Psychology of Exercise Training

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Psychology of Exercise Training

Postby Canuck Singh » Sat Oct 25, 2008 10:39 am

A psychological study of gym-goers has found that a quarter of them exercise to excess.

What is excess when it comes to exercise?

To be defined as an “excessive exerciser” the participants had to score above average on an exercise dependence questionnaire and average more than six hours per week exercising.

According to lead researcher Jane Fletcher of Victoria University, Australia, while exercise is vital to health and well-being, people can become addicted to and reliant on this activity. This could be seen as a positive or a negative addiction. For example, a negative addiction to exercise means that the person does so even when they are injured or ill.

This study was undertaken with 213 participants in Melbourne, Australia and was presented at the 42nd Australian Psychological Society national conference. It’s an interesting piece of work as it sheds some light on a population group that seldom receives scientific scrutiny.

According to the report, people classed as “excessive exercisers” regularly turn down invitations with friends and family to go to the gym. Exercise makes them feel really good and if they don't do it, they can feel anxious and withdrawn. The need to keep exercising has a negative impact on many aspects of the individual’s life, physically, psychologically and socially.

The report also suggested that people who exercise excessively tend to be more extroverted than non-excessive exercisers. Other characteristics include, the desire to be the center of attention and often, the “life of the party”. They also tend to display higher levels of drive and competitiveness. If you love exercise, that’s fine. Just make sure this activity enhances the quality of your life and doesn’t diminish it.
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