Over Exercising Disorder

Compulsive running & training

For most of us, exercise is a valuable aspect of our lives, and is a healthy way to relieve stress, promote restorative sleep and maintain physical well being. However, for a number of people, exercise becomes a way to ‘get rid’ of or avoid unwanted feelings such as anger, anxiety or distress, or for those with an eating disorder, to ‘burn off’ weight. It is an easy addiction to under-estimate, or dismiss as a minor addiction, and this would be a mistake.

At CHARTER we understand the appalling pain, self-hatred and isolation that over exercisers suffer from that drives them to continue to exercise despite the damages to health or relationships. We work closely to support the development and maintenance of an approved exercise plan while helping to address the emotions and thoughts that literally plague the over exerciser, making the urge to exercise overwhelming.

We understand that exercise causes the release of ‘feel good’ chemicals in the brain, bringing about a euphoria similar to a drug high, and a similar cyclical pattern of ‘withdrawal’ for which the only solution seems to be further intensive exercise. As many exercise addicts are perfectionists and find their own human imperfections disgusting and unacceptable it is important at CHARTER that we support those who over exercise with a comprehensive programme of emotional, mental and physical support to address all these areas, including the profound restlessness that can develop when exercise is reduced.

Relationships and work always suffer as a result of this isolation and single mindedness, so recovery comes in the form of restored intimacy. At CHARTER we encourage you to try out a more balanced exercise regime which will put you in touch with your feelings and thoughts. We are here to help you process these so that you learn to accept yourself, and others as they are, and to handle your feelings in a gentle and compassionate way.

More information

We are always happy to answer any questions you may have.  You can make an appointment with our assessment team using our Enquiry Form or simply give us a call so that we can discuss your treatment options and how we can help you or a member of your family.

We also have a library of useful documents for you to download and read in our PDF Library.



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If you think you or somebody you know needs some help you can either give us a call or complete our enquiry form and one of our team will get back to you within 24 hours.

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