Treatment for exercise addiction

When treating individuals that are addicted to drugs or any other toxic substances the key is to reverse the effects and deter further use. However, when it comes to treatment of exercise addiction the goal is to reverse the negative effects while gradually bringing back the individual to healthy exercise routines. Stopping exercise completely may be detrimental to the health of the individual. It is worth noting that adequate amounts of exercise is beneficial. To come up with an effective treatment plan doctors must also determine whether you have primary or secondary exercise addiction. Here are some of the things that may be involved in treatment.

Cognitive behavioral therapy

this refers to a one on one talk with a professional therapist. The aim of such counseling sessions is to help the patient identify thoughts that may lead him or her to engage in excessive exercise. Once the individual is able to determine what is right or wrong when it comes to amount of exercise they are able to safely engage in the activity without endangering their own self or causing friction with loved ones.

Changing type of exercise

during treatment doctors may recommend a change in the type of exercise that a patient engages in. If an individual is used to exercises for swimming they may be instructed to switch to exercises that are suited for a runner. This reduces the pressure on certain muscles and tissues while still ensuring that the patient remains in good shape. The switch in exercise is closely monitored to discourage any signs of overworking.

Support groups

just like any other type of addiction individuals with exercise addiction are encouraged to join support groups. During sessions patients share their experiences and how they have managed to move from one level to another. Listening and sharing experiences provides inspiration while instilling knowledge on how to overcome the challenges that arise.

Medical treatment

an exercise addict may be suffering from a number of health complications that are brought about due to excessive exercise. This may include injuries and ailments such as frequent headaches, back pain and muscle cramps. Doctors may be able to prescribe medications to help in managing these issues.

Treatment of underlying issues

individuals that resort to exercise as a way of escaping from reality or achieving goals such as getting the right physique also forms part of the greater strategy. Counseling is an important technique in achieving this goal.

Managing side effects

because people may experience excruciating side effects when they stop exercising doctors may be keen on managing such symptoms. Provision of painkillers, physical therapy among other treatment techniques may help the addict cope with the reduction in activity.

How to reach out for help

On realizing that you or a loved one is dealing with exercise addiction do not panic but instead reach out to a local social worker or use an addiction hotline to find help. Once you are in touch with a professional you will be given proper guidance on how to approach the issue. For those who are worried about a loved one it is imperative that you wait for professional instructions on how to approach the individual that is suspected to be battling addiction. Confronting the individual may only push them farther away or lead to unpleasant exchanges that may weaken relationships. Here are some of the things that may be involved in getting treatment.

the first step is to receive guidance from a professional counselor on how to talk to the individual that is affected. Intervention is the best way to show the individual the danger they may be in and the distress that the behavior is causing to loved ones. This process is done in such a way that the addict realizes the genuine concern by loved ones and why treatment is important.

before individuals are enrolled to a rehabilitation program for treatment they must go through an initial stage of assessment. This may include physical examination, recording of medical history and mental tests to ascertain that the individual is indeed addicted to exercise.

once a professional has verified that the individual requires professional help the patient or family members will be informed of the requirements necessary for admission. This may include consent from a guardian, payment of treatment fees and provision of patient details. A rehab representative will then enroll the patient in a relevant treatment program.

Inpatient and outpatient arrangements

Once diagnosed with exercise addiction patinets may have to receive treatment under two arrangements namely inpatient and outpatient care. Here are some of the details you should know regarding these treatment options.

Inpatient care

Under this arrangement patients are required to receive care while staying at the treatment center. Doctors or therapists may recommend this arrangement when the patient is severely affected by addiction. In most cases the patient has an uncontrollable need to exercise and suffers from extreme withdrawal effects in case he or she misses training sessions. It is worth pointing out that individuals may also be enrolled under Partial Hospitalization Program or PHP which basically means that the patient stays at the treatment center but is allowed to leave the facility at given times.

An advantage of this type of care is that the individual is able to get specialized care aimed at eliminating discomfort and countering any emergencies that may arise. The individual is kept in an environment that discourages the habit of excessive exercise while also giving them time to recover psychologically and physically.

Outpatient care

Under this arrangement the patient does not really stay at the rehabilitation center but rather pays a visit at scheduled times. This program is recommended for people that are not severely affected by addiction. Patients under this program only develop mild withdrawal effects in case they miss training sessions.

An advantage associated with this type of arrangement is that it costs a lower amount when compared to inpatient care. The patient is allowed to attend to daily obligations that may include working, schooling and carrying out of domestic chores. This kind of arrangement also allows the patient to continue interacting with friends and loved ones.

How to choose the most suitable rehab for exercise addiction treatment

There are no rehabilitation centers that deal exclusively with the treatment of exercise addiction which is why you are encouraged to opt for those centers that are known for treating eating disorders or behavioral addictions. Of course you can always seek guidance from a rehabilitation center that deals with drugs and alcohol abuse because representatives from such institutions are able to provide information that can be of help. Here are some of the things to keep in mind when  picking the ideal rehab.

Location is important

The location of the rehabilitation center can determine how fast a loved one makes progress. Centers that are out of town may give the patient ample time to reflect on the issues surrounding them. However, local centers are a cheaper option and allow loved ones to visit frequently.

The costs

the amount of money you have to pay for treatment is another factor that should help you choose the ideal facility. Go for an option that is affordable. It is wise to talk to a representative from the rehabilitation center just so you understand the payment options that are available to you.


Before enrolling for treatment in any center it is prudent to find out about reputation. Avoid centers that elicit negative reactions from a majority of people and instead opt for those that seem to be held in high esteem by the public.

Customized treatment

Centers that provide personalized treatment to patients are likely to achieve better results. This is because each patient has a unique personality and may be going through unique circumstances.

Aftercare arrangements

Rehabilitation centers that offer continuous care even after the patient has completed the given program are usually better because they look out for the patient’s welfare over the long term.