Sports Addiction = Drug Addiction?

Whatever you do, fitness has tons of advantages, benefiting your health, boosting your energy and self-esteem, contributing to your life expectancy, and, of course, giving you the desired body shape. However, along with such expressions as ‘muscular fitness’ and ‘healthy lifestyle,’ more and more researchers and doctors use the phrase ‘sports addiction’ when referring to physical activity. As a rule, addiction presupposes drug or alcohol abuse and definitely not workouts, yet you’ll be surprised to know how much these seemingly opposite activities have in common.

Similarities between a Sports Addiction and  a Drug Addiction

  1. Sports get you high and cause an addition. As well as any energy drink, exercises also improve your mood, making youfeel high, due to a powerful release of dopamine and endorphins. Like drugs, this effect soon gets you on the hook, and so you crave more ‘happiness’ and eventually add minutes to your regular fitness routine, stay at the gym to cover extra miles on a treadmill, and never think of taking a day off, even being exhausted or sick.
  2. Sports addicts become friends with other sports addicts. Apart from constant yearning for more, sports addiction shares other symptoms with drug dependence. People obsessed with fitness tend to befriend the same sports maniacs to discuss the latest news of the world of the fit, share a couple of recipes of a nice protein cocktail, and gossip about a diet this or that celebrity has recently fallen for.
  3. Doing sports to relax and feel better. When fitness maniacs have a bad day or simply need to relax, they would prefer a training session to an easeful conversation with friends or family.
  4. As well as drug addicts, fitness abusers can’t stop once they’ve set a stone rolling and never cut down on the training load.

But even if you do sports seven days a week, there is nothing bad with giving your body some extra exercise, right? Wrong! The best is the enemy of the good applies to your workout schedule as well. By setting the bar too high, you don’t give your body a chance to recover, which may result in minor injuries, overall exhaustion, and even a heart attack, according to some research.

Moreover, apart from physical harm, training addicts suffer from psychological issues, because their dependence blocks them from enjoying the other aspects of life that have nothing to do with fitness. Everything happening outside the gym seems boring and dull, and a couple of push-ups are worth more than a meeting with friends or colleagues.

All of the above doesn’t mean you should give up on training and throw away your gym membership card. Sports should be a part of your life for many reasons (and World Health Organization strongly agrees) be it relaxation, inner harmony, or impressive muscle bulk – anyway, even a good old gym has a lot to offer. However, no matter whether you opt for step aerobics, trampoline jumping, or Zumba, go in for yoga or stretching, you need to stick to a rational amount of exercise and avoid going to the extreme. There is no need to tolerate pain and injuries for the sake of a new dress or lower scale number. Learn to see that fine line between a healthy lifestyle and addiction, and build a harmonious body without putting yourself at risk.

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