Obsessed? When have you taken exercise too far?

girl stretchingYou’ve probably heard-many times-from health teachers, magazines, your parents, and your friends that exercise is good for you. And it is. It keeps you trim, reduces stress, and fights off heart disease and other forms of health problems.

However, exercise can turn into too much of a good thing. When exercise and the need to exercise starts to control your life, it can be a bad thing. Too much exercise can damage ligaments, cartilage, and joints and can put added stress on the heart. When it becomes an obsession or starts to control your life, it’s important to get in control.

How can I tell if exercise is controlling my life?
If you’re worried that exercise or the need to exercise might be controlling your life, consider the following signs. If you answer yes to more than one of these, you have have an unhealthy obsession with exercise:

  • You won’t skip a workout, even if you’re tired, sick, or injured
  • You feel obligated to exercise and feel guilty or anxious if you don’t get the chance or skip it.
  • You make up for overeating or missing a work out by doing extra
  • You’re losing weight, even if you don’t need or want to.
  • You skip hanging out with friends, family, homework, or even school to exercise.

Many times, people who let exercise to control their life have deeper problems, such as an eating disorder or depression. However, you can still exercise and stay fit without it controlling your life. The following tips will help you to stay fit while balancing out a healthy life:

  • Eat a healthy diet. Eating a healthy, balanced diet will help you to maintain your weight and stay fit without resorting to excessive amounts of exercise. Whole grains, green leafy vegetables, and lean proteins should replace refined flours like white bread and cakes and fatty cuts of meat, like steaks and burgers.
  • Set aside a specific time for exercise each day. When you set aside 30 minutes or an hour each day, you will be able to fit exercise in because it’s a priority. In addition, having a set time you know you will be working out will ease your mind, so you won’t have to be controlled by the need to get to the gym.
  • Be realistic. Know that skipping a workout or not exercising as long as usual is not likely to cause significant weight gain or reduce your fitness level. If you fall off track, just go right back to your scheduled workouts, or do them when you have the time.

How much exercise do I need?
The best way to stay fit without letting exercise control your life is to be informed. You don’t need to work out for hours every day in order to be in good physical shape. Experts recommend those who are working to maintain fitness strive to exercise for at least 30 minutes 3-6 times a week. For optimal fitness and weight maintenance, they recommend 60 minutes.

There are many ways you can fit an hour of exercise in a day without spending all night at the gym. Join a sport or fitness club at school, or play tennis, basketball, or ride bikes with your friends after school. You can also go for jogs around the track after school. The less you worry about exercise and do your best to get in an hour or so every day, the healthier you’ll feel and look.

Getting help with an eating disorder

unhappy teen being laughed atBethany is thirteen years old does not enjoy life. She cannot enjoy life because she does not like herself. She does not like her appearance and always compares herself with the girls who are around her who are much skinnier than she is. She hates eating because she feels like everything she puts into her body is just making her fatter. When she does eat she feels guilty and tries not to let people see. She has come to a point that she just does not find any joy in life. She knows that she cannot be happy because she is not beautiful and skinny. If only she were skinny she would be happy.

Conditions like Bethany’s are not uncommon today. There are many girls who view themselves the way Bethany does. Girls with this problem should know that they are not alone. There are other people who know exactly what you are going through. While it is important to know that this kind of thinking is not healthy you should also be confident that you are not the only one who thinks that way. It is also important to know that there are many girls who have thought this way and have gotten over this type of thinking. Even though it is something you have to deal with now, it is not something that you have to deal with forever.

If you have an eating disorder you should seek help. One of the hardest things about having an eating disorder is that you feel so alone. If you seek help you will relieve a great burden off your shoulders. You should seek help from friends and family. You obviously do not want to go around telling everyone that you have an eating disorder but it is ok to tell a few people who you are comfortable telling. You should have friends and family standing by your for support. Eating disorders are very hard things and having people you love stand by you is a great comfort as you try to work through this difficult time.

Besides having friends and family by your side you will also need to be sure to get the help of a doctor. It seems like a very hard thing to go to a stranger who does not know you and admit to them that you have an eating disorder. It is hard because you do not want to be judged by them. When you face a doctor and admit that you have a problem you are doing a very brave thing. You are letting down a big wall that you have built around yourself. You will probably feel very exposed at first. But you should know that the doctor does not judge you. He realizes that you are going through a very hard time and he will think highly of you for getting up the courage to seek help. You should also know that your doctor will do anything to help you get over this problem.

As you get help through your struggle from friends, family and doctors you will start to feel much better about yourself. You will probably go through some very hard times but those hard times will pass and you will come out of it a much happier person. It will probably take a lot of time before you are completely over your eating disorder, but the time will come when you are over it and you will feel so relieved. You deserve to enjoy life to its fullest and that is very hard if you constantly carry this weight on your shoulders. You should get that weight off your shoulders and seek help from those around you who love you so much.