Addicted to Exercise

“Exercise addicts display all of the hallmarks of substance addicts: tolerance, craving, withdrawal and the need to exercise ‘just to feel normal,’ ” Linden writes.

O.K., I confess. I might be an addict.

Exercise seems to trigger the release of chemicals called endorphins and enkephalins (the brain’s version of opium) and endocannabinoids (the brain’s version of marijuana). In the lab, rats can develop an addiction to exercise on a wheel.

As a former distance runner, I can agree. furthermore, extensive endurance exercise isn’t a healthy habit, so exercise addiction shares this trait with drug and other addictions.

Someone (me?) should do a post on how the running craze has been just as much misguided propaganda and as harmful as the recommendation to eat a low-fat diet.


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