"My body is too lean," "I’m short," "My legs are too thin" - these are thoughts that many of us have had at one point or another. Did you know that intrusive thoughts like these can be a sign of Body Dysmorphia?
Body Dysmorphia Disorder:
BDD (Body Dysmorphia Disorder) is a psychological and mental health disorder. An individual obsessively considers minor defects in his or her appearance and spends a lot of time doing so. Body Dysmorphia Disorder is not age-related and can affect all types of individuals; however, it is most prevalent primarily in teenagers and young adults. Body dysmorphia consists of a dynamic mix of factors including mental health issues, physical abnormalities, and self-image issues.
Does Exercise Increase Body Dysmorphia?
Yes, exercise will benefit people with Body Dysmorphia emotionally, psychologically, and mentally; however, individuals need to engage in a form of fitness that they thoroughly enjoy. Hiking, walking, martial arts, yoga, bodybuilding, and a variety of other activities are all great options that can relieve stress and boost moods. It is important to shift one's mindset surrounding exercise so that it becomes a stress-reliever rather than just an avenue to lose weight.
Can I Exercise Too Much?:
According to Mayo Clinic, it is important to "get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. The guidelines suggest that you spread out this exercise during the course of a week."
A common side effect of BDD is Exercise Addiction - it is important to ensure that one does not too far exceed general exercise recommendations to prevent developing an obsession that can in turn cause both mental and physical problems.
Exercise is a healthy thing to do, but too much of it can be harmful. Here are a few signs that you may be overdoing it at the gym:
- Excessive Soreness
- Sudden Weakness
- Slow Reflexes
- Challenges Catching Your Breath
If you fear that you may be suffering from BDD or Exercise Addiction please know that you are not alone. Here are a few steps to take towards recovery:
- Avoid Social Comparisons
- Make Fitness Something That You Enjoy
- Limit Your Weekly Exercise to 150 Minutes Per Week
- Create and Follow a Daily Routine
- Spend Time With Friends and Family
- Ask for Help
Did you know that at Fit Factory we offer personalized fitness and nutrition conultations to help you develop the best program for you? Connect with us today, we're here to help and to support you!