Compulsive Exercise & Eating Disorders

Compulsive Exercise & Eating Disorders

Train and physique motion may be extremely useful to at least one’s well being. Nevertheless, as with every little thing, moderation is vital, and there are various instances that train can grow to be harmful when coupled with disordered consuming ideas, beliefs, and behaviors.

Whereas compulsive train just isn’t an official analysis within the Diagnostic and Statistical Handbook of Psychological Sickness, Fifth Version (DSM-5), many people wrestle with the signs and behaviors associated to it.

Compulsive Train, Outlined

The time period has been used for the reason that 1970s and is formally outlined as, “a yearning for bodily coaching, leading to uncontrollable extreme train habits with dangerous penalties, reminiscent of accidents and impaired social relations [1].”

A less complicated definition can be to interrupt down the time period itself – it’s to train in a obligatory method. People that have interaction in these behaviors typically really feel a psychological, bodily, and emotional compulsion to train excessively.

An enormous purple flag is that if a person has a inflexible, strict, and typically secretive, train routine. The rigidity of the routine is usually a results of the person feeling intense disgrace, guilt, stress, or anxiousness when they don’t have interaction of their chosen train in exactly the way in which they really feel they “want” to.

Typically, the secretive side comes into play down the highway, when the person acknowledges, or has been confronted, with the dangerousness of their behaviors and feels they have to then conceal them, as stopping them doesn’t really feel like an possibility.

People partaking in compulsive train typically have a selected view of what this train does, utilizing it as a approach of managing destructive feelings, numbing themselves from uncomfortable experiences, “purging” energy that they’ve consumed or compensating for consuming meals.

With these signs, it isn’t stunning that analysis signifies compulsive train behaviors are mostly related to consuming dysfunction pathology in addition to perfectionism, neuroticism, narcissism, and obsessive-compulsive signs [1].


It ought to come as no shock that working one’s physique into the bottom at alarming charges no matter bodily exhaustion is dangerous. Bodily, compulsive train may cause vital hurt to the physique, particularly when paired with inadequate dietary consumption to gasoline the exercise degree.

Lack of bone density and menstrual cycle, muscle soreness, bone, and joint ache, overuse accidents, and fractures, and altered resting coronary heart charge can all happen with compulsive train behaviors [2].

Nevertheless, the dangerous impacts don’t finish there, as people typically can not assist however prioritize their train behaviors above all else (therefore the “compulsive” side). This implies conferences, celebrations, holidays, social occasions, self-care, and so forth. all take a backseat to the train routine, leading to social impairment [1].

Lastly, exercising so intensely doesn’t solely alter one’s bodily make-up however their chemical and hormonal make-up as nicely.

This modification, along with the social impairment, would possibly clarify why despair is related to compulsive train, though it turns into a chicken-or-the-egg scenario, as who is aware of which got here first?


Therapist Discussing Nutrition With PatientWith out being a proper analysis, analysis is restricted as to tips on how to deal with compulsive train behaviors. Nevertheless, many consuming dysfunction remedy facilities and psychological well being professionals are recognizing these signs as dangerous and worthy of consideration.

One examine discovered that Cognitive Behavioral Remedy, probably the most widely-accepted, evidence-based remedy used now, is efficient in treating compulsive train [3]. The identical examine additionally discovered that bodily train and dietary remedy (PED-t) to be efficient [3].

There may be completely extra work to be carried out, nevertheless, for now, it is sufficient to stay alert to the signs of compulsive train and acknowledge the plain function they might play in consuming dysfunction pathology and remedy.

Carolina House Banner 468x60


[1] Lichtenschtein, M. B. et al. (2017). Compulsive train: hyperlinks, dangers, and challenges confronted. Psychological Analysis & Habits Administration, 10, 85-95.

[2] Unknown (2019). Compulsive Train. Nationwide Consuming Dysfunction Affiliation, retrieved on 03/06/2019 from taught/general-information/compulsive-exercise.

[3] Mathisen, T. F. (2018). Remedy results on compulsive train and bodily exercise in consuming issues. Journal of Consuming Issues, 6:43.

In regards to the Sponsor:

Carolina House Banner 1080x1080Carolina Home

Carolina Home is a complete consuming dysfunction remedy program that provides a full continuum of look after women and men age 17 and above.

Carolina Home supplies targeted care for people whose lives have been impacted by anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating dysfunction, compulsive overeating, physique dysmorphic dysfunction, orthorexia, and sure co-occurring psychological well being challenges. Please name us at: 866-690-7240

Image of Margot Rittenhouse.In regards to the Creator: 

Margot Rittenhouse, MS, PLPC, NCC is a therapist who’s captivated with offering psychological well being assist to all in want and has labored with shoppers with substance abuse points, consuming issues, home violence victims, and offenders, and severely mentally sick youth.

As a contract author for Consuming Dysfunction Hope and Dependancy Hope and a mentor with MentorConnect, Margot is a passionate consuming dysfunction advocate, dedicated to de-stigmatizing these sicknesses whereas exhibiting assist for these struggling by means of mentoring, writing, and volunteering. Margot has a Grasp’s of Science in Scientific Psychological Well being Counseling from Johns Hopkins College.

The opinions and views of our visitor contributors are shared to offer a broad perspective on consuming issues. These will not be essentially the views of Consuming Dysfunction Hope, however an effort to supply a dialogue of varied points by completely different involved people.

We at Consuming Dysfunction Hope perceive that consuming issues outcome from a mixture of environmental and genetic elements. In case you or a liked one are affected by an consuming dysfunction, please know that there’s hope for you, and search quick skilled assist.

Printed on March 14, 2019.
Reviewed & Accepted on March 14, 2019, by Jacquelyn Ekern MS, LPC

Printed on

The publish Compulsive Train & Consuming Issues appeared first on Consuming Dysfunction Hope.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *