Is the phrase “There is never too much good” really true? Many would argue that it is a controversial statement and that the golden mean is often the better approach. This is true even for health-improving sports activities, which have become increasingly popular in recent years.
While there is nothing wrong with playing sports, it is important to approach them without fanaticism. It turns out that there is a real danger of becoming addicted to sports – fitness addiction – and it is important to understand how this dependence is formed and manifests itself.
Sports addiction is characterized by the uncontrolled predilection of a person for sports, with classes ranging from running to yoga to gym workouts and home exercises. The underlying cause is the release of endorphins, chemical compounds produced in the neurons of the brain that positively affect the emotional background. During long and intense workouts, endorphins arise when the stress hormone adrenaline is released, which speeds up blood circulation and increases muscle tone. At the moment when the loads reach a peak, the body cannot cope with them, endorphins are produced. These endorphins reduce pain sensitivity, help the body adapt to stress, and increase the reaction rate, providing acute pleasure and motivation to continue exercising.
While this chemical reaction is generally harmless for those with a strong, healthy psyche, it can be dangerous for those with a tendency towards addiction or unstable mental health. Fitness addiction is particularly common in “former” alcoholics, drug addicts, and those prone to cravings for computer games and gambling, as sports activities serve as a replacement for their old habits. Such individuals may become emotionally unstable and uncontrollable, exhibiting similar behavior to their past addiction.
Other individuals at risk include those with neuroses, particularly dysmorphophobia, who become overly preoccupied with the external features and defects of their body, and those who become obsessed with healthy eating and strict selection of food, which can lead to exhaustion and serious disruptions of internal organ functioning.
Symptoms of sports addiction include regularly and independently increasing physical activity without any apparent reason, regularly practicing for several hours without rest, and becoming overly focused on the topic of training and nutrition to the exclusion of all other topics. The addicted person may also lose interest in friends, family, and work, and may experience anxiety before exercise.
In conclusion, while health-improving sports activities can have many benefits, it is important to approach them in moderation and be aware of the risks of fitness addiction.
As individuals seek to enhance their workout efficiency, they may develop an unhealthy reliance on substances such as fat burners, energy drinks, anabolic steroids, and even psychostimulants. This obsessive behavior often causes a person to lose objectivity and overexert themselves, leading to severe health issues.
To safeguard against the consequences of fitness addiction, moderation is key. It is recommended to exercise with the guidance of an experienced trainer no more than 3-4 times a week. It is also important to avoid impulsive behavior when it comes to working out and to make time for other fulfilling and beneficial hobbies.