“Runnorexia”: the modern addiction to running

The practice of physical exercise it produces psychological and physical benefits. the currentSpecifically: reduces stress, improves cardiovascular capacity, reduces risk of disease, etc. Therefore, in order to have a healthy life, it is advisable that running or exercising be part of our life, as it is an important component of well-being.

But anything taken to the extreme can be harmful, And running is no exception. Nowadays, the fashion of running leads many people to become obsessed with this practice. Richard Benyo, in an article published in the Road Runners Club of America, states that “there is a negative side to exercising which, little by little, insidiously, can replace the positive effect.”

Running addiction is not the same as overtraining

runnorexia it’s not the same as overtraining. The obsession with running can lead an individual to over-train, which can lead to overtraining. The symptoms of overtraining are short term and have to do with the period of recovery and rest. In this sense, it can be said that runnorexia is linked to overtraining syndrome.

Runnorexia or running addiction, on the other hand, is a loss of perspective on the role of exercise in a person’s life. While a person may experience a period of overtraining because a major competition is approaching and they have poorly planned their installation, a person with runnorexia suffers from a more serious problem. In this case, there are important psychological aspects: irrational beliefs, low self-esteem, etc.

In addition to these aspects, the social factors they are at the origin of this disorder, because culture and social pressure for aesthetics and image play an important role in the development of this pathology. On the other hand, some experts also claim that they exist biological factors that cause this addiction, because there seems to be a link between the pleasant chemicals that the brain releases during physical activity (endorphins, dopamine, etc.) and this disorder, as is the case with substance addiction. That is, the strengthening area of ​​the brain is involved in addictive and obsessive behaviors is also involved in runnorexia.

The psychologist Eduardo Carreño, in an interview for the newspaper Asturias 24, explains: “There are two types of addictions: addictions to substances (drugs) and behaviors (addiction to work, shopping, sports, etc.)”. As we can see, the case of running addiction is an addiction to an activity and to the pleasure generated by the practice in question.

Symptoms presented by the person with runnorexia

The person with runnorexia overestimates running, which makes it the most important part of their life, even over family, friends, work, etc.

He is able to cancel appointments or skip work so he can run. Fatigue or injury does not prevent him from performing his workouts, as the discomfort he feels if he does not perform these sessions is greater than him. His free time is spent running, and his life moves with only one idea in mind: operation.

The symptoms it exhibits are identical to those of the addict to any type of physical exercise (eg, physical fitness). These symptoms appear when the person is unable to perform physical activity and can be: anxiety, depression or irritability.

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