So you think you know what compulsive exercise is. But why is it dangerous? Compulsive exercise is not only dangerous physically to a developing child, but comes with an assortment of other problems as well. The dangers don’t just stop at the physical strain on the body. Social interactions and regular obligations like attending classes can be affected as well. Here are some behaviors to watch for and why they can indicate a problem for your childs health.
Spending too much time exercising is the biggest problem a compulsive exerciser faces. The child who exercises compulsively doesn’t see exercise as any thing but good. Most fitness professionals agree that working out for 30 to 45 minutes a day, 3 non-consecutive days a week is enough to maintain good health when combined with a healthy nutrition plan. A compulsive exerciser will workout for much longer. It’s not uncommon for a compulsive exerciser to exercise for periods over an hour at a time six or seven days a week.
At first, the extra effort seems to benefit the child or teen. He or she may have more energy or maybe perform better in sports. These effects will only be temporary. Without the proper time to recover, he or she may lose that energy and fatigue easier. Eventually, the strain on the body takes it’s toll and the results can be permanent or even deadly. Too much exercise can lead to permanent damage to the bones, ligaments and other tissues of the body and is thought to be linked to some heart problems later in life.
The time spent exercising can also lead to another problem. How does one fit in that workout every day? To an average individual, young or old, missing a workout here or there is just unavoidable. Therefore, those people expect to miss a workout and just plan to get on track later. To a compulsive exerciser, in severe cases, skipping workouts is not an option. Instead he or she will skip classes, outings with friends, or even family functions.
There are other disorders that can follow an obsession with exercise as well. Along with the percieved obligation to exercise, there can be a strict diet regimen that the child follows. Teens are especially prone to eating disorders such as anorexia. An obsession with food is almost never far behind an obsession with exercise.
These are just a few of the behaviors and dangers associated with compulsive exercise. Because of the perception that all exercise is good, it can be hard to tell if your child is exercising too much. For that reason, parents need to stay informed. Take some time and read this article reviewed by Mary L. Gavin, MD at Kidshealth.org. (linked here) Remember, even exercise should be enjoyed in moderation.
As always, feel free to visit the comments section below and let us know what you think. For more information about kid’s health, I strongly recommend Kidshealth.org. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @dorsino22 and keep those children’s health topics and questions coming.