Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Avid Exerciser vs. The Over-Exerciser

You've watched fashion shows where models are pressured to lose more and more weight. You've seen these body pressures lead to eating disorders and other negative body issues. You've even judged people with anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders. But have you ever thought of over-exercising as an issue? Frankly, I think we talk about overweight people a lot, but not underweight folks. We don't help our kids grow up with a healthy image of their bodies in an environment where stick thin is seen as beautiful.

With the pressures we face with society everyday, it is very easy to swing the "body issue" pendulum from healthy to obsessive. But on the other hand, when it comes to exercise, it is sometimes difficult to determine what excessive is. 

So let's try to analyze, shall we? How do you know if you are simply an athlete (or an avid exerciser) that pushes your body, or if you are addicted to exercise? The first thing to look out for is how your mental state relates to your physical state. Athletes would generally work towards a target, like a marathon or being able to do 50 pushups. Overexercisers just work out because they cannot function without it. This means one day of exercise takes precedence over everything else.

Another sign is when a person cannot eat a meal without the need to burn every single calorie. Athletes understand the body's need for fuel to perform at their peak. But an overexerciser sees food as the enemy where every calorie must be eliminated. In fact, this is the same mental state a bulimic person has, where what goes in must come out.

Lastly, if exercise trumps a hurt body, if you find yourself going for a run even after you have hurt your knee, that is a clear sign. What use is it if you totally destroy your body and then can't exercise even if you wanted to? Like any other addiction, it is about the now, and so overexercisers don't really think about the future.

It is very important to have a healthy perspective when it comes to our bodies, exercise, and food. That perspective has to all go together for our bodies to function properly and work like a well oiled machine to maintain weight. If you are constantly stressing about your body and exercise, you may not be getting the most out of your work out. Trust me, I struggle with this balance sometimes. I want to push my body to its limit to see what I can achieve (so I'm an athlete, yay!), but sometimes, I think like an overexerciser. Sometimes, I feel like I need exercise to function like a human being. When you find yourself getting to that place, make sure you reel it in.

So what side are you on? Or are you simply struggling to like exercise at all?

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Photo credit:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...