Excessive Exercising

Also known as activity disorder, excessive exercising is an extreme method of weight control. Individuals suffering from this syndrome are compelled to exercise for prolonged periods on a daily basis and to indulge in constant activity to burn excess calories. Eventually they experience a loss of control over the desire to exercise, in the same way that a person with an eating disorder cannot control behaviors relative to eating.

Excessive exercisers suffer from the same obsession with body weight and shape as anorexics and bulimics, and exercise eventually becomes necessary not only for weight control, but also for mood stabilization and self-definition. Utterly powerless to restrain their urge to exercise, they will pursue daily activity in spite of injury or exhaustion, or in places and settings that are completely inappropriate. They are usually accomplished individuals, both professionally and academically, and they may appear to be vigorously fit and healthy. Despite their overtly sound appearance, however, over time they may suffer health consequences far more serious than routine athletic injuries. Drastic weight loss may lead to amenorrhea, which, in turn, may weaken bones and increase osteoporosis risk. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies may develop and electrolyte imbalances may occur, which may lead to cardiac arrest in extreme cases.

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