Am I Just Active or Is It My Exercise Addiction?

October 27, 2022 Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer

I constantly move—so much so that I feel anxious if I have been sitting for more than about 20 minutes at a time. In fact, even as I type this sentence, I am doing calf raises while standing in front of my computer. On most days, I run or walk an average of 20,000 steps, and if I fall below that threshold, I frenetically pace around the living room while I watch TV at night. I happen to be someone with a lot of natural energy, but I often wonder: Am I just active, or is it my exercise addiction? Moreover, how can I strike a healthy balance in this area?    

I Will Be the First Person to Admit I Have an Exercise Addiction 

In a previous article, I talked about coming to terms with exercise addiction. I am aware this obsessive urge to live in a state of continual motion disrupts all the other facets of my life. I will be the first to admit it's problematic behavior. I can spot the controlling nature of my actions. I understand it's not rational to glance down at my step counter every few minutes. I realize that missing a workout should not result in waves of insecurity and self-loathing. I know the human body benefits from rest as much as it does from activity. Still, here I am, looking for any excuse to run, pace, or do calf raises at my desk.

Of course, movement is healthy—crucial, even—in moderation. But I cannot always use the I-am-just-an-active-and-energetic-person excuse as a cover for my exercise addiction. I have to be honest with myself when the itch to move crosses a line into compulsive exercise territory. I also need a plan to hold myself accountable when all I want to do is indulge in this compulsion. I can start by asking: "Am I in an active mood right now, or is my exercise addiction trying to rear its head?" Then, I must take responsibility to funnel the urge I feel into other pursuits—ones that align with balance, recovery, and wholeness.  

I Am Learning the Difference Between Activity and Exercise Addiction 

Do you ever find yourself asking, "Am I just active, or is this behavior an exercise addiction?" Trust me, I can commiserate—but I also know it's possible to restore a sense of balance in this area of life. How are you learning to spot the difference between an active lifestyle and an exercise addiction? What healthy steps do you take when those compulsive urges rise to the surface? Please share in the comment section below.

APA Reference
Schurrer, M. (2022, October 27). Am I Just Active or Is It My Exercise Addiction?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 15 from

Author: Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer

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