Exercise Addiction in Men
When exercise becomes too much
Treatment for exercise addiction continued...
Yates sees a cultural context for exercise addiction. “I think it has to do with very high expectations for autonomy and independence in the culture now. You have to move from place to place to get ahead in your job; you have to leave people behind who were significant to you. Many things make us need to be more independent than before.”
Yates tells her patients that “dependency is not a horrible thing. The expectations we have for ourselves and others may be off base. Autonomy is good. But when it gets carried too far, it can be unhealthy.” In other words, psychotherapy may be part of the path to getting off the treadmill. On the other hand, it may not be necessary in all cases.
For many athletes, obsessive exercising is a self-limiting condition, says Cockerill. “They tend to reduce their involvement to sensible levels themselves over time when their life, generally, is on an even keel.”