What is compulsive exercise?

Compulsive exercise is often referred to as anorexia athletica, obligatory exercise, and exercise addiction. These conditions can be as severe as other eating disorders. In fact, compulsive exercise occurs alongside other types of eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia. Exercising too much can eventually lead to injury, unsafe weight loss, and even malnutrition. As a result, those suffering from this disorder require appropriate compulsive exercise treatment.

For the average person, it can be hard to tell the difference between a person that is dedicated to fitness and a person with an exercise addiction. Keep an eye out for the following signs to know if your loved one has a problem:

  • 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 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
  • Justifying excessive behavior by defining self as a “special” elite athlete

A woman leans on a fitness ball holding a coffee cup because she needs compulsive exercise disorder treatment

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Health Consequences of Compulsive Exercise

Compulsive exercise can be serious and cause real and devastating health consequences such as:

  • Loss of bone density (osteoporosis)
  • Loss of menstrual cycle
  • Chronic joint and bone pain
  • Altered resting heart rate
  • Increased frequency of illness
  • Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S)

How We Treat

Finding support for compulsive exercise and disordered eating can be a challenge. However, the compassionate staff at Magnolia Creek is ready to help. We work hard to create a welcoming, safe environment that offers evidence-based treatment that includes:

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Compulsive Exercise Treatment at Magnolia Creek

Magnolia Creek offers a home-like environment situated on 36 wooded acres that include a private lake, and recovery garden, as well as walking trails. We strive to create a serene, peaceful space where women can focus on self-acceptance. As a result, we believe our clients have a better shot at recovery. To learn more about Magnolia Creek and our treatment options, call 205-409-4220.

We are here to help you. Contact Us @ 205-409-4220 or send us an email.

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