Resources & Education

Compulsive Exercise Disorder

Compulsive exercise is often referred to as anorexia athletica, obligatory exercise, and exercise addiction. These conditions can be as severe as other eating disorders and require appropriate intervention.

Symptoms of Compulsive Exercise

  • Engaging in exercise beyond the requirements for good health
  • Stealing time to exercise from work, school, and relationships
  • Striving to achieve and master ever more difficult challenges
  • Defining e self-worth in terms of body image and shape
  • Never or rarely feeling satisfied with athletic achievements; small satisfactions are fleeting and the individual does not savor victory, but rather, pushes on to the next challenge immediately
  • Justifiying excessive behavior by defining self as a “special” elite athlete

Description adapted from Anorexia and Related Disorders (ANRED).