Eating disorders come in many forms. Anorexia, bulimia and binge eating are the most well known. Extreme exercising is another type of disorder where a person uses exercise as a way of purging calories. Burning calories by exercise thereby compensates for eating.
People who exercise to burn what they’ve eating will exercise even if they’ve suffered and injury. After some time, their metabolism builds tolerance and they must exercise more in order to get the results they want. They are compulsively active, refusing to rest or sit still. They walk up and down stairs unnecessarily. They may exercise at night while others are sleeping.
Extreme exercise may be present with other active eating disorder behaviors such as restricting food intake, binge eating or purging. Extreme exercise then becomes part of bulimia. Those who struggle with extreme exercise risk injuries such as stress fractures, bradycardia (low heart rate), and the ceasing of menses, which leads to loss of bone density. Dehydration, electrolyte imbalance and malnutrition may be risks as well.
Extreme exercise is treated as part of comprehensive eating disorder treatment. If you or someone you care about is struggling with extreme exercise behaviors, seek counsel from and eating disorder specialist or treatment center.