• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Get control of your email attachments. Connect all your Gmail accounts and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio will automatically organize your file attachments. You can also connect Dokkio to Drive, Dropbox, and Slack. Sign up for free.



Page history last edited by Helena Baert 11 years, 7 months ago

First Author: KatieS

Second Author: TalerS & Michael Scot


Over-exercising: Could this be you??


While exercise has obvious benefits for health and mind, some of us can overdo ourselves. In fact, a recent psychological study of gym goers found that 23 % of people who regularly exercised did so at excessive levels. It is important to keep in mind proportion when

incorporating intensity into your exercise routine [1]


bubbleshare errorPlugin error: That plugin is not available.



What is it?


Over-trained = condition characterized by lack of energy, aching muscles and joints, and decreased physical performance.


The term anorexia athletica has been used to describe a subclinical eating disorder for athletes who engage in at least one unhealthy method of weight control, including fasting, vomiting, diet pills, laxatives, or diuretics. 


Activity disorders, like eating disorders, are expressions of and defenses against feelings and emotions and are used to soothe, organize, and maintain self-esteem. Individuals with the eating disorders (anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa) and those with activity disorders are similar to one another in many respects. Both groups attempt to control the body through exercise and/or diet and are overly conscious of input versus output equations. They are extremely committed individuals and pride themselves on putting mind over matter, valuing self-discipline, self-sacrifice, and the ability to persevere. A compulsive exerciser would rather exercise than spend time with friends or family, go to social events, and may even miss work and important appointments. [2]


People who overexercise tend to:

  • Regularly turn down invitations with friends and family to go to the gym.


  • Have other health implications as well, as it can cause repetitive-use injuries and chronic infections, which can be triggered by lower immunity. For women, this over exercising can lead to stopped periods and osteoporosis.


  • Continue to over-exercise in spite of medical and/or other consequences.


  • Often work through illness and fatigue, trying to push themselves through.  It can even develop into an addiction.




Warning Signs and Symptoms:

(If you are experiencing some of these symptoms...you may want to get help)


  • Fatigue

  • Reduction in performance

  • Decreased concentration

  • Inhibited lactic acid response

  • Loss of emotional vigor

  • Increased compulsivity

  • Soreness, stiffness

  • Decreased maximum oxygen uptake

  • Decreased blood lactate

  • Adrenal exhaustion

  • Decreased heart rate response to exercise

  • Hypothalamic dysfunction

  • Decreased anabolic (testosterone) response

  • Increased catabolic (cortisol) response (muscle wasting)


 Getting Help:

     The principles of treatment for individuals with activity disorders are similar to those with eating disorders.  Most cases should be able to be treated on an outpatient basis unless the activity disorder and an eating disorder coexist.  When lack of nutrition is combined with hours of exercise, the body gets broken down at a rapid pace, and residential or inpatient treatment is often required.


     Sometimes hospitalization is encouraged to patients as a way to relieve the vicious cycle of nutrient deprivation combined with exercise before a breakdown occurs. Activity disordered individuals often recognize that they need help to stop and know that they cannot do it with outpatient treatment alone. Eating disorder treatment programs are probably the best choice for hospitalizing those with activity disorder. An eating disorder facility that has a special program for athletes or compulsive exercisers would be best.




                     PROFESSIONAL ADVICE



YouTube plugin error












Fit & Well, eighth edition- page 42





  1. http://www.hesfit.com/men/comment/the-effects-of-over-exercising/
  2. http://www.eatingdisordersonline.com/explain/exercise.php
  3. http://www.healthyplace.com/Communities/Eating_Disorders/compulsive_exercising_2a.asp

Comments (5)

Ashlee said

at 12:48 pm on Dec 1, 2008

This page was very interesting. It proves that you can have too much of a good thing. This would be helpful for athletes to make sure that they do not over work themselves. Good job!

Celeste Otto said

at 12:30 am on Dec 2, 2008

In your artilce over-exercising is being compared to eating disorders and shows that this could be a real problem for some people. There is alot of good information in this article!

Jordan Addison Donald said

at 6:35 pm on Dec 2, 2008

Your article was very informative. I really liked your picture slide show

ryan stark said

at 5:17 pm on Dec 5, 2008

your article was very informational, and i will take everything you said into consideration next time i hit the gym

Michael Lay said

at 12:54 am on Dec 8, 2008

Very interesting. I wish I had this problem, but unfortunately it's the other way around.

You don't have permission to comment on this page.