Why Nobody Told Me Exercise Is an Addiction???

Updated on October 21, 2011
M.M. asks from Chicago, IL
19 answers

I jog and exercise almost every morning. On the days I am unable to do so for whatever reason I do not feel like myself and I do not have energy I need and the whole outlook on my day goes crooked....
Now, is this an addiction or what? I do not feel right if I do not complete my routine. I do not feel like myself, sort of out of place. Anyone else out there experienced that? How do you live with that? It is nearly impossible to get up every morning at dawn rain or shine and run but I am sort of compelled to do that otherwise my day is not going as planned, no perfection or satisfaction to it. The minute I am out and start my run - I am in heaven, doing the right thing, enjoying every minute. My day will be fine. I've done what I should...That is how I feel. Should I try to run less? Vary the exercise routine? How to make this less addictive and to become less emotionally dependent on the exercise? Anybody had this experience?

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So What Happened?

Thank you all so much. I guess it's what exercise does to you :)
I enjoy it and I will try not to feel so guilty going forward if I skip a run...maybe I do something else instead like a yoga video workout.
Nice to know I am not alone. Thanks for encouragement!

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answers from Detroit on

Well exercising in the AM is going to get everything going and wake you up, so yes I can understand you feeling different when you dont.

I would try to do it as much as possible because its healthy and makes you feel great, but dont sweat it if some days you just dont have time.

You got me beat girl, I cannot wake up before my kids and workout. Well, I shouldnt say I cant, I just wont. ;)

I think you are doing a good job!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I have steadily worked out for the last 10 to 12 years - and yes - it is an addiction. Fortunately it's a GOOD addiction lol. I can't go more than a few days without doing SOMETHING (walk, ride, group class, etc) or I start to get really fidgety and agitated. Keep it up!

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Williamsport on

Um. I'm jealous. If only I was as compelled to jog as I was to get up and get my cup of coffee and check my email. If you have something you do every day, and you have the time in place for it, YAY! The health benefits to what you're doing are so huge, that I cant' see a reason to cut down.

Now. If you are biting people's heads off all day when you don't exercise, or depriving people of experiences because your exercise routine trumps all-that could be a bit much and you should curb THAT, but in general, I think it's a great thing. I have to drag myself to the gym and it's never pretty. I do it, but I hate it. I wish I was excited to do it. I love doing yoga in the morning, but HATE getting up early.

OOH, red flag I just thought of.....I have several super compulsive runners in my family, as in running EVERY DAY and long marathons etc, who are all now over 50, and they ALL have terrible spine problems. Running is pretty hard on your body, so just be sure to mix it up enough with other exercise, and keep your distance REASONABLE, your shoes TOP NOTCH and don't always run on hard pavement. But as a runner, you know way more about all that than me. I jog like twice a year if that:)

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answers from Syracuse on

I am like this, I love running! I too get a little cranky if I don't get my run in, it really clears my mind, energizes me and just makes me feel ready for the day. I think it's a healthy addiction. The only reason I would say to try and run less or vary your routine would be if you feel that you are overtraining or injured...in other words, is your running routine negatively impacting yourself or other other areas of your life? Are you exhausted from trying to fit it all in? Doesn't sound like it from your post, sounds to me like it does the opposite.

I would recommend following a training schedule that has at least 1-2 days of rest...and by "rest" you can also cross train (ex. walk,bike,swim). This will keep you from possibly getting injured or burned out from only running. Also if you're tired or not feeling well, tell yourself it's ok to stay in bed and get some extra rest...your body will recover faster and you'll be further ahead by doing so. Goodluck and enjoy it!

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answers from Cincinnati on

unless you are complusivly overexercising then there really isnt a problem. At one point i was exercising enough (and eating so little) that my muscels were depleating instead of building. otherwise this "addiction" isn't going to hurt you. I will admit I have a slight coffee adiction, but one to two cups a day really isnt going to hurt me so why give up something I enjoy. I think you are making a problem were there isnt one.

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answers from Miami on

Yes, exercise for me is an addiction. Seeing my body transformed over time is an incredible high. I used to beat myself up for not exercising on any given day (I've always worked out 6 days a week until I had my last baby 5 months ago). These days I count my blessings for doing what I can, when I can. I am currently doing the P90 X (I've done 3 rounds of it pre pregnancy) and I do love it so much.

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answers from Houston on

It certainly is.....some people are actually "exercise bulimic" which is a condition where people burn far too many calories while ingesting hardly any.

For the last 10 months ive been working out every day too, 3 of those days i missed a workout and did notice a lull in my energy. But i think as far as addictions go.....an addiction to fitness is akin to having "too much love", and being "too pretty"

If you are truly concerned scale it back to 3 days a week .

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


I liken normal amount of exercise to a cup of coffee. If my DH doesn't get his run or workout in, he can be a cranky, miserable person, especially if it happens several days in a row. He recognizes this so he'll sometimes get up early and go for a run or bike ride at the start of his day vs trying to do his lunch workout at the office gym. I think you can certainly vary your routine (it's good to mix it up so your body doesn't get used to just one thing) but I don't think you have to quit running just because it kick-starts your day. I can go without my coffee, but I have a better day with it. I'd be worried if you start to let exercise interfere with your life. If you go just a little farther, even though the kids need to go to school and they start being late or if you take an extra long lunch and work suffers, etc. But a typical morning run? I wouldn't worry so much about that. You might, however, try some positive thinking on days you can't get your run in so your day doesn't feel doomed if you can't run.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from La Crosse on

I do exercises at home each night and if I skip a night or two I feel sluggish and slow the next day. I understand what you mean. I have to do something each night for myself after the kids are in bed even if it is just stretches and some tummy curls. I say do what feels good for you even if you need to change the time you jog... I have not found a way to not become "addicted" as you say, which by the way is a very fitting term! We need to take care of ourselves also!

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answers from Washington DC on

Try to switch from a cardio/pilates to jogging (especially on crummy rainy days). Doing a mix should give the same satisfaction. As long as your not killing yourself at each exercise you should be ok. I think routines keep you motivated so as long as your body isn't suffering keep it up... No, I don't think your addicted.

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answers from Chicago on

"Obession is a word that the lazy use to describe the dedicated"

I have a 6 yr old and an infant, work full time and married. THe only time I find time to work out is pre-dawn before everyone wakes up. People call me insane but I consider it "me time" and I love every moment of it. Most importantly I love the energy and stamina it gives me and how i feel the rest of the day. I feel very 'off' if I don't work out more than a day or two. It's normal.

As long as you are keeping your exercise in balance with your other daily life activities and responsibilities you are fine and it's a normal feeling to be blah the days we don't work out. But if your exercise is interfering with other responsiblities then you need to scale back a bit.

Also, vary your routine. You will get in a rut if you do the same thing daily - you may burn out or become bored of it. Train for a 5K or 10K, try adding speed intervals to your run, try run/walking intervals, biking, or kickboxing DVD's. Confusing your body from time to time with different exercise routines will keep it fresh and your mind fresh.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I know exactly what you mean. I was running every day this summer and felt so good on those days. Then I ended up irritating my tendon (from always running the same direction on the track) which sidelined me. Before I could start back again I ended up with a bronchial infection which kept me sidelined until this week. I really want to get back to it but I can not do a treadmill and I am in the northeast so my outdoor running days are numbered. I don't find other exercise routines to be quite as fulfilling but they say cross training is best.

I guess I would love to know how to avoid illness and inury so that I do not have to lose these huge chunks of time and have to start anew :-(

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answers from Dover on

Yes, excercise can feel like an addiction, but just like all things: everything in moderation. There's no reason why you shouldn't run every day. I imagine it's not really impossible for you to get up & go for a run every morning, so if that's what works for you & makes you feel better about your day overall, then do it. If you really truly just can't one morning for whatever reason, find a way to fit it in later in the day & just tell yourself whenever you feel slightly off-balance that your run is only a few hours away.

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answers from Dallas on

No, I don't think of it as an addiction. It is part of a healthy lifestyle just like eating. Your body needs food and it needs exercise.

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answers from Minneapolis on

we are creatures of habit. While I dont think your addicted, its can happen. I didnt eat yet this morning! I am addicted to eating, I feel I am about to have a monster attack... I WISH I were addicted to exercise. My sister was addicted to exercise. She was also Anorexic and had Anxiety issues, I think if it disrupts your daily routine, and becomes a bothersome nag all day then you could be.

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answers from Milwaukee on

I'm the SAME way. I NEED to work-out or I gain weight almost instantly.

My son had school in the morning last year and now it's in the afternoon. I'm still getting use to working out at 1:00 but sometimes I can sneak a mini work-out before I drop him off.

I'm a HUGE fan of early morning work-outs, it just sets the tone for the day. I'm less likely to start making bad food choices if I already got an hour in before the day starts.

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answers from Chicago on

Yes, and good for you! That's what happens when you make working out part of your lifestyle, and not just a thing that you do. When part of your lifestyle falls out of sync, you do too.
For me, I NEED to work out to deal with my stress. I'm out of control if I don't.

There's a difference between feeling out of sync, and depressed, though.
If you're borderline depressed, then yes, you should look at why you're unhappy. Is there something else tied to it?

But if you just feel "off" from not working out, that's normal when you do it all the time! :)

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answers from St. Louis on

Those endorphins are awesome aren't they? I wish that I had the memory to remember that some days when I choose the couch over the treadmill!

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answers from Chicago on

Exercise is a normal part of the human (animal) condition, but we now think of it as this special thing because so many of us have sedentary lifestyles. Look at it this way, what happens if you don't take your dog for regular walks? Believe me, he will get very freaked out and unhappy. His energy feels pent up and he gets overexcited. Well, we are animals too. Not only exercise but actually being outdoors is a normal and natural thing. For me, if I don't get outside in the course of a day I feel really strange and out of balance.
So congratulations that you have found an exercise routine that works for you. You feel great when you are doing it, that sounds very healthy to me. There are people who turn it into an "addiction" by overdoing or letting it take over your life. But that doesn't sound at all like what you describe. And what you say about emotions, yeah emotions are part of your physical body. You may be releasing alot of tension when you exercise and therefore you feel great the rest of the day. That is awesome! Some people look forward to having a drink (or two or...) after work to feel good and unwind-which do you think is healthier? I say keep up the good work and stop worrying about you. You just need to schedule it in your day like you do eating and sleeping (other normal physical needs).

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