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Eating Recovery Center In the News: The Huffington Post

Too Much of a Good Thing? What You Need to Know About Compulsive Over-Exercising In the most recent post to his Huffington Post blog, Dr. Weiner discusses compulsive over-exercising, and explains how the behavior often occurs alongside eating disorders, as the motivations underlying the excessive physical activity often stem from food-, body- or weight-related issues. Read an excerpt of his article below, or click here to read the article in its entirety. Exercise is good for you. This shouldn't come as shocking news to anyone; the risks of a sedentary lifestyle are abundant and well reported, particularly as the country faces a public health crisis in which one-third of adults and 17 percent of children are obese.* However, like most things in life, you can get too much of a good thing when it comes to exercise. Compulsive over-exercise is characterized by frequent episodes of excessive physical activity. Individuals will go to great lengths to fit exercise regimens into their schedules, even if it means skipping work, cutting school, avoiding social events with friends and family, even exercising in secret. Instead of supporting health, excessive exercise, inadequate rest and recovery time between physical activities can damage a person's body and overall health, causing joint injuries, tendonitis, stress fractures, muscle tears, exhaustion, fainting and dehydration. Compulsive exercise often occurs alongside eating disorders, as the motivations underlying the excessive physical activity often stem from food-, body- or weight-related issues. Many over-exercisers will do so as a result of guilt or shame from just having eaten or binged or to give themselves "permission" to eat. (The latter was recently the target of much scrutiny from the eating disorders awareness community when the idea was used humorously in a Yoplait commercial.) In fact, exercise bulimia is a subset of bulimia nervosa in which an individual is compelled to exercise at an overly excessive level in an effort to burn calories and fat. Just as individuals with bulimia purge calories through vomiting or laxative use, exercise bulimics use physical activity as their compensatory behavior. Over-exercising behaviors can also accompany anorexia nervosa when used in conjunction with severe food and calorie restriction. Read more.

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