It is pretty much a given that we all need regular exercise to stay healthy. Some of us do what we can, others don’t. Yet there is also that small group of people who seem to be obsessed with all things exercise. Is it possible that they are taking exercise too seriously? Limited evidence leads in that direction.
There is an old proverb that says everything should be done in moderation. Even if you have never heard the proverb before, you’re familiar with it in practice. Most of us understand that going to the extreme in anything is not a good idea. Even the definition of the word ‘extreme’ dictates as much. So taking exercise to extremes is probably not a wise move.
Exercise Addiction Is Real
It appears possible to take exercise too seriously without allowing it to have an adverse effect on your health. But it is also possible to wind up with exercise addiction. Yes, it’s a real thing. Just like any other activity that has the ability to take over your life, you can become so obsessed with exercise that it controls you, rather than you controlling it.
WebMD quotes a British sports psychologist who explains exercise addiction this way: “Healthy exercisers organize their exercise around their lives, whereas dependents organize their lives around their exercise.” His explanation makes perfect sense when you understand how addiction works.
Going Overboard Without Addiction
The reality of exercise addiction was mentioned only to illustrate the point that it is possible to take exercise too seriously. That said, there are plenty of people who go overboard without suffering addiction issues. You can see it in their attitudes toward exercise. You can see it in their behaviors.
Consider the example of someone who is an avid indoor cyclist. She takes regular classes at a cycling studio, riding at home in between classes. The interesting thing is that she tries to replicate the class experience at home, down to the very last detail. She will not be satisfied until she gets it just perfect.
She may be an example of someone who takes indoor cycling too seriously. Especially since, according to Salt Lake City’s Mcycle studio, it is nearly impossible to fully replicate an organized class in your basement. Without an instructor and other cyclists alongside you, it’s just not the same.
Spending A Lot of Money
Another way taking exercise too seriously is manifested is in the amount of money a person spends. Getting back to indoor cycling, it is entirely possible to participate without spending hundreds of dollars on custom cycling clothing. Yes, cycling shoes that attach to the pedals are helpful. But they are not necessary. Neither are coordinated shorts and tank tops that are more about fashion than function.
A person can spend thousands of dollars on an indoor bike that offers more bells and whistles than he could possibly use. Another can spend tons on a home gym. None of these things are bad in and of themselves. But at some point, the amount of money you are spending on exercise can get a bit extreme.
If you have to have everything exactly right – from clothing and equipment to the way exercise is performed – there is a possibility that you could be taking exercise too seriously. It may be time to step back and evaluate.
Any concerns that you might be going overboard with the exercise thing is reason to have a sit down with your doctor. Discuss what you are thinking and ask for some input. Perhaps you just need to chill out a bit and relax.