There are some easy ways to overcome exercise addiction if you’re a victim. As difficult as it is for some people to enjoy exercise, it’s also just as difficult for someone who’s addicted to exercise to stop. Coming from exerience with this issue, I have some hopeful news for you. After being addicted for 10 years to exercise after formally never exercising at all, I promise you that balance is possible. Try some of my personal favorite ways to overcome an exercise addiction that have worked wonders for me. Before, my life was ruled by the gym, multiple times per day, or for extended periods of time. I’m so happy to say that isn’t me anymore and now, I”m able to enjoy exercise in moderation, and still stay very fit and healthy. I hope these tips might help some of you, and save you from some serious physical and mental stress too.
Table of contents:
- reduce it by half
- remind yourself of the why
- keep a timer
- try a new form
- find a hobby
- confide in somebody
- keep a journal
- take one rest day
- find motivators
1 Reduce It by Half
One of the first ways to overcome an exercise addiction that I tried was to reduce the amount of time I exercised by half. I knew I couldn’t quit cold turkey, and honestly, cutting my time in half was scary enough, but I did it. I used to exercise for 2 hours a day, and started reducing it to one hour instead. Then, when I decided I needed to gain weight after losing too much, I reduced it again to 30 minutes. While this was one of the hardest things I did, it worked very effectively, because I knew I could still move my body each day, and not have to give it up completely.
2 Remind Yourself of the Why
You can’t just get up one day and stop your addiction to exercise without the right motivation. You need to first have something as a mental reminder of why you’re doing this. It’s the same thing as a smoker trying to quit smoking. They don’t quit just to quit, but by reminding themselves of what might happen if they don’t, and what they’re doing to their body in the process. Remind yourself of why you need to stop your addiction. If you’re like me, it is motivators like depression, mental stress, and avoiding a social life just to exercise. If you know it feels like an addiction, it probably is. Remind yourself of why you want to stop and remember that every time you start to exercise.
3 Keep a Timer
Instead of just winging it, you’ll need to keep a timer so you’re sure not to go over on your daily exercise sessions. Otherwise, it is very easy to keep going and not know how long you’re exercising. I kept a timer each and every time I worked out, and even making a playlist to the prescribed amount of time is a great idea. Pick your favorite songs and have them stop when you know you need to quit. It will be a great audio cue that you’re done for the day.
4 Try a New Form
Another great way to get out of an unhealthy obsession with exercise, is to simply try a new kind of exercise. For instance, if you’re usually a runner, try walking. If you’re addicted to weights, try yoga. Trying new things gets you out of your routine, which is a part of the addiction. It also opens you up to training your body in different ways, which has multiple benefits. You might even find something new you enjoy!
5 Find a Hobby
More than likely, if exercise is a true addiction for you, you rarely have time for other issues. So, find a hobby that really interests you and instead of spending all your time exercising or thinking about exercise, start doing more of the hobby you enjoy instead!
6 Confide in Somebody
I found it helpful to talk to someone about why I felt the need to exercise so much. Someone who you can trust is best for this, and perhaps just start telling them you enjoy exercise but think you might be overdoing it. Get their opinion, and see what they have to say about it. They might offer up something you haven’t thought of yet.
7 Keep a Journal
I wrote in a journal everyday when I knew I had an exercise addiction, and wrote why I felt the need to exercise more, no matter how much I did. I realized it was for underlying issues and had nothing to do with the fact I just really loved the exercises I was doing that much. When I started writing these out, dealing with the real issues at hand became much easier. Give it a try and see if it helps you!
8 Take One Rest Day
I know this might be tough, but it will help break the addictive cycle you might have to exercise. Take one rest day. See how your body responds. You’re not going to gain weight overnight, and it’s actually better for your weight, mind and body if you do take one rest day a week.
9 Find Motivators
For me, my motivators were quotes of healing from addictions, reminding myself that my exercise addiction was ruining my hair, which was thinning, and focusing on helping my joints, which hurt all the time from exercising too much. I posted quotes everywhere I could think of, started focusing on how healthy my hair looked, and how great my body felt for the first time in a while.
I hope if you have an addiction to exercise you realize that you’re only doing your body more harm than good. I look and feel so much healthier now that I gave up my exercise addiction. Have you ever had an addiction to exercise?
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