorphins which are part of your body chemistry, really kick in and if your body is used to producing those endorphins day after day, your body feels like it's hungry, it's missing something," he explains.

As a result you keep coming back for more.

So how do you know if you've crossed the line from being fit to being obsessed?

"If it's affecting an important part of your life, because you are missing work, affecting time with your relationships, that's usually the key point to indicate that it's going too far," Dr. Fish says.

The key is to find balance.

Eric Martinson says he has no problem stepping off the treadmill.

"It's all a mind thing to be in good physical shape," Martinson says. "If you miss a day or two, it's not the end of the world."
 

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