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Okay, workout freaks, listen up!


     Lifting every day for 3 hours a day is sick.  Running 5-10 miles a day every day is sick. 

     And those are just for openers on the physical front.  Mental and emotional compulsions are just as bad.  

[First of all, if you are one of these maniacal types, you’ve already clicked off to some body-building or aerobics site by now anyway, so –we should be down to those who have just been thinking about, or considering, doing all that lifting or running or whatever other form of exercise that occupies equal blocks of time, effort and attention.  And that’s a good thing because –for you– there is still hope!]

     For openers, you should know that I don’t hate exercise.  I play softball (mostly second base) 2-3 times a week, all year long.  I do stretching and isometric exercises for an hour every day, seven days a week.  I walk two dogs every morning and every night (well, okay, night walks are quickies) and I hustle up and down 16 stairs 7-10 times a day, more on weekends. 

     I used to run 5-10 miles every day – rain, snow, ice, heat – 365 days a year for ten years, so I know from compulsion.  Yes, back problems from road running eventually forced me to the 3 S’s (softball, stairs and stretching).

     Here’s the thing: When you exercise ANYthing (your body, your mind, your emotions) on a compulsive basis, where you get the guilties for missing one day, you are functioning in such an overdrive mode that you are throwing your body, mind, and emotions out of whack! 

     You are creating discord, stress, and imbalance for yourself. 

     You cannot function as a whole person when part of you

commandeers the rest of you. 

     How out of touch with reality are many world-class athletes?  Do you really think they live happy lives?  How out of control is your work ethic if you are consumed by fitting in your three-hour workout every day?  What kind of social life can that possibly leave you? 

     What is the push all about?  What exactly are you trying to prove?  To whom?  Don’t you think it’s worth exploring ways to live a more well-rounded existence?  Where do you think compulsive exercise behaviors will take you in life?  Is that really where you want to go? 

     If you own or manage your own business, or think of yourself as an entrepreneur, you need to maintain health and fitness but find other outlets for yourself.  The world’s greatest authorities on fitness all agree that three serious 20-minute workouts (even brisk walks) a week should be enough for most anyone to maintain good health and fitness levels. 

     I don’t pretend to be a fitness expert or to suggest what is best for you, but I will tell you that –for me– regular exercise in moderation keeps me happier and healthier and more in touch with myself, and sharper in business than I ever experienced through my ten years of compulsive running.  halalpiar


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5 comments so far


  1. Again, your post on COMPULSIVE EXERCISE = TILT! is unique, and –we think– true. Dog-owners generally get more exercise than non-dog-owners, by the way!

  2. An intriguing blog post. Thank you for the insights.

  3. An interesting post on COMPULSIVE EXERCISE. We appreciate your reference to walking your dogs as exercise. It is indeed!

  4. Sophieon 25 Jul 2009 at 6:43 am

    Your article, although is true,seems pretty pointless to me. I am a compulsive exerciser, but I do not CHOOSE to be like this.

    It is very misunderstood, people forget or dont realise that is a DISSORDER.

    Your article would not persuade anyone with this dissorder to cut back,because they already know the consequences and most of them (including myself) hate living like this.

    If I dont exercise I panick,its the worst feeling in the world,followed by an incredibly strong guilt. I get very irrational about the whole thing,crying sometimes,but for some reason I cant control it.
    I have had many injuries mainly on my knees and back,but still exercise regardless of the pain. It is a horrible thing to live with,and is often associated with anorexia and bullimia.

    And let me explain another thing, it is not simply about the physical aspect, it is mostly about having ORDER and CONTROL over something,in this case exercise. Which is quite ridiculous when you think that it creates chaos for every other thing in life such as socialising and work etc.

    I just wish people would be a little more sympathetic about it,and see it for what it is,an OCD. thanx

  5. Hal Alpiaron 25 Jul 2009 at 11:42 am

    Thank you, Sophie, for your site visit, for your time and for your thoughtful response. Unfortunately for your circumstances, making things change becomes an increasingly more difficult task with each passing day. I remain steadfast however, that you did in fact choose your circumstances to begin with and have continued to choose them again and again. You cannot begin to realize the freedom of making change until you accept that you are able to make the choice to do it. Then you must make that choice repeatedly, perhaps forever, in the case of reformed addicts, and your situation, as you describe it, certainly sounds like an addiction. I wish you well and hope that you are able to find greater comfort in pursuing a life of acceptance that you do indeed choose your behavior. Thank you again. And please do return for visits here. Regards – Halalpiar

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