While it’s hard for some people to imagine fitness as saving any type of negative connotation, especially given our super-sized world where obesity and heart disease rates are rising, there is a dark side of fitness, namely an obsession for fitness. Exercise bulimia, as it is called, is directly related to body image issues, and therefore can be just as destructive as any eating disorder. The consequences of this new “disease” can be very serious, often requiring many months of expensive rehabilitation or even surgery. Some young athletes are left facing a lifetime of pain and physical restrictions.
There is a huge emphasis on QUANTITY of exercise that has almost completely obliterated any concern with the QUALITY with which the exercise is performed. All too often fitness programs tend to be about things like how many miles you run, how many pitches you pitch, or how many hours you swim rather than how well you’re using your body as you run, pitch or swim. The current over-emphasis on quantity is one of the main reasons why there are still so many sports and fitness related injuries.
As with almost anything in life, moderation in fitness regimes is the key to success. The intensity and quantum of exercise varies in accordance with the desired end result, namely whether it is weight reduction, endurance training or just a fitness regime.
However, there is a risk of becoming obsessed with work- outs, and it can play havoc with one’s health and psychological well-being. While fitness is vital to health and well-being, obsession for fitness is as unhealthy as any other disorder.