Every generation and century have their own diseases. The current advanced level of medicine allows to have one’s body healthy and live longer than ever. But at the same time, there has been increased the level of stress for people. If in past times diseases more often affected with physical ailments, in present time psychological disorders are more common. Often, because of the mad schedules, people simply do not have time to take a breath and calm their brains and thoughts. This aggravates the situation and the risks of mental problems like sports addiction.
Moreover, despite the development of the idea of bodypositive, there are still general ideas about beauty. And almost everyone pursuing the dream of being prettier and better strives to meet match these ideas. So people start to do sports and unfortunately often do not notice how an idea becomes obsessive and addictive. And this situation is not always easy to manage with. It is difficult to find out and keep adequate limits and avoid extreme physical loads when all over the world they say sport is good for health, so that we have no doubts about it. This popularization of healthy lifestyle creates false statement “the more sport – the better”.
What is sports addiction
Sports addiction is a special form of addictive behavior, which has non-chemical forms of addiction. Dependence on exercise is a condition in which a person is excessively passionate about it and regularly over exercising. This condition is characterized by compulsive, obsessive human desire to do sports activities. It leads, like many other forms of addiction, to human functioning violation in various areas of his life: social, mental, behavioral, physical.
Some scientists divide sports addiction in two forms: primary and secondary.
In primary exercise addiction physical activity itself is the object of dependence.
Secondary arises on the basis of food addiction (over exercising eating disorder). The irresistible motivation for physical activity is associated with the need to reduce weight or change one’s own shape of body.
American scientists were able to identify two criteria that determine the disorder. They are manifested either in the form of a hostile reaction to the training cessation, or in the inability to control the volume of physical loads. Both of them can occur in all spheres of life and affect them.
Causes of sports addiction
Mainly reasons of sports addiction can be classified for three categories. Here we describe them.
Hormone of happiness
It is scientifically proven that during sports activity the hormone of happiness is produced. For half an hour, the concentration of it increases in 5-7 times. The “buzz” lasts for 1.5-2 hours. For some reasons it more affects men. And they more likely prefer to “kick a trouble out with it.” But scientists have no explanation for the phenomenon.
Also training is accompanied by the release of adrenaline, serotonin and testosterone. The concentration of which increases in the body during exercise for several times. These hormones cause a storm of emotions, and to experience this elated mood a man goes to the gym. So exercise becomes a kind of drug.
Besides, some of these hormons, for example, endomorphine group, have a narcotic effect and are addictive. By sports addiction are endured those people, who have a certain kind of mentality,that prones to any other types of dependence – narcotic, sexual, alcoholic, chemical – as well.
At some moment, a hobby can turn into a desire to do professional sport.This can lead to sports addiction. This way if the man skips even a single workout in, there is lack of energy, sluggishness, loss of appetite, emotional disorders such as anxiety, depression, apathy. The athlete starts to train longer and more actively than it was planned earlier. More and more normal activity is reduced, all the time is planned around training.
Also former sportsmen who have finished the career are proned by sports addiction. The inevitable end of the career in this case is perceived as a loss of status that an athlete is unable to accept. For him, it is synonymous with the total loss of himself, followed by painful separation and possible falling into a social vacuum. Low self-esteem and depression appear. Moreover, the higher was the level of the athlete, the more vulnerable he is and has more chances to become addicted.
Dissatisfaction with oneself
But the most common reason of sports addiction and people’s exhausting training is dissatisfying with their bodies and the inability to objectively evaluate a body. Thisleads to complexes and discomfort. People literally live in the gym persuing the body of the dream. They consider the bodies as a it a quirky and lazy creature that should be forced to work to the limit. And being afraid of getting fat, people exhaust themselves in the gyms.
Besides, the understandable desire to become beautiful often turns into the unwillingness to contact the world around them. It is impossible to talk on a stationary bike – and they hide in the gym as it is the only place where nobody disturbs them.
This is often going along with dysmorphic disorders like bigorexia or anorexia SSILKA. Such people want to have their bodies best but never reach it. As there is no adequate perception of a human body, it never seems enough for them. Sports addiction as well as dysmorphic disorder makes people think it is necessary just a little more weight loss or muscle gain.
So such people go to the gym to build a good body and can’t stop doing it. They get angry when their training is skipped as it brings them away from the goal and is perceived as a step back.
Symptoms of sports addiction
Many people are so eager to be in good shape that sometimes it is difficult to temper their enthusiasm and take a break from the training. However, if instead of energy after sports a person constantly feels tired, then this is a reason to be wary.
To over exercising did not become pathological, it must be recognized in time. Here are the main features:
- reduced activity, fast fatigue;
- a disorder of coordination;
- takes longer to recover;
- heart palpitations in the morning;
- high blood pressure at rest;
- loss of appetite;
- muscle pain;
- gastrointestinal disorders;
- weakening of the immune system;
- increase in the number of injuries of the musculoskeletal system;
- sleep disorders, insomnia.
Usually physical activity and sports relieve stress and improve health. However, over exercising has the opposite effect and can cause irritability, aggression, apathy and low self-esteem. People should keep balance in their life not get into extremes and treat the addiction in time.