How To Know When Your Gym Habit Has Become An Addiction!

Posted on March 20th, 2013 at 2:12 am by


 photo gym-addict_zpsc5247e65.jpgGetting plenty of exercise is on everyone’s agenda these days as we all try to combat the dangers of eating too much fast food and spending too long sitting in front of a computer.  However, there is a line between spending a healthy amount of time at the gym and taking it a bit too far, and it’s not always an obvious line to cross.  In fact, there are plenty of gym addicts out there in the public eye who seem completely normal – watch for the popping veins on too toned arms (we’re talking to you Madge), or those 5 am gym visits (that’ll be the Kardashians).

If you want to make sure you’re using the gym properly then here are a few things to watch out for:

1. You cancel plans to go to the gym.

The gym represents exercise and that’s key to a healthy lifestyle, but it should never be the only thing in your life.  If you find yourself cancelling dinner dates, pretending you’re ‘working late’ and avoiding seeing your friends so that you can spend time at the gym instead then things may well have gone too far.

2. You cut short your sleep to fit in the gym.

We’re not talking here about getting up an hour earlier in the morning so you can head for a quick gym session every now and again, but regularly forcing yourself to get out of bed in the early hours so that you can spend several hours in the gym before the day even starts.  If your gym training is so onerously long that you have to be up before the sun every day to do it then your routines might be a little out of balance.

3. You don’t stop even if you’re injured.

This is a classic gym addict move – to suffer aches, breaks, sprains or strains but refuse to take any advice to stop going to the gym.  Most physical injuries will require you to rest up afterwards and that will normally mean avoiding even a light session on the treadmill – if the thought of not going to the gym for a week sends you into a frenzy of panic you might be rather too dependent on your sessions for confidence or self esteem.

4. It dominates your holidays.

If you’ve just found the most perfect hotel for a trip away and you find yourself calling ahead to make sure there’s a gym then maybe your priorities need a little adjusting.  Worse still, if you find out that the perfect hotel in the perfect location doesn’t have fitness facilities up to your exacting standards and so you cancel the booking, things have gotten more than a little skewed.

5. You never miss your gym sessions.

There’s a lot to be said for dedication to something like going to the gym, as it’s not always enjoyable and often we’d rather be doing something else.  However, if you just cannot miss a session, even if it means heading to the gym in a storm or being late picking up the kids from school to do it then you might want to rethink your focus.

It’s quite easy to morph into a gym addict these days, particularly given all the media pressure to look good, and the lovely endorphins that are released after a workout session.  However, if you find yourself experiencing one or more of the above then it might be time to rethink a little and let the gym bunny in you take a bit of a back seat.

Remember there’s other ways to get your fix of exercise without it having to effect your social or family life.  Why not cut out one gym session a week and replace it with a country walk with the family or get a group of friends together and join an evening sports league?  Clubs like Go Mammoth offer a range of different sports leagues to choose from including stuff you know like netball and basketball through to stuff you may never have played before like ultimate frisbee and dodgeball!  The point is you’re still getting exercise but you’re doing it in a social setting – which is more likely to benefit your emotional well-being, as well as your physical.

Studies have consistently shown that varying your gym routine is the key to overcoming training plateaus so taking a break from the gym to introduce some alternative exercise and movement into your week could actually help you to achieve your gym goals as well.

About the Author

Amy Sawyer is a freelance journalist living in London.  She probably wishes her own exercise regime was more addictive!

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