Over Exercise

The term “over exercise” is not a specific diagnosis complete with a list of symptoms. Instead, it is a general term referring to exercising to the point of exhaustion.

Over exercise can occur once in a while as when someone overdoes it on a single work-out, or it can be a habitual behavior. When over exercising becomes the norm, this may be an indication that a person is actually suffering from what is called Obligatory Exercising, Compulsive Exercising, or Anorexia Athletica.

Over exercise is not healthy

Regular moderate exercise habits are considered to be essential for proper health. However, when people engage in over exercising this can progress into a full exercise addiction and can go hand in hand with eating disorders such as bulimia. According to one study over 90% of bulimic women used excessive exercising as a method of compensating for eating binges and as a tactic for weight management.

Over exercise can have serious consequences

When someone over exercises to the point where it is a problem, he or she may experience physical, psychological and social consequences. Physically those who over exercise to extreme exhaustion may experience a decrease in immune function, increased resting heart rate, insomnia, lethargy, deteriorating physical performance, amenorrhea, bone loss, increased risk of bone fractures, and increased risk of injuries. The body requires time to rest and heal, especially when pushed to its limit, and in those who regularly engage in over exercising, because they feel so compelled to work out, never allow their body to recover.

Photo by John Nyboer

Related Reading

Eating Disorder Self Test. Take the EAT-26 self test to see if you might have eating disorder symptoms that might require professional evaluation. All answers are confidential.

Find a Treatment Facility Near You

Click on a state below to find eating disorder treatment options that could be right for you.

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Additional calls will also be forwarded and returned by one of our treatment partners below.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by one of our treatment partners, a paid advertiser on EatingDisorders.com.

All calls are private and confidential.