BULIMIA AND EXERCISE: YOUR EXERCISE ROUTINE – TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING?
Have you ever wondered why your “highly charged” initial determination… to join a gym and start pounding away on a treadmill, spinning on a bike or exerting yourself on a rowing machine, soon plummets to sub zero levels?
As the Lactic Acid builds up in your worked muscles, so do the mounting excuses as to “why you cannot make it to the gym or fitness class today”! Then why do so many of us start these fitness fads?
All gym memberships come with a promise of a new you, the fitter, firmer and sexier you! Sadly the initial “feel good” adrenaline gives way to laziness, lack of commitment and effort; which is required, in large amounts, to sustain you through the initial pain barrier.
Fun stops, especially if you suffer from an Eating Disorder like Bulimia and if you embark on your new fitness regime with the mentality - No pain, No gain!
If the frequency of your workouts become more than is necessary for both your fitness levels and over all health or it becomes a self-inflicted punishment for the binge that took place, the night before! It is at this point this behaviour turns in to a negative addiction - masking your logical reasoning. Sounds familiar?
With excessive exercising, the rate of injury is high and recovery from the injury becomes slower. However this will depend on the specific exercise, the duration and whether it is cardiovascular or strength training.
Toxins build up have and no way out, causing strain on your liver and compromising its ability to function normally. This combined with poor nutrition levels caused by bingeing and vomiting, could cause your body to fall apart.
So what is the ideal? If you are keen on going to the gym or attending exercise classes; aim to break your routine and give your body rest periods in between one type of activity to another. For example aerobic and strength training.
You could use 1 session to work your abdominal muscles and perform back strengthening exercises, and combine it with a gentle activity such as 20 minutes of swimming. Make sure you have at lease one or two whole days a week without any physical activity. This will allow your body to completely rest, recover, and rejuvenate.
If the gym is not the way you would like to get fitter, then choose a sport or hobby such as walking, salsa dancing or something which is more fun, relaxing and sociable. It would probably be cheaper than the gym too!
Vathani Navasothy, Bulimia Counselor
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