chapter  7
9 Pages

The Psychology of Exercise Addiction

ByJosephine Perry

Someone suffering from exercise addiction will be increasing their time or intensity exercising and, even if following specific training plans, they may add extra repetitions or minutes to their sessions. The range of possible models for exercise addiction shows there is still work to be done to identify the causes, yet there are a number of risk factors that indicate potential predispositions to exercise addiction. These have mainly focused on personality traits, social influences, disordered eating, obsessive compulsiveness, the type of sport involved, appearance anxiety and some individual factors. A fully evidence-based treatment protocol for those with an exercise addiction has not yet been established. In cases of secondary exercise addiction, treatment will be driven by the eating disorder as this is a more serious condition and exercise may be completely stopped. A specific version of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which has gained some traction in those with exercise addiction is Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy.