Exercise Habits That May Suggest An Eating Disorder
Having an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa doesn't just mean that you eat a miniscule amount. For many anorexics, vigorous exercise goes hand in hand with the consumption of a low-calorie diet. While exercise is healthy for most people, anorexics often take their approach to exercise to an extreme level — and this can mean that it's relatively easy to identify someone with an eating disorder by how he or she exercises. Whether you're noticing these signs in a family member or a friend, you may then wish to talk to the person and support his or her effort to get treatment. Here are some exercise habits that may suggest an eating disorder.
Too Much Time Dedicated To Exercise
For the average adult, it can be difficult to find time to exercise daily. The Center for Disease Control's recommendation for adults is to get 150 or more minutes of aerobic exercise each week, which breaks down to less than 30 minutes per day. If you know someone who is struggling with anorexia, he or she may work out well beyond this guideline — perhaps an hour or more in the morning and another hour or more later in the day. A lot of exercise on its own doesn't necessarily mean that an eating disorder is present, but it can be a worrisome sign.
The Use Of Stimulants Before Exercise
Some people who are dealing with eating disorders will take stimulants before exercising in an effort to raise their heart rate to burn more calories. This behavior can be dangerous, as it can be physically taxing for the body — which may already be weak if the person has an eating disorder. You may notice that the person consumes coffee, energy drinks, caffeine tablets, or even illegal drugs in advance of exercising. These are all exercise-related signs that the person could have an eating disorder.
While it's useful for every adult to get exercise, there's more of a need for those who need to lose weight. Adults of a healthy body weight can rely on exercise for weight maintenance, but it's a concern when someone who is already underweight exercises frequently. For such individuals, consuming a high-calorie diet and perhaps exercising only moderately are critical to gaining weight in a healthy manner. However, if you notice someone who is extremely skinny but remains dedicated to exercise, it's often a sign of a problem.
For more information on finding an eating disorder center California, contact your local treatment centers.