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Monday, November 21, 2011

Compulsive Over Exercising Among Female Athletes

By Samantha Van Vleet

Very few will argue with the fact that physical activity, such as that involved in participation in sports, has numerous health benefits. However, many female athletes who suffer from eating disorders participate in what is known as compulsive over exercising.
Compulsive exercise among female athletes may be related to other eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia, but in many cases, compulsive over exercising may be a disorder by itself.

What is compulsive over exercising?

Individuals who suffer from compulsive over exercising engage in physical activity and exercise beyond the recommendations of safe levels of physical activity. Women suffering from compulsive over exercising find themselves constantly trying to work out and do whatever they find necessary to make the time to exercise, including skipping school and work, or hiding from others to exercise. Those who participate in compulsive over exercising are often have the goal of burning large amounts of calories to relieve the guilt of having eaten. Many think compulsive over exercising as a way for an eating-disordered individual to purge without inducing vomiting or bowel movements.

Who is at risk for compulsive over exercising?

Women and girls who participate in aesthetic sports, such as cheerleading, gymnastics and figure skating, are at greater risk for developing eating disorders. Women and girls who suffer from other eating disorders, such as anorexia, bulimia and eating disorder not otherwise specified (ED-NOS), are more likely to experience compulsive over exercising.
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What are the risks associated with compulsive over exercising? What are ways to become involved in balanced physical activity?

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