When does healthy exercise become unhealthy?

Jen in the forest looking up at the beautiful trees

When does healthy exercise become unhealthy?

There’s lots on social media about exercise at the moment, and certainly, for the majority of us, we need motivation to move and stay healthy when it’s dark and cold outside, and really all we want to do is to hibernate through the winter.
However, sometimes the drive to exercise becomes unhealthy. This can happen in people with eating disorders, or without. It can be a way of suppressing feelings and can be detrimental to your health when taken to extremes.

How to tell if you’re exercising unhealthily:
– Does exercise interrupt your daily life and stop you doing other activities you need or want to do?
– Do you exercise in secret?
– Is your exercise repetitive, punitive and not enjoyable?
– Do you exercise as a way of allowing yourself to eat?
– Do you exercise due to the eating disorder thoughts around body image dissatisfaction?
– Do you exercise as a form of self-harm or to punish yourself?
– Do you exercise despite injury or illness?
– Do you feel guilty, anxious and low in mood if you can’t exercise when you’ve planned to?

If the answer to any of these is yes, the first step is to be aware of it. If you are concerned about yourself or someone else, please ask for help and support. Your GP will be able to direct you to appropriate services.