My (Over) Running Addiction
I’ve had my years of being “addicted” to running. I started jogging in the rubberized field not far from my home. It started slowly until my body was able to handle fast running. It was such a fulfilling routine for me. Not only did I lose a lot of weight, but I also felt my resistance getting stronger and my breathing was easier as my lungs expanded. Everything good actually followed after that – my skin glowed, my belly got smaller and smaller by the day, and I got stronger – physically and mentally. According to Kjersti Nelson, LMFT, “Daily runs leave a person feeling accomplished, and will really solidify or kickstart a healthy wellness-based habit.”
I just noticed some things after running for a few months. I would run a few kilometers a day then, and sometimes I really didn’t want to give it a rest because it made me lazy. I felt like I had to run daily. However, after a few weeks of that routine, my knees would buckle while my back and hips would hurt. I was having trouble sleeping and sometimes, I didn’t know why I’d get mad at the waiter just because he served me water with no ice! Horrible mood swings I had! According to Britta Boekamp, PsyD, “Individuals with rule breaking and oppositional tendencies, often have anger outbursts that are referred to as mood swings. However, these anger outbursts are not due to a chemical imbalance but rather in response to the individual not getting their way.”
Signs to Watch Out For
That was when I got worried and anxious. According to Scott Bea, PsyD, “Anxiety is really a reaction in our body and brain that can be a feeling of worry, apprehension, sometimes excitement in anticipation of an event or in the face of uncertainties.” It was frustrating to feel weak when I had been eating and exercising enough. But when I came across an article about overrunning, it made me realize how much stress I have put my body in. I was experiencing the results of overrunning – too much, too soon, too often, too fast.
Here are some warning signs that I’ve experienced when I was running too much.
- Too tired to do usual chores and activities. You woke up a few hours ago and yet your eyes tend to close. You go to sleep again just before lunch. You don’t have the energy or the will to cook or clean the house. ‘The mind is willing but the flesh is weak’ is an appropriate description. You may initially have DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) which will lead to generalized body fatigue if you don’t listen to your body’s signal to pause awhile and rest.
- Brimming with adrenaline and cannot sleep. Many runners can attest that they have experienced insomnia when they overrun. That’s because the sleep cycle is disrupted with excessive training and it’s a clear indication that you need to take it slow. Sleep plays a very vital role in the rejuvenation and recovery of our muscles that have been through a lot during the day.
- Gaining weight instead of losing. Research has always proven that there is a surge of cortisol hormones when you exercise, and when you overrun – which means you over train – you also release too much cortisol. Bad thing is that this hormone stimulates your satiety center, making you feel hungry all the time. Consequently, continuous overtraining will lead to overeating as well.
- It creates feelings of anxiety and depression. When you’ve been training too much and you don’t get the positive results that you want, negative thoughts and emotions fill you. This creates a vicious cycle of overrunning in pursuit of your goals, thinking that you’re not doing enough. Then your physical, mental and emotional health is in jeopardy.
Don’t Run Towards Destruction
I don’t run that much anymore these days because of the busy schedule and also because my long time friends who ran with me that time have reconsidered and pursued different practices, although they still run twice or thrice a week in moderation.
Running is a great way to exercise, but it’s easy to be addicted to something that’s supposed to be a healthy routine. Always remember to take a break and rest your body despite your goals to keep fit. Besides, resting is part of being fit and healthy.…