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Diet and Exercise Addiction

Exercise and diet are the keys to achieving the health and appearance people want. However, there are improper ways to go about each. Some people have an addiction to exercise and wear their bodies down. Others may have eating disorders and starve themselves to lose weight. There are also people who use dietary and fitness supplements in excess, leaving their bodies with irreparable damage. In order to become a healthy person, it is important to know the difference between safe and unsafe exercise and weight loss techniques.

Exercise Addiction

It is important for everyone to exercise and stay fit. However, with all the hype we often overlook that there is a limit to how much exercise is considered safe. This amount differs in intensity for every person, but what remains constant is that they always want to exercise and rarely enjoy it. An individual can develop an addiction to exercise for a number of reasons. It is usually self-esteem based. They may feel as though they can never burn enough calories after a meal. Excessive exercise places a lot of stress on the body. When the body does not receive enough rest or downtime, a person can develop one or several medical conditions including decreased oxygen uptake, adrenal exhaustion and extreme, unhealthy weight loss.

Someone with an exercise addiction exhibits certain warning signs. They are known to work out alone, sticking to a very rigid exercise pattern. Even when they are sick or injured, they will exercise with the same intensity as they would any other day. The time they spend exercising can proceed for hours at a time, which is unhealthy considering that the body best responds to alternating activity and rest. Despite this routine bringing them pain, they will continue. During conversation, an exercise addict will be abnormally fixated on health topics. They might even skip work or school just to exercise. 

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are similar to exercise addiction in many ways. Both are commonly linked to self-esteem and self-image issues. The two most prominent eating disorders are anorexia and bulimia. Both involve unsafe and unhealthy weight loss. Anorexia is a disorder where a person does not eat any or enough food. This poor diet can also be combined with the use or abuse of diet pills or laxatives to further shed weight. Many anorexics still believe they’re fat, even after losing so much weight they appear sickly. Bulimia is different. Bulimics will eat a lot of food and then purge it out by using laxatives or forcing themselves to vomit. They are at the same time powerless over the consumption of food, but also overly concerned with the weight gain associated with it.

Fitness Supplement Abuse

Fitness supplements are not necessary for anyone. The vitamins and minerals that the human body requires can all be obtained through foods. However, fitness supplements do offer some benefits. Athletes use fitness supplements because it gives them a physical advantage. Non-athletes might use them to build muscle mass and feel more physically attractive. Of course, if the results are slow or the drugs prove ineffective, people are sometimes inclined to abuse them. The most publicized abuse of fitness supplements is anabolic steroids. These substances, when swallowed or injected, produce a synthetic testosterone that helps to enhance performance and build muscle. When abused, steroids can damage the liver, cause high blood pressure, ruin cholesterol, stunt growth, shrivel the testicles in men and make them infertile, and cause females to grow facial hair and have awkward menstrual changes.

Healthy Exercise

When not abused, exercise is very profitable to the human body. It helps with weight loss, relieves tension and stress, strengthens bones and muscles, prevents a number of undesirable medical conditions and can therefore increase lifespan. It is recommended that both men and women exercise for thirty minutes at least four days each week. Brisk walking or bicycle riding are great examples of how to exercise with little equipment. In fact, biking at 12mph burns nine calories every minute. Jogging can burn up to twelve, and running can burn up to seventeen calories every minute. The use of dietary supplements is acceptable when combined with healthy exercise, but they should never be abused. Failure to exercise regularly can lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and can make a person more irritable.