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Too much exercise?

Okay a little backstory. My sister is an addictive personality, she is a recovering drug, alcohol, cigarettes addict. She has been clean from drugs and alcohol for at least 6 years and gave up cigarettes nearly 2 years ago when she got pregnant with my neice. She is doing great.

My mom is concerned now and my mom is an RN that my sister has turned to exercise as an addiction. My sister goes to the gym at least 5 times a week and exercises hard for 2 hours at least. My mom thinks she has become addicted to the endorphines from exercise and is worried.

Is there such thing as too much exercise? As long as she's not injured should I join my mom in talking to her, or try to help my sister convince my mom she's fine. She does a combo of many things from spin and rebounding classes, to the elliptical and treadmill, to weights. She never works the same muscle group two days in a row though when she does do weights. Even if my mom is right and she is addicted to the endorphine rush is that really a bad thing? My mom is not the healthiest person in the world and is prone to jealousy so I'm not sure if this is her jealous of my sister or if it's a legitimate concern, so I'm just looking for the opinions of other health conscious individuals.

Oh and if it helps my sister is 5'7, 147 lbs and is currently wearing a size 3. Thanks for reading this long thing and for your advise.


Mon. Jun 4, 8:41am

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Yes, it is most definitely possible to be addicted to exercise. At it's most extreme, it is a form of anorexia (or at least, similar, and does similar things to your body, particularly in combination with low-calorie diets.) The endorphins are addictive as well. Does your sister eat much? One would probably need well over 2000 calories a day, with a high level of complex carbs, as well as proteins, to healthily maintain that kind of exercise program. Athletes in training may exercise that much, and it's not necessarily detrmental, but they do need to be sure to eat the proper nutrients, in the proper amounts, as well as be fitted for proper workout attire/shoes, so that they reduce the risk of sustaining injury. And, should injury occur, they need to be able to rest long enough to fully heal.

Your sister is not necessarily hurting herself, but she might be. It'd be beneficial for her to see a sports doctor or nutritionist to be sure that she's getting what she needs in order to keep up that level of exercise. Or, if it's an addiction, she may need counseling.

Monday, June 04, 2007, 1:03 PM

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Is she losing weight or attempting to do so with this exercise program? (it doesn't sound like she needs to-with her stats). I would say if she is eating normally and well then she is fine. I exercise 6 days a week for at least an hour each time, more if i'm doing weights or yoga and I am at a healthy weight (now-once upon a time I was very overweight). I really love exercise now, and I feel crappy when I miss a workout or two, but in no way do I feel that this is an unhealthy thing (for me). I am always looking to better my performance and strength. With your sister's background-it might be a different story but it is hard to tell without knowing how she reacts to missing exercise.

Monday, June 04, 2007, 1:11 PM

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I had a friend who was addicted to exercise. She graduated from a very prestigious and expensive university with a degree in business, but decided to become a personal trainer instead (not that this is a bad career choice, but she could've saved herself over $100k if she had thought of that before going to college), and she made that decision because working in an office for 8 hours a day, and not being able to work out during that time period, gave her anxiety attacks! Clearly not too healthy!

2 years later, she had to stop being a personal trainer after she was hospitalized for about a week, after getting too extreme (not entirely sure the circumstances; she's kept them pretty private), and her doctor ordered her to stop, and to stop exercising and start eating. Now she works in an office, and seems to be getting healthier, with less exercise!

Monday, June 04, 2007, 2:37 PM

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size 3

I'm 5'8" and 144 lbs and can barely fit a size 6! Where is this magical size 3 at?

Monday, June 04, 2007, 2:51 PM

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It's possible that she's addicted, and possible that she just likes it.

We tend to forget this, but there are actually people who do hard physical labor all day long to support themselves. 2 hours a day isn't inherently self-destructive. But as another poster mentioned, if you can't stop when you really need to stop, that is a problem.

Monday, June 04, 2007, 2:55 PM

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