Is Your Teen Addicted to Exercise?

With all of the new health initiatives, nutrition, diet, and exercise are talked about more frequently. More specifically, in schools across the nation, diet, exercise, and the importance of health and healthy weights are talked about fervently. As teenagers are going through adolescence and puberty, their bodies are rapidly changing.

 Combined with hormones that are out of control and the constant talk of diet and exercise, it’s easy for teens to get the wrong idea and start exercising excessively. For a lot of teens, this stage in life brings changes to the body including weight gain that might make them feel uncomfortable. 

With all of the information available to them, they may start to exercise. A healthy relationship with exercise is different from a relationship involving addictions to exercise. Some signs that your teen has a healthy relationship with exercise are that exercise has improved confidence in your teen, helps their mood, and they don’t obsess over it. However, healthy exercise can turn into an addiction rapidly when all of the above factors are combined. 

A healthy relationship with exercise may have turned into an addiction if your teen has experienced or is experiencing any of the following symptoms. If your teen begins to exercise more frequently, such as multiple times a day, their exercising may have turned into a problem. If your teen exercises compulsively every time he or she eats, or at times when exercise is not appropriate, this may also signal a problem. Your teen may also have a problem if he or she gets defensive or becomes angry when you try to talk to them about their exercising habit. If you notice your teen counting calories, losing weight excessively, or exercising at every chance he or she gets, you may need to sit down with them and have a talk. 

If you feel that your teen has crossed the line into addiction to exercise, it’s best to enlist the help of a qualified professional. Getting help early on can ensure your teen finds their way onto the path for living a healthy life without an addiction to exercise. 

Jacobson, Tyler. “What is My Teenage Girl’s Addiction? Help for Parents to Define the Vice.” Addiction Blog.(Website). March 2015

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