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Learning to Deal With Running Addiction

07 · 30 · 15    |    Category: Running    |    By: admin

When people hear the word “addiction” they automatically tend to think of substance abuse: alcohol, heroine, cocaine. However, addictions can take on other forms as well. There’s one type of addiction that a lot of people don’t realize is an addiction at all, and that’s an addiction to exercise. It can be tricky to quantify the difference between a dedication to keeping fit and an addiction to physical activity.

According to Nicole Radziszewski of Runner’s World magazine, it’s estimated that nearly 25 percent of runners experience an addiction to exercise. While an addiction to running won’t be as harmful immediately as a drug addiction, it can still pose a serious problem to your health, which is why you need to be able to both recognize and deal with this condition head on.

Learn the Signs

The signs of a running addiction are always going to be there, but they may be signs you’re deliberately overlooking. Do you put on your running socks and shoes even if you’re feeling under the weather? Do you get upset when something interferes with your running? Are you irritable or depressed if you can’t run? Would you rather spend time running than be in the company of your family or friends?

These are all indications that you’re addicted to the physical activity and they’re signs that you shouldn’t ignore. If you do ignore them, you run the risk of not only hurting yourself, but the people you care about most in your life.

Injuries are Inevitable

Human bodies aren’t meant to experience constant physical exertion. Too much physical activity too often leads to injuries, and that’s another ugly part of an addiction to running. Often, those addicted to exercise will choose to downplay their injuries by insisting they’re not that bad and will continue to keep exerting themselves. This obviously only compounds the issue and can lead to worse or more numerous physical concerns.

Ann Brennan, experienced runner and editor of Beyond Limits magazine, describes how her own running addiction had a huge negative impact on her health – to the point where she couldn’t even bear to stand on her injured foot. It was at that point she realized that her addiction was no longer making her feel good; instead, it was taking away her ability to do anything physical. This is what people with running addictions try to either avoid thinking about or ignore entirely: your body can only take so much physical activity before it starts to break down, and continuing to push it will only make things worse.

Seek Help

Just as there is help for people with other addictions, there’s also assistance out there for people who are addicted to exercise. If you suspect you’re addicted to running, you should contact a health psychologist or counselor immediately. You need to speak with someone who can help you understand why you’ve become addicted, as well as how best to curtail this activity.

Dealing with a running addiction isn’t as easy as peeling off your running socks, putting away your running shoes, and saying you’re done for the day. You need to first acknowledge you have a problem, understand how it can harm you, and seek the help you need to overcome it. However, if you can do this, there’s no reason why you can’t move forward, all while enjoying a healthy balance between your love of running and the other pursuits that matter most to you.

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